Amazon recently announced the introduction of blockchain templates for Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric. AWS Blockchain templates enable developers to quickly setup blockchain infrastructure and focus on building applications rather than having to deal with the underlying infrastructure, how to build, maintain and secure it.
Blockchain is a technology platform that allows multiple parties to record transactions without the need for a trusting central authority in order to verify that the transactions are valid. Instead, each participant in the peer to peer blockchain network can view and independently verify the integrity of these transactions.
AWS Blockchain templates can work with CloudFormation templates, allowing developers to quickly and easily create and manage cloud deployments. Blockchain templates can deploy either blockchain framework on Elastic Container Service(ECS) or plain EC2 instances using Docker. The blockchain network uses its own Amazon Virtual Private Cloud(VPC) allowing for more granular control over access via VPC subnets, network ACLs and AWS Identity and Access Management(IAM).
Blockchain templates are available in every public AWS region and there is no extra charge to use it, other than the cost of the underlying infrastructure, e.g. EC2. Ethereum blockchains can be either public or private whereas Hyperledger Fabric are only private at the moment.
Competition around blockchain as a service is fierce amongst Amazon and Microsoft. Microsoft has been partnering with Consensys since 2015 and announced recently the Azure Blockchain Workbench for Azure. The blockchain workbench helps developers provision a blockchain network through Azure’s GUI and also integrates with the full suite of services available on Azure, allowing for key storage, Active Directory integration, message transformation, on and off chain synchronisation and integration of blockchain workflows with existing systems using tools like Logic Apps. Azure Blockchain workbench is also extensible via REST and message based APIs for client and machine to machine communication.Azure also offers a variety of blockchain templates based on Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, R3 and Quorum.