Amazon goes live with its blockchain managed service

Amazon pushes its take on Blockchain-as-a-Service live, offering customers a way to set up a blockchain network in minutes.

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Amazon on Tuesday announced the general availability its Amazon Managed Blockchain, a fully managed service that makes it easy to create and manage scalable blockchain networks.

Amazon originally announced the blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) at its AWS re:Invent conference in November, inviting companies to sign up for a pilot of it.

Jeff Barr, chief evangelist at Amazon Web Services, said the offering is now available for production use in the U.S. East (North Virginia) Region.

"You can use it to create scalable blockchain networks that use the Hyperledger Fabric open source framework, with Ethereum in the works," Barr said in a blog post today. "You can create your network in minutes. Once created, you can easily manage and maintain your blockchain network. You can manage certificates, invite new members, and scale out peer node capacity in order to process transactions more quickly."

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has joined a list of BaaS providers that already includes IBM, HP, Microsoft, Oracle and SAP.

As enterprises look to deploy the online distributed ledger technology, the industry's largest software and services providers have launched BaaS offerings as a way to allow customers to test the still-emerging technology without the capital costs or risk of deploying it in-house. The BaaS offerings also address a shortage of in-house blockchain developers, who are in hot demand.

While Amazon's BaaS offering may seem like just another tool in the AWS box, the adoption of BaaS isn't going to look or function anything like the adoption of other cloud services, according to Michael Fauscette, chief research officer of G2 Crowd, a business-to-business software review site.

"The use case ideas are really exploding around blockchain in a way that will drive in a wave of adoption that will happen faster than others," Fauscette said in an earlier interview.

In addition to making it easy to set up and manage blockchain networks, Amazon said its BaaS provides simple APIs that allow customers to vote on memberships in their networks and scale up or down more easily.

Amazon Managed Blockchain offers a range of instances with different combinations of compute and memory capacity to give customers the ability to choose the right mix of resources for their blockchain applications. The service secures certificates for access control using AWS Key Management Service technology, eliminating the need for customers to set up their own secure certificate storage.

Armin Nehzat, digital technology manager for Nestlé Oceania, said transparency in supply chains is increasingly important to consumers, who want to know what is in their food and where it comes from.

"While Nestlé has begun to release information on its supply chains for its 15 key commodities, using blockchain technology enables a more precise tracking," Nahzat said in a statement. "With Amazon Managed Blockchain, we are able to set up our Hyperledger Fabric network and easily invite our partners to collaborate in our supply chain transparency efforts."

Copyright © 2019 IDG Communications, Inc.

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