As Microsoft Azure closes shop, ConsenSys Quorum opens up to new users


Just because the cryptocurrency sector is consistently altering and evolving, the enterprise blockchain business has been present process its justifiable share of developments currently. Most just lately, enterprise blockchain options are shifting from personal, closed networks to public, open techniques. This has largely been made attainable due to advances from the Ethereum network, that are making certain higher privateness, scalability, throughput and extra for enterprise purchasers.

A new business evaluation report demonstrates this shift, noting that the worldwide blockchain know-how market measurement is predicted to attain $72 billion by 2026, rising at a market progress of 51.8% CAGR through the forecast interval. Interestingly sufficient, findings from the report present that in 2020, the general public enterprise blockchain market section emerged because the main mannequin with the best share within the world market.

As extra enterprise blockchain options shift to public networks, it shouldn’t come as a shock that Microsoft just lately introduced that its Azure Blockchain Service is migrating users to alternative offerings. It’s essential to observe that Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain was initially created from a sandbox-style service in 2015 on Ethereum in partnership with ConsenSys. In 2019, the answer was provided as a completely managed blockchain-as-a-service, or BaaS.

Fast ahead to 2021, and a current weblog publish from Microsoft states that Azure users should now “migrate ledger data from Azure Blockchain Service to an alternate offering.” The article additional recommends for users to transfer to the Quorum Blockchain Service, or QBS.

For context, QBS is a managed providing by ConsenSys on Azure that helps Quorum as ledger know-how. Quorum permits enterprise purchasers to construct blockchain options on the general public Ethereum mainnet, together with personal networks.

Emmanuel Marchal, world head of gross sales for the blockchain software program agency ConsenSys, instructed Cointelegraph that given ConsenSys’ possession of Quorum, together with the corporate’s long-term relationship with Microsoft, it is smart for Microsoft to be part of with ConsenSys:

“ConsenSys is providing migration from the Azure Blockchain Service to the Quorum Blockchain Service offered on Azure. This has always been a part of our strategic relationship, to make sure that Azure customers have an enterprise-grade managed blockchain service with Quorum.”

Marchal additional famous that ever since ConsenSys gained ownership of Quorum from JPMorgan final 12 months, the corporate has been targeted on bringing novel know-how to market. This consists of having a managed service for Quorum. Based on the sturdy relationship between ConsenSys and Microsoft, Marchal defined that “It makes sense to transition the Azure Blockchain Service users to QBS as the recommended migration strategy.”

As such, Marchal shared that ConsenSys has been working actively with dozens of Azure Blockchain users to assist them plan their migration to QBS. “The goal is for a collaboration between Microsoft and ConsenSys to ensure a seamless migration from one service to the other,” he stated. Microsoft introduced that its Azure Blockchain Service will probably be “retired” on Sept. 10, and users should be migrated to QBS or an alternate service earlier than then.

Is this excellent news for Microsoft?

Although it could appear unlucky that Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain Service is coming to an finish, Marchal views this shift as an development. “ConsenSys maintains open-source Quorum technology. Azure Blockchain Service users using that private technology remain in good hands with ConsenSys moving forward, and we are confident about this migration.”

Moreover, from the Microsoft Azure Blockchain Service consumer perspective — which includes main company clients resembling JPMorgan, GE Aviation, Singapore Airlines, Starbucks and Xbox — the migration to QBS could not have a lot of an affect. For occasion, world blockchain lead at Ernst & Young (EY) Paul Brody instructed Cointelegraph that the Big Four firm’s program with Microsoft and Xbox stays unchanged:

“The Microsoft program to migrate software contracts for the Xbox ecosystem to Ethereum-based smart-contracts continues to gain steam, with over 300 companies now integrated.”

Azure SQL provides an immutable ledger

Coincidently, Azure SQL — a managed cloud database offered as a part of Microsoft Azure — is incorporating a ledger function. This growth was just lately announced at Microsoft’s Build 2021 developer occasion.

According to a Microsoft weblog publish published on May 25, the “Azure SQL Database ledger” will add tamper-evident capabilities to Azure SQL databases. The publish additional states that the Azure SQL Database ledger will present a “simpler solution for centralized systems where strengthening trust between parties is required.”

It’s additionally famous that the ledger function of the Azure SQL Database doesn’t require any migration of information or modifications to consumer functions. “You can enable ledger functionality on tables in your database and interact with them the same ways you would for any other tables,” the publish states.

While notable, the Azure SQL Database sounds very related to Oracle’s crypto-secure data offering, which was introduced in March. Juan Loaiza, government vice chairman of Mission-Critical Database Technologies at Oracle, beforehand instructed Cointelegraph that Oracle has created a crypto-secure knowledge administration providing that leverages “blockchain tables” throughout the Oracle database. Loaiza additionally famous that this function is completely different from Oracle’s blockchain platform, which is constructed on Hyperledger Fabric and is often used for supply chain management

This in thoughts, one other attainable enterprise blockchain pattern shifting ahead will be the incorporation of immutable ledgers to enterprise-grade databases, as already demonstrated by each Oracle and Microsoft.

Will extra enterprises shift to public techniques?

In regard to Microsoft’s migration to an answer powered by enterprise Ethereum, Brody remarked that EY is seeing an total pattern, the place firms are shifting their focus towards public blockchains and shutting down their private-blockchain-centric internet hosting companies. “With nearly 15,000 nodes for Bitcoin and Ethereum combined running out there, everyone is seeing the much bigger public business as the priority,” he stated.

Although this can be the present pattern, it’s noteworthy to point out that some enterprise options are persevering with to depend on personal networks. General supervisor of IBM AI Apps and Blockchain Kareem Yusuf instructed Cointelegraph that enterprises are persevering with to put money into blockchain networks, and lots of choose permissioned blockchains to remedy advanced business challenges:

“Among enterprises, collaboration and trusted data sharing are essential, and for many, permissioned networks provide the assurance they require. In the future, we expect that we’ll see more intersection of public and private networks.”