May 21, 2020

Blockchain Networks on Amazon Web Services

AWS offers a managed blockchain solution. Instant set up, cost-effective, and decentralized.
Source: Pixabay

Not so many developers have their own managed blockchain network, and that comes with a reason. Managing a blockchain network without a service providing it is not easy to set up, and even harder to maintain.

Hardware has to be assembled, the software has to be installed, request and obtain certificates, and manually configure the network. All of this has to be done In order to set up a blockchain service. Once you have the network set up and ready to run you need to continuously monitor the infrastructure and maintain it.

As we know, there is no central authority in Blockchain. And that is the most appealing promise we can count on. A monetary system with no central authority governing the neither the emission nor the circulation of capital. The system works by itself and the parties using it can execute transactions in a secured and trusted way.  

The Solution 

Well, it is not necessary for you to set up your network neither to maintain it. Amazon Managed Blockchain is a fully managed service providing its users the security, safety, and facility of creating and managing blockchain networks using Open source technology such as Hyperledger Fabric, and coming soon, the very well known: Ethereum.

 Once your network is ready and set up, you get access to the control panel, where you can invite new members to join your blockchain network. With AMB, you can create networks that include multiple AWS accounts. It works similarly to hosting a blockchain infrastructure but is not the same. AMB allows you to run your own blockchain network. You don’t have to provide hardware neither software. The infrastructure is ready to be used.  

How are members added to the network?

The service offers something called the “Managed Blockchain´s voting API”, allowing network participants to vote to add or remove members. Once a user becomes part of the network, it gains certain permissions such as configuring multiple blockchain peer nodes and store copies of the ledger.

AMB supports two popular, yet different blockchain frameworks. Hyperledger Fabric, and Ethereum. The first one runs better for private conditions and more related to data. It is currently being used by Banks to share investment data. On the other hand, Ethereum is more known and used for transparency and verification purposes. Ethereum offers both, private and public networks.

The service works the following four steps. The first step is to create a network. One creates an open-source blockchain network. This is done inside your membership account. The second step is to invite members to the network. The members have to have AWS accounts. The third step is to add nodes to the network. This is done to be able to store a copy of the distributed ledger. Having done the three previous steps, you are ready to do the last one and the one you were waiting for. Deploy Applications. Through your peer nodes, you are able to create and deploy decentralized applications enabling to transact and interact with other members of the network.  

Who uses the service?

The service is currently being used by several working fields. Trading and asset transfers, Retail, and Supply chain, to name a few. As trading connects many companies in different sections of the industry, such as importers, exporters, banks and shipping companies. There is a need to connect them all in one place. Blockchain serves the purpose fairly well… Instead of old trade-related processes involving extensive paperwork and 10 days to complete, blockchain transactions are processed instantly.

The price of the service is based on multiple factors. As the managed blockchain network consists of multiple users, and each user has peer nodes with local storage, The price is based on peer nodes and peer nodes storage. On the other hand, as members can write data to the network, the data is priced too.

A membership Is required, with two available, the Started edition, and the Standard edition. The starter edition costs $0,30 per hour, and the Standard edition $0,55 per hour. Peer nodes can be purchased on-demand or fixed price. On-demand the price is $0,067 per hour and fixed price it costs $0,10 per GB per month. Data written to the network is priced with the same value, $0,10 per GB per month.

In Conclusion, you can avoid setting up your own Blockchain network, as Amazon provides a fully developed infrastructure ready to be used. Forget about mounting the expensive hardware and the long installation software processes. Forget also about the maintenance and about the certificates. It is all ready to be used and the cost of using their service is nothing compared to what would be spent by setting up a network from scratch. The service allows us to create a network cost-efficiently, lets users vote to add or delete network members, and the use cases are several. The service supports two blockchain frameworks, Hyperledger Fabric, and very soon they will provide their service on Ethereum. The service is exclusive to Amazon Web services Members and there is no central authority while running transactions. It is a fully decentralized network.

Tags AWS Blockchain
Lucas Bonder
Technical Writer
Lucas is an Entrepreneur, Web Developer, and Article Writer about Technology.

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