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



Simply because the cryptocurrency sector is continually altering and evolving, the enterprise blockchain business has been present process its justifiable share of developments these days. Most just lately, enterprise blockchain options are shifting from personal, closed networks to public, open methods. This has largely been made doable due to advances from the Ethereum community, that are guaranteeing higher privateness, scalability, throughput and extra for enterprise shoppers.

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 throughout the forecast interval. Curiously 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 various choices. It’s vital to word 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 supplied as a completely managed blockchain-as-a-service, or BaaS.

Quick ahead to 2021, and a current weblog put up from Microsoft states that Azure users should now “migrate ledger information from Azure Blockchain Service to an alternate providing.” 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 shoppers 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 offering migration from the Azure Blockchain Service to the Quorum Blockchain Service supplied on Azure. This has all the time been part of our strategic relationship, to guarantee that Azure prospects have an enterprise-grade managed blockchain service with Quorum.”

Marchal additional famous that ever since ConsenSys gained possession of Quorum from JPMorgan final yr, the corporate has been targeted on bringing novel know-how to market. This contains having a managed service for Quorum. Based mostly on the robust relationship between ConsenSys and Microsoft, Marchal defined that “It is smart to transition the Azure Blockchain Service users to QBS because the really helpful migration technique.”

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 objective is for a collaboration between Microsoft and ConsenSys to guarantee a seamless migration from one service to the opposite,” he mentioned. Microsoft introduced that its Azure Blockchain Service will probably be “retired” on Sept. 10, and users have to be migrated to QBS or another service earlier than then.

Is that this excellent news for Microsoft?

Though it might 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 know-how. Azure Blockchain Service users utilizing that non-public know-how stay in good fingers with ConsenSys shifting ahead, and we’re assured about this migration.”

Furthermore, from the Microsoft Azure Blockchain Service consumer perspective — which contains main company prospects equivalent to JPMorgan, GE Aviation, Singapore Airways, Starbucks and Xbox — the migration to QBS might not have a lot of an affect. As an illustration, world blockchain lead at Ernst & Younger (EY) Paul Brody instructed Cointelegraph that the Huge 4 agency’s program with Microsoft and Xbox stays unchanged:

“The Microsoft program to migrate software program contracts for the Xbox ecosystem to Ethereum-based smart-contracts continues to acquire steam, with over 300 firms now built-in.”

Azure SQL provides an immutable ledger

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

In accordance to a Microsoft weblog put up revealed on Could 25, the “Azure SQL Database ledger” will add tamper-evident capabilities to Azure SQL databases. The put up additional states that the Azure SQL Database ledger will present a “easier resolution for centralized methods the place strengthening belief between events is required.”

It’s additionally famous that the ledger characteristic of the Azure SQL Database doesn’t require any migration of information or adjustments to consumer functions. “You possibly can allow ledger performance on tables in your database and work together with them the identical methods you’ll for another tables,” the put up states.

Whereas notable, the Azure SQL Database sounds very related to Oracle’s crypto-secure information providing, which was introduced in March. Juan Loaiza, government vp of Mission-Essential Database Applied sciences at Oracle, beforehand instructed Cointelegraph that Oracle has created a crypto-secure information administration providing that leverages “blockchain tables” inside the Oracle database. Loaiza additionally famous that this characteristic is totally different from Oracle’s blockchain platform, which is constructed on Hyperledger Material and is commonly used for provide chain administration. 

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

Will extra enterprises shift to public methods?

In regard to Microsoft’s migration to an answer powered by enterprise Ethereum, Brody remarked that EY is seeing an general development, the place firms are shifting their focus towards public blockchains and shutting down their private-blockchain-centric internet hosting companies. “With practically 15,000 nodes for Bitcoin and Ethereum mixed working on the market, everyone seems to be seeing the a lot larger public enterprise because the precedence,” he mentioned.

Though this can be the present development, it’s noteworthy to point out that some enterprise options are persevering with to depend on personal networks. Common 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 resolve advanced business challenges:

“Amongst enterprises, collaboration and trusted information sharing are important, and for a lot of, permissioned networks present the reassurance they require. Sooner or later, we anticipate that we’ll see extra intersection of private and non-private networks.”