Microsoft shutting down azure blockchain

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microsoft shutting down azure blockchain

Instead, a spokesperson said “We are asking (Azure Blockchain Service) customers to transition to the ConsenSys Quorum Blockchain Solution. As industry dynamics have changed, we made the decision to shift our focus from a product-oriented offering to a partner-oriented solution.”

Update (May 25). And here’s the direct reply on positioning of ACL, courtesy of a spokesperson:

“Azure Confidential Ledger doesn’t replace Azure Blockchain Service but is another distributed ledger that can be used by customers who want the maximum level of privacy afforded to them. With Azure Confidential Ledger, customers can take advantage of Azure’s Confidential Computing to harness the power of secure enclaves when setting up the distributed blockchain network.

Microsoft shutting down azure blockchain

Microsoft has said that it is turning off its corporate Azure Blockchain Service on September 10. The company went on to say that it will not accept any new deployments starting immediately.
But, Microsoft did not offer any official explanation for this decision. This means that the existing customers have only four months to transition to new service providers.

Based on its official website, the large corporate clients who use Azure Blockchain include Singapore Airlines, JPMorgan, Xbox, GE Aviation, and Starbucks.
The announcement came in a low-key post on the Microsoft documentation website on May 10. It informed all existing customers to shift to alternative services.

The only alternative suggestion was the ConsenSys Quorum Blockchain Service.

Microsoft is shutting down its azure blockchain service

Microsoft is shutting down its Azure Blockchain Service on September 10, 2021, after being in service for around six years.

As of May 10, 2021, the company has stopped supporting new deployments or member creations.

However, it will continue to support existing deployments until September 10, 2021.

Microsoft initially offered Azure’s Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) in 2015, with an offering on the Etherum Platform in partnership with ConsenSys.

It was only in 2019 that the company launched the fully-managed consortium network, Azure Blockchain Service for the formation, management, and governance of consortium blockchain networks.

Microsoft has provided no explanation about the closure of Azure Blockchain.

Microsoft to shut down azure blockchain service

But it is essential to understand that the news didn’t specify if there would be support for new member creation or deployments after the end of the service.

According to the post, it was in 2015 that Microsoft created the Azure Blockchain as a BaaS or Service. The service was first provided on the official platform of Ethereum in the form of ConsenSys.
Notably, many notable companies hopped on it during its existence.

Lack of Updates for Microsoft Azure BaaS

Sometimes in January 2016, Microsoft offered a novel preview of a particular lab environment. This was done in the official DevTest Labs of Azure to ensure the decoupling of the entire blockchain technology from some virtual machines by the new blockchain-based services.

Why did microsoft shut down azure blockchain

Vole said that existing deployments would be supported until then, but as of May 10 this year, no new deployments or member creation is being supported.

Microsoft had been rather keen on Azure Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) in 2015 with an offering on the Etherum Platform with ConsenSys.

In late January 2016, Microsoft made a preview of a lab environment in Azure’s DevTest Labs so that Blockchain-related services and partners can decouple the Blockchain technology from virtual machines.

Microsoft’s short-term goal for the Azure BaaS was to make available a certified blockchain marketplace.

It has been suggested that the closure of Azure Blockchain Services could lead to the creation of a new blockchain service by Microsoft. This would probably be a more advanced version of the Azure Blockchain Service.

But we cannot confidently say whether this will be the reality or not.

Nonetheless, the only certainty is that users would have to migrate from Azure blockchain service to an alternative. In fact, the majority of the users migrated before the closure of the blockchain service in September 2021.

With this development, they did not have to wait endlessly for Microsoft to make up its mind on whether it would like to continue with its blockchain service or not.

Regardless of what Microsoft decides to do in the future, everyone can rest assured that blockchain technology will continue to grow.

At the time, the short-term target of the service was to guarantee its availability on an officially certified blockchain marketplace in the new few months or years.

The officials of Microsoft noted that the interim goal was to integrate more blockchain partners to various types rather than selecting a handful of prospective winners. Nevertheless, Microsoft could only offer a new preview of the Azure BaaS.

But after a few years, the corporate could not offer an update for the service. Hence, it couldn’t compete favorably with similar services.

Users of the Azure BaaS

On the product page of Microsoft, J.P.

Morgan, Singapore Airlines, Xbox, Starbucks were all listed as the customers of the service.

Until the company does offer up an explanation — any requests for details have garnered no response – we can only assume that the decision stems from a lack of customers, increasing costs, or general streamlining.

In a note in the Azure documentation, Microsoft says simply:

On September 10, 2021, Azure Blockchain will be retired. Please migrate ledger data from Azure Blockchain Service to an alternative offering based on your development status in production or evaluation.

Microsoft has put together a guide to exporting data from Azure Blockchain Service and recommends migrating to ConsenSys Quorum Blockchain Service.

Azure Blockchain Service to ConsenSys’ Quorum Blockchain Service, which is a managed offering on Azure that supports GoQuorum Ledger technology.

“Expanding our relationship with Microsoft helps organizations take advantage of ConsenSys Quorum and Quorum customer support to offer users an enterprise-grade managed blockchain service that can be effortlessly set-up and deployed,” said Joseph Lubin, CEO and founder of ConsenSys.

“We are excited to bring the awarding-winning Quorum product to Azure users as the next step in our collaboration with Microsoft.”

Alternatively, users can opt to self-manage their blockchains using virtual machines (VMs).

How To Migrate To An Alternative:

  • To migrate a production workload, first export your data from Azure Blockchain Service.

At that time, officials said the Coco (short for “confidential consortium”) Framework was meant to work with any ledger protocol and work on any operating system and hypervisor that supports a compatible Trusted Execution Environment (TEE), or secure area of a processor. The Framework was designed to be used on-premises and/or in various vendors’ clouds, officials said.

Microsoft officials said ACL works well when users need audit logging and tracking of highly sensitive admin operations. They suggested that healthcare, financial and retail, information technology, supply chain monitoring and any business where contracts and deeds need to be exchanged securely would all be good candidates for ACL.

I asked Microsoft if ACL should be considered the replacement for Azure Blockchain as a Service and got no direct reply.

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