Blockchain-as-a-Service: Azure vs AWS vs IBM
- Published 4th Mar 2019
Last edited 4th Mar 2019
The blockchain is a distributed ledger that keeps records in such a way that it is accessible to (and verifiable by) everyone in the network. However, the network is decentralized (it has no central point of failure) and stored records cannot be changed without a network consensus. In addition to being immutable, once records are stored on the blockchain, they cannot be reversed.
Because of its many unique features, the blockchain has infinite utility for individuals, businesses, and global organizations. The only problem is: blockchain technology is only about 10 years old and it has not reached mass adoption. Therefore, most businesses do not have the expertise or infrastructure to leverage it effectively.
This prompted some of the biggest tech companies in the world to offer blockchain as a service to their customers. These companies incorporated blockchain technology into existing services, allowing the user to enjoy the benefits of the blockchain without worrying about its configuration, operation, and maintenance.
Microsoft Azure Blockchain-as-a-Service
Azure launched one of the first blockchain-based solutions and they have the biggest compliance portfolio in the sector. The cloud computing service from Microsoft made it possible for individual developers and companies to use Linux servers to host the blockchain. As a result, users were able to leverage an already-configured network and infrastructure to develop decentralized apps.
Azure’s BaaS solution also provides in-built access to enterprise Azure tools, for example, Azure’s cloud platform helps users keep their data secure and constantly accessible. The platform’s scalability also means that solutions can be expanded without restriction. Xbox, Interswitch, Nasdaq, Insurwave, and 3M are some of their biggest clients.
Amazon Web Service (AWS) Blockchain Solution
AWS offers a range of blockchain solutions to developers and businesses looking to build decentralized products. Their most prominent product, the AWS Blockchain Templates, makes it possible for users to build blockchain apps more efficiently via the Ethereum network or Hyperledger Fabric. The AWS Partner Solutions, on the other hand, provides users with other options to deploy blockchain products. R3 Corda is ideal for products created for the financial market, Cisco facilitates the creation of enterprise-level blockchain apps, and GuildOne works for all products that are not cryptocurrencies or financial.
AWS’ solutions are offered on a pay-as-you-use basis, i.e., you only pay for resources you use and the duration you used them for. Also, no upfront or termination fees are charged, making it very affordable. Their clients include T-Mobile, Healthdirect, Guardian Life Insurance Company, DTCC and many more.
IBM Blockchain Technology
IBM’s blockchain solution is probably the most effective of all 3, with Juniper Research rating the company as the “most successful in deploying blockchain solutions” in 2017. The tech giants, working with the Hyperledger Project, offer a public cloud service through which users can develop secure blockchain-based networks. This provides businesses with a means to digitize their transactions, supply chains, and workflow via a secure, transparent, and distributed ledger.
According to IBM, their platform is the only one in the market that is fully-integrated and enterprise-ready to facilitate the development, operation, and supervision of multi-institution business networks. Companies working with IBM’s blockchain solutions include Visa, HSBC, Maersk, Walmart, Unilever, Nestle, Tyson Foods, Driscoll’s.
Oracle have also released a blockchain-based product and reports indicate that Google and Facebook are not far behind. The blockchain revolution seems to be in full-flow and the market is expected to grow by over 60% within the next 3 years. Because of this, businesses are scampering to gain a competitive advantage in the market before it reaches mass adoption.