Cloud

'Production-ready' blockchain networks easier to build on updated Ethereum on Azure

Microsoft announced improvements to its Ethereum on Azure offering to help enterprises create production-ready consortium blockchain networks.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Microsoft announced new improvements to its Ethereum on Azure offering, designed to help enterprises create production-ready consortium blockchain networks.
  • Microsoft announced new features for Ethereum on Azure including high availability of blockchain network presence, a simplified deployment experience, and monitoring and operational support.

On Monday, Microsoft announced new improvements to its Ethereum on Azure offering, designed to help enterprises create production-ready consortium blockchain networks.

Customers are increasingly interested in the blockchain solutions available on the Azure Marketplace, according to a Monday blog post from Cody Born, a software engineer for Azure Global. Network reliability and health monitoring are key for building production blockchain cases, Born noted, and the improvements to Ethereum will help achieve better networks for enterprise use.

Blockchain has proven to be the larger value of cryptocurrencies, with implications for almost every industry. And some companies are already using the emerging ledger technology in everyday business operations. These updates from Microsoft could make it easier for businesses to leverage the options this ledger technology offers.

SEE: IT leader's guide to the blockchain (Tech Pro Research)

Microsoft announced the rollout of the following three features:

1. High availability of blockchain network presence

When a company participates in a decentralized network, nodes are necessary in the consensus process to create a fair, secure network, Born wrote in the post. Microsoft added cross-region Azure VM Scale Sets (Azure VMSS) and Azure Managed Disks to ensure high availability, so that if a node does go down, Azure VMSS can automantically recover it and join it back to the network. "As active nodes may change over time, we take care of maintaining an accurate boot-node list, allowing other members to join the network," Born wrote in the post.

2. Simplified deployment experience

Microsoft has consolidated the number of Ethereum network topologies into one experience, allowing users to walk through deployment options and showing only the information that is important to your individual scenario, according to the post.

3. Monitoring and operational support

Microsoft will support deployment of a customizable monitoring dashboard along with your blockchain network to monitor the telemetry of your blockchain infrastructure. Users can now monitor and create customer alerts on CPU, memory, and disk capacity across miner and transaction nodes, so blockchain networks are not a blind spot in your application architecture.

"Our new template can deploy infrastructure for a standalone test network, the creation of a new consortium network, or the addition of a new member to an existing consortium network," Born wrote in the post. "Now, a single consortium member has the option to deploy their Blockchain footprint into multiple regions for redundancy and disaster recovery."

Microsoft's solution templates aim to make it quicker and easier to deploy and configure a multi-member consortium Ethereum network, even with little Azure and Ethereum knowledge, Born wrote in the post.

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Image: iStockphoto/LuckyStep48

About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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