Microsoft

Microsoft Rolls Out Its Cloud-Based Ethereum Consortium

Microsoft Azure has officially released the templates of its Ethereum Consortium Network development. With the product, users can deploy its Ethereum-based platform to create their own consortiums.

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Microsoft Introduces “1-Click” Ethereum Private Network

The Microsoft Azure platform has introduced its quick start template for an Ethereum consortium network that “simplifies infrastructure and protocol substantially.” This means anyone can deploy a private Ethereum protocol from the Azure Portal with ease.

Azure details that many possibilities exist for a public Ethereum network. However, they also envision privatized enterprise solutions. The Azure GitHub repo explains Ethereum consortium network architecture on the platform:

“While there is no single canonical architecture for a consortium network, this template provides a sample architecture to use to get started quickly. Fundamentally, the network consists of a set of shared transaction nodes with which an application can interact to submit transactions and a set of mining nodes per consortium member to record transactions.”

Users have to sign up for an Azure subscription to work with a variety of virtual machines and storage features. The blockchain network can then be created with its framework and node configuration.

The genesis block uses an Ethereum network ID, and has a configurable mining difficulty. As a result, Microsoft wants anyone to deploy a privatized blockchain based on Ethereum but programming knowledge is helpful.

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Microsoft Azure’s private Ethereum network template deployment wizard

Consortium in Minutes & Smart Contract Architecture

In September, Microsoft program manager Christine Avanessians revealed the parameters of the private consortium network. The deployment of the product had a few commenters curious ease of use and the price of an Azure subscription.

One developer posted a step-by-step video walkthrough of the Ethereum private network process. Another user wrote, “took 10 minutes and I had my own small consortium running.”

With an Ethereum account set up and loaded with Ether, users can then deploy and communicate with smart contracts. Moreover, the platform uses the Browser Solidity project and developers have created a compiled sample code to get started. Azure has a descriptive guide on how to work with smart contracts using the private network.

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Microsoft’s Private Ethereum Network Has Competition

The “ecosystem application platform” Monax also offers Ethereum blockchain environments.

Additionally, the company, formally called Eris Industries, offers its eris toolchain for free, and premium features can be added. With the eris toolchain, users can also utilize other codebases such as IPFS, Zcash and more. The platform also delivers descriptive documentation concerning using eris and smart contract deployment.

Azure’s platform operates in collaboration with ConsenSys Systems, a blockchain software company founded by Joseph Lubin. Additionally, users can use ether.camp, and blockapps with the program. Microsoft’s Azure team hopes its introduction to a 1-click cloud installation of an Ethereum-based consortium may entice individuals and businesses.

What do you think about the Microsoft Azure offering of an Ethereum private blockchain network? Let us know in the comments below.


Images via Shutterstock, Microsoft websites, and Pixabay. 


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