microsoft shutting its azure blockchain

For solutions which are already in production or pilot phases, the primary suggestion is to migrate to ConsenSys’ Quorum Blockchain offering on Azure since that is also a managed service. Alternatively, customers can opt to utilize blockchain resource management templates on their own infrastructure using Azure VMs. Of course, the disadvantage of this approach is that you’ll have to manage the solution yourself after deployment.

For new blockchain deployments and planning, Microsoft has recommended the Quorum and Besu templates available in the Azure Marketplace. The company has also highlighted migration and data export steps and strategy in its guidance here.

Existing Azure Blockchain Service deployments will be supported up until September 10, 2021, which is why customers should start evaluating alternatives immediately.

Microsoft is shutting down its azure blockchain service

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.

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.

So, let’s shed more light on this occurrence.

How did Microsoft blockchain technology come into existence?

Foremost, it may come as a surprise to some individuals that Microsoft owns a blockchain service. This could be because the service was not marketed on a large scale to many small businesses. However, you should note that the Microsoft blockchain service was not a new project as it existed for several years.

Factually, it had achieved several astounding things because it backed out of blockchain technology.

Microsoft Azure Blockchain Service

The news was broken by ZDNet that Microsoft Azure Blockchain Service would come to an end in September 2021. However, the deployments of the company got support until the period.

Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain Service is set to be retired on 10 September 2021, with users being asked to migrate their ledger data to an alternative offering.

Although the platform still supports existing deployments, it’s no longer accepting new members or projects.

The tech giant also provided a thorough migration guide which aims to guide customers, including GE, J.P. Morgan, Singapore Airlines, Starbucks, and Xbox, through the process, and recommended that they migrate their data to the ConsenSys Quorum Ethereum service.

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“Based on your current development state, you can either opt to use existing ledger data on Azure Blockchain Service or start a new network and use the solution of your choice,” stated Microsoft.

Microsoft is shutting down its Azure Blockchain Service on September 10, 2021. Existing deployments will be supported until that date, but as of May 10 this year, no new deployments or member creation is being supported.

Microsoft’s initial foray into Azure Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) began in 2015 with an offering on the Etherum Platform with ConsenSys. In late January 2016, Microsoft made available 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.

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.

Blockchain is deservedly taking a center stage around the globe due to the transparency and immutability it offers to an array of transactions. It is the powerful technology behind cryptocurrency; hence, numerous cryptocurrency tracing experts, traders, and lots more are paying more attention to it. In fact, many leading corporations around the world are investing in blockchain technology.

Despite the potential of blockchain technology, Microsoft ended its blockchain service a few months ago.
But why did the service end? How did this affect the existing users of the Azure blockchain service? Will Microsoft offer related services in the future? These are some of the questions that will be answered in this article.

Morgan, Singapore Airlines, Starbucks and Xbox as customers.

Microsoft’s documentation suggests users start migrating to an alternative now. The recommended migration destination is ConsenSys Quorum Blockchain Service. Users also could opt to self-manage their blockhains using VMs.

I asked Microsoft for official word as to why the company decided to shut down Azure Blockchain.
No response so far.

Update (May 21 — better late than never): “We are asking customers to transition to the ConsenSys Quorum Blockchain Solution. Microsoft has a rich history of working with partners with the shared goals of innovating and delivering solutions to our customers.

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.

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 has not provided a succinct reason as to what motivated this decision, although it’s suspected that the platform wasn’t performing as well as its rivals.

The process of the shutdown can also be followed on Twitter through @AzureEndofLife, which was created by Codit Azure architect Tom Kerkhove as a way of monitoring the process.

The news of the sunsetting of Azure Blockchain Service comes months after IBM and R3 announced that they were working together to provide clients with new options to scale blockchain technology while ensuring performance, compliance, and data privacy.

© Dennis Publishing

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