Gee, out of the blue! Microsoft has announced that it is shutting down its Azure Blockchain Service that has been available for quite some time in preview. No official reason given for why it is being retired.
In case you are unaware, this is a fully managed ledger service that allows organizations to manage their blockchain network in Azure, perform network deployments, and develop smart contracts. The service is not dissimilar to what Amazon also offers.
Microsoft’s Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) offering currently supports Ethereum Quorum using Istanbul Byzantine Fault Tolerance (IBFT) as its underlying consensus mechanism.
But not for long.
The company has announced that it will be shutting down the Azure Blockchain Service later this year, on September 10, 2021 to be precise. Existing deployments will be supported until this date, while new deployments will not be allowed after May 10, 2021.
For this reason, Redmond recommends that customers immediately start looking for an alternative.
The software giant has a few suggestions for this.
For solutions that are already in production or pilot phases, the suggestion is to migrate to the Quorum Blockchain offering from ConsenSys on Azure, as that is also a managed service. For new blockchain deployments and planning, Quorum and Besu templates are available in the Azure Marketplace.
Alternatively, customers also have the option to utilize blockchain resource management templates on their own infrastructure using Azure VMs. Of course, the disadvantage to this approach is that you will have to manage the solution yourself after deployment.
The company has also highlighted migration and data export steps and strategy in its guide above.
Surprising move from Microsoft, for sure, this.
But there you have it.
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