General

Q: What is Amazon Managed Blockchain?

A: Amazon Managed Blockchain is a fully managed service that makes it easy to create and manage scalable blockchain networks using the popular open source frameworks Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum*. Managed Blockchain allows you to set up and manage a scalable blockchain network with just a few clicks. Managed Blockchain eliminates the overhead required to create the network, and automatically scales to meet the demands of thousands of applications running millions of transactions. Once your network is up and running, Managed Blockchain makes it easy to manage and maintain your blockchain network. It manages your certificates, lets you easily invite new members to join the network, and tracks operational metrics such as usage of compute, memory, and storage resources. In addition, Managed Blockchain can replicate an immutable copy of your blockchain network activity into Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB), a fully managed ledger database. This allows you to easily analyze the network activity outside the network and gain insights into trends.

*Hyperledger Fabric available today. Ethereum coming soon.

Q: What can I do with Amazon Managed Blockchain?

A: With Amazon Managed Blockchain, you can easily create blockchain networks across multiple AWS accounts with the open source frameworks, Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum. These blockchain frameworks enable network members to securely transact and share data on a distributed and immutable ledger. Additionally, you can configure voting rules for your network so members can democratically govern it (i.e., voting on who to invite to join). To gain insights into activity on the network, you can replicate blockchain network activity data to Amazon QLDB for secure storage and off-chain analytics.

Q: How do I get started with Amazon Managed Blockchain?

A: To get started with Amazon Managed Blockchain, first sign-up for the preview here. You will be notified by email once your AWS account has been included in the Amazon Managed Blockchain preview. After you are notified, go to the Amazon Managed Blockchain console and click “Create blockchain network.” Follow the network creation wizard to create your first network and membership. Then, invite other AWS accounts to join the network or create more members in your account to simulate a multi-member network.

For steps on how to get started with building your first network, please visit the Getting Started Guide in the Amazon Managed Blockchain documentation.

Q: How do you access Amazon Managed Blockchain?

A: You can access Amazon Managed Blockchain from the AWS Management Console, AWS Command Line Interface (CLI), or AWS Software Development Kit (SDK). To interact with the Hyperledger Fabric components provisioned and managed by Amazon Managed Blockchain, such as the certificate authority, ordering service, and peer nodes, you can use the open source Hyperledger Fabric CLI and SDK. Amazon Managed Blockchain provides endpoints to access these services, and you create a VPC PrivateLink endpoint for your network to access these endpoints. Please use a compatible version of the Hyperledger Fabric CLI and SDK with the version of Hyperledger Fabric specified in your network.

Q: What is a blockchain network?

A: Blockchain is a technology that makes it possible to build applications where multiple parties can record transactions without the need for a trusted, central authority to ensure that transactions are verified and secure.

Blockchain enables this by establishing a peer-to-peer network (a blockchain network) where each participant in the network has access to a shared ledger where the transactions are recorded. These transactions are by design, immutable and independently verifiable.

Q: What is the difference between Amazon Managed Blockchain and Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB)?

A: QLDB is a ledger database purpose-built for customers who need to maintain a complete and verifiable history of data changes in an application that they own and manage in a centralized way. Amazon QLDB is not a blockchain technology. Instead, blockchain technologies focus enabling multiple parties to transact and share data securely in a decentralized way; without a trusted, central authority. Every member in a network has an independently verifiable copy of an immutable ledger, and members can create and endorse transactions in the network. Amazon Managed Blockchain is a fully managed blockchain service that enables multiple parties to transact and share data directly and securely without the need for a central, trusted authority.

Q: What are the service limits associated with Amazon Managed Blockchain?

A: In the Amazon Managed Blockchain preview, you are limited to participating in a single Hyperledger Fabric network with up to 6 channels. In that network, you can create up to 3 members, and you can create a single peer node for each member. In the preview, the only node type available is bc.t3.small. Additionally, a network can include up to 5 members across different AWS accounts (with a maximum of 3 members owned by any given account). These limits will change when Amazon Managed Blockchain becomes generally available.

Q: What open source blockchain frameworks does Amazon Managed Blockchain support?

A: Amazon Managed Blockchain supports the open source Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum frameworks. Hyperledger Fabric is available today, while Ethereum coming soon.

Q: What version of Hyperledger Fabric is supported?

A: Currently, Amazon Managed Blockchain supports Hyperledger Fabric version 1.2.

Q: What region is the Amazon Managed Blockchain preview currently available in?

A: The Amazon Managed Blockchain preview is currently available in US. East (N. Virginia). It will be available in more regions soon.

Q: What is the difference between the Amazon Managed Blockchain Starter Edition and Standard Edition network types?

A: Amazon Managed Blockchain offers two different network types: Starter Edition and Standard Edition. Each type is aimed for a particular set of use cases, and has a different hourly membership rate.

The Amazon Managed Blockchain Starter Edition network is designed for test networks and small production networks. It has several different attributes than the Standard Edition: You can have a maximum of 5 members per network and 2 peer nodes per member. Available peer node types are bc.t3.small and bc.t3.medium, and the maximum peer node storage is 1 TiB. The ordering service provisioned in a Starter Edition network has lower transaction throughput and availability than that in a Standard Edition network.

The Amazon Managed Blockchain Standard Edition network is designed for production networks. It has several different attributes than the Starter Edition: You can have a maximum of 30 members per network and 10 peer nodes per member. The bc.t3, bc.m5, and bc.c5 instance families are available instance types for peer nodes, and the maximum peer node storage is 15 TiB. The ordering service provisioned in a Standard Edition network has higher transaction throughput and availability than that in a Starter Edition network.

Building a network

Q: How do I invite other AWS accounts to join the blockchain network?

A: In the Amazon Managed Blockchain preview, to invite other AWS accounts to join your network, click the “Invite other Accounts” button on the Network Details page in the Amazon Managed Blockchain console, or use the AWS CLI or SDK. Once you have invited another AWS account, that account will be able to get information about that network and create a member in it. Once this account creates a member, you will be unable to remove it from the network.

When Amazon Managed Blockchain is generally available, this method will be replaced with a voting API, where members of a network can vote on who to add to the network. Voting rules will be configurable, so networks can choose to be democratically governed or allow a single member to make the decisions. 

Q: Does the account that creates an Amazon Managed Blockchain network own that resource?

A: An Amazon Managed Blockchain network is a decentralized resource where multiple AWS accounts have an equal ownership stake. Though an initial AWS account creates the network, governance can be distributed among multiple members after they join the network. If the initial member of the network leaves, that network will still be active among the remaining members. When Amazon Managed Blockchain is generally available, there will be configurable options to terminate a network if the founding member leaves.

Q: How do I delete an Amazon Managed Blockchain network?

A: An Amazon Managed Blockchain network is deleted once the last member in the network deletes their membership. If you have created a multi-member blockchain network in your AWS account, the network will be deleted once you delete all of the members. If you are in a blockchain network with memberships that you do not own, the network will only be deleted when the last member deletes their membership. If you delete your member and there are other members still in the network, that network will not be terminated. When Amazon Managed Blockchain is generally available, there will be configurable options to terminate a network if the founding member leaves.

Q: How do I create a VPC PrivateLink endpoint to access Hyperledger Fabric resources provisioned for the network?

A: Amazon Managed Blockchain provides endpoints to interact with your Hyperledger Fabric resources, specifically the Hyperledger Fabric certificate authority, ordering service, and peer nodes. To access these endpoints, you need to create a VPC PrivateLink endpoint in the VPC from which you would like to access the network. You can create a VPC PrivateLink endpoint from the VPC console, AWS CLI, or AWS SDK. When creating your endpoint, use the VPC Endpoint Service Name provided in the Amazon Managed Blockchain network details. If you have created multiple members in a single AWS account, you only need to create on VPC PrivateLink endpoint and not one for each member. Please note that you are billed separately for VPC PrivateLink endpoints you create and use. Please visit the Amazon Managed Blockchain documentation for more information on creating VPC PrivateLink endpoints for your network.

Q: How do I use the open source Hyperledger Fabric CLI or SDK on a client node to interact with my Amazon Managed Blockchain resources?

A: To interact with the Hyperledger Fabric certificate authority (CA), peer nodes, and ordering service created for your network, you can use the open source Hyperledger Fabric CLI or SDK and configure them with the respective endpoint information provided. Amazon Managed Blockchain exposes the endpoints for these components using a VPC PrivateLink endpoint that you create in your VPC. The Amazon EC2 instance or other resource running the Hyperledger Fabric CLI or SDK must have a route to reach this VPC PrivateLink endpoint. For instructions on how to configure these clients, please visit the Amazon Managed Blockchain documentation.

Q: What are the components of Hyperledger Fabric?

A: An Amazon Managed Blockchain for Hyperledger Fabric creates and manages the required components on your behalf that are needed to run a network. A Hyperledger Fabric network includes the ordering service, certificate authority, and peer components. 

To interact with these components, you use an open source Hyperledger Fabric CLI or SDK from a client host that you create and manage. For more information about Hyperledger Fabric, please visit the Amazon Managed Blockchain documentation.

Q: How do I create a channel in my Hyperledger Fabric network?

A: Hyperledger Fabric channel is a private “subnet” of communication between two or more specific network members, for the purpose of conducting private and confidential transactions. Each transaction on the blockchain network is executed on a channel, where each party must be authenticated and authorized to transact on that channel.

To create a new channel in your Amazon Managed Blockchain network, you use the open source Hyperledger Fabric CLI or SDK with the endpoints exposed on your Hyperledger Fabric resources. You call configuration system chaincode, which creates a genesis block for the channel ledger, which stores configuration information about the channel policies, members, and anchor peer nodes for the channel. Please visit the Amazon Managed Blockchain documentation to learn more about creating a Hyperledger Fabric channel.

Q: How do I deploy chaincode applications to Hyperledger Fabric network?

A: Chaincode is a program that typically handles business logic agreed to by members of the network and is sometimes called a “smart contract.” To install and instantiate chaincode on the blockchain network, you use the open source Hyperledger Fabric CLI or SDK with the endpoints exposed on your Hyperledger Fabric resources. Additionally, only admin users in your membership can do these operations. To learn more about using chaincode with Hyperleder Fabric, please visit the Amazon Managed Blockchain documentation.

Q: How do I replicate my Amazon Managed Blockchain network activity to Amazon QLDB for secure storage and off-chain analytics?

A: Replicating blockchain network activity to Amazon QLDB will be available soon.

Security & availability

Q: How do I control access to my Amazon Managed Blockchain network?

A: Hyperledger Fabric uses certificates to identify users in each membership and determine their permissions on the network. You can create and manage these users using the Hyperledger Fabric certificate authority.

Q: How do I access the endpoints on the Hyperledger Fabric components managed by Amazon Managed Blockchain?

A: To access the endpoints on the Hyperledger Fabric components managed by Amazon Managed Blockchain, such as the Hyperledger Fabric certificate authority, ordering service, and peer nodes, you need to create a VPC PrivateLink endpoint in the VPC from which you would like to access the network. You can create a VPC PrivateLink endpoint from the VPC console, Amazon Managed Blockchain console, AWS CLI, or AWS SDK. When creating your endpoint, use the VPC Endpoint Service Name provided in the Amazon Managed Blockchain network details. If you have created multiple members in a single AWS account, you only need to create on VPC PrivateLink endpoint and not one for each member. Your client will also be able to interact with peer nodes from other members in the network to receive endorsements for proposed transactions.

Please note that you are billed separately for VPC PrivateLink endpoints you create and use. Please visit the Amazon Managed Blockchain documentation for more information on creating VPC PrivateLink endpoints for your network.

Q: Can I create multiple peer nodes to increase the availability of my blockchain components?

A: In the Amazon Managed Blockchain Standard Edition, you can create up to 10 blockchain peer nodes in each membership across Amazon EC2 availability zones for high availability. In the Starter Edition, you can create 2 peer nodes per membership.

Q: What permissions does the admin user when creating my network member?

A: The admin user you configure when creating your network member serves as the initial user in your Hyperledger Fabric membership. You can use the username and password to enroll this user with your Hyperledger Fabric certificate authority and create additional users in your membership. The admin user can also create channels on the network, and install and instantiate chaincode applications.

Pricing & billing

Q: How is Amazon Managed Blockchain priced?

A: There is no up-front commitment with Amazon Managed Blockchain. For Hyperledger Fabric on Amazon Managed Blockchain, you simply pay an hourly charge (billed per second) for your network membership, peer nodes, and peer node storage, and you pay for the amount of data you write to the network. Amazon Managed Blockchain offers two editions, the Standard Edition and the Starter Edition, and each edition has a different membership hourly rate. Additionally, you pay standard data transfer rates. To interact with your Amazon Managed Blockchain resources, you will need a VPC PrivateLink endpiont that is billed separately.

When you are finished with an Amazon Managed Blockchain network, you can easily leave the network or terminate it and stop paying. You only pay for the resources you use. Please visit the Amazon Managed Blockchain pricing page for more information.

Q: Is there a different price for the Amazon Managed Blockchain Starter Edition and Standard Edition?

A: Yes, there is a different hourly membership rate for the Amazon Managed Blockchain Starter Edition and Standard Edition. Each edition is designed for a particular set of use cases. Please visit the Amazon Managed Blockchain pricing page for more information.

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