Amazon Managed Blockchain is a fully managed service that makes it easy to create and manage scalable blockchain networks using popular open source frameworks Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum. (Hyperledger Fabric is available today. Ethereum is coming soon.)
Getting started with Amazon Managed Blockchain is easy—you can launch a blockchain network in minutes without additional configuration. Then configure your network membership and launch blockchain peer nodes using the AWS Management Console. You can invite other AWS accounts to join your blockchain network, or you can create additional members in your AWS account to build a simulated network for testing.
When building permissioned blockchain networks, enabling existing members to vote on the addition (or removal) of new members can require custom development and permissions management. To make this easier, Amazon Managed Blockchain provides a voting API that enables members in a blockchain network to quickly vote on proposals for adding or removing new members.
Amazon Managed Blockchain eliminates the need to track the performance of your blockchain peer nodes. It provides Amazon CloudWatch metrics for your nodes, making it easy to view key operational metrics including compute, memory, storage, and node health. Additionally, if one of your nodes gets terminated (e.g. disk failure), Managed Blockchain will automatically replace that node.
Choice of Hyperledger Fabric or Ethereum
With Amazon Managed Blockchain you can choose between two popular blockchain frameworks, Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum, so you can choose the framework that best fits your needs.
Hyperledger Fabric is an open source blockchain framework from the Linux Foundation that enables you to write blockchain applications and offers access control and permissions for data on the blockchain. With it, you can easily create a private blockchain network and limit the transactions that each party can see.
Ethereum is an open source blockchain framework from the Ethereum Foundation that enables you to write blockchain applications that run as programmed without downtime or fraud. Ethereum uses the Solidity smart contract programming language and is designed to operate securely in a trustless environment, allowing a large number of peer nodes to transact without stringent permission requirements. Alternatively, you can also participate in a public Ethereum blockchain network.
Scalable and Secure
After creating an Amazon Managed Blockchain network, you can easily invite other entities to join your network. After accepting the invitation and setting up a membership, each new member of your blockchain network configures peer nodes that provide compute, storage, and memory to execute decentralized applications and maintain a copy of the ledger. When there is a need to scale an application, additional peer nodes are needed to process transactions more quickly. Managed Blockchain provides APIs that let you quickly create new nodes to meet the changing demands of your application. Also, Managed Blockchain provides a selection of instance families, bc.t3, bc.m5, and bc.c5, that comprise varying combinations of CPU and memory, and give you the flexibility to choose the appropriate mix of resources to support your workload.
Amazon Managed Blockchain uses AWS Key Management Service (KMS) to secure Hyperledger Fabric's certificate authority, a component that manages user identities and issues enrollment certificates for securely communicating within the blockchain network. With Managed Blockchain, you don’t have to worry about setting up your own security device, such as a hardware security module (HSM), for this purpose.
You can securely interact with your blockchain components managed by Amazon Managed Blockchain through Amazon VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) endpoints. Additionally, you can safely interact with blockchain peer nodes from other members in your network through this endpoint to endorse transactions.
Analyze Blockchain Activity
Amazon Managed Blockchain can easily replicate network activity data to Amazon QLDB, a fully managed ledger database, so that you can store an immutable copy of the blockchain network’s activity outside of the network, and analyze it to gain insights into trends, such as who is transacting and what is their transaction rate. Using these trends, you can optimize your network by identifying areas of improvement such as transaction size and resource allocation.
Hyperledger Fabric’s default ordering service can use Apache Kafka to support the communication of transactions across the network. While Kafka meets the needs of providing a messaging platform that can deliver transactions sequentially across the network, it is not optimized to store a complete history of transactional data, making it hard to recover historical transactions in case of a failure. Amazon Managed Blockchain's ordering service is built using QLDB technology, which has an immutable change log and maintains the complete history of all uncommitted transactions in the blockchain network, making the ordering service more durable.