Microsoft and ConsenSys are partnering to offer Ethereum Blockchain as a Service (EBaaS) on Microsoft Azure so Enterprise clients and developers can have a single click cloud based blockchain developer environment. The initial offering contains two tools that allow for rapid development of SmartContract based applications:
- Ether.Camp - An integrated developer environment, and
- BlockApps - a private, semi-private Ethereum blockchain environment, can deploy into the public Ethereum environment.
What is Ethereum?
If you’re not following closely the whole movement started with BitCoin, have a look at this video.
The Enterprise Partner Group at Microsoft is on the front lines with some of our largest customers. Everyone, particularly Financial Services, is interested in Blockchain technology. While a platform like Bitcoin has many great uses specifically as a Cryptocurrency, Ethereum provides the flexibility and extensibility many of our customers were looking for.
In Financial Services particularly, Blockchain is a major disruptor to some of their core businesses, and FinTech companies are driving innovation in this space. Ethereum is open, flexible can be customized to meet our customer’s needs allowing them to innovate and provide new services and distributed applications or Đapps.
Ethereum enables SmartContracts and Distributed Applications (ĐApps) to be built, potentially cutting out the middleman in many industry scenarios streamlining processes like settlement. But that is just scratching the surface of what can be done when you mix the cryptographic security and reliability of the Blockchain with a Turing complete programming language included in Ethereum, we can’t really image what our customers and partners will build.
‘'Ethereum Blockchain as a Service” provided by Microsoft Azure financial services customers and partners to play, learn, and fail fast at a low cost in a ready-made dev/test/production environment. “
It will allow them to create private, public and consortium based Blockchain environments using industry leading frameworks very quickly, distributing their Blockchain products with Azure’s World Wide distributed (private) platform.
That makes Azure a great Dev/Test/Production Environment for Blockchain applications. Surrounding capabilities like Cortana Analytics (machine learning), Power BI, Azure Active Directory, Office 365 and CRMOL can be integrated into apps launching a new generation of decentralized cross platform applications.
How to Try Ethereum?
It is available as an Azure VM Template. It means you need to spin up an Azure VM with the Ethereum template loaded. The virtual machine main system is Ubuntu, and it will contain a Go Ethereum client and a Genesys block. Also this template is available on GitHub, you can get it here.
Deploying with PowerShell
You will need Azure PowerShell to perform the deployment. You can install Azure PowerShell from here.
New-AzureResourceGroupDeployment -Name <deployment-name> -ResourceGroupName <resource-group-name> -TemplateUri https://raw.githubusercontent.com/azure/azure-quickstart-templates/master/go-ethereum-on-ubuntu/azuredeploy.json
All this is a pretty straight forward process, you will need to specify:
- Azure Storage Account Name
- DNS Name (it must be unique since it will be referenced by a public IP)
- Administrator name and password
- Size of the VM
- Location of the VM anywhere on the several Azure datacenters around the globe.
Read more about this exciting announcement here.