AWS Announces Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB) and Amazon Managed Blockchain

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Amazon announced two new services to help companies manage business transactions that require full auditability. Amazon QLDB is a transparent, immutable, and cryptographically verifiable ledger for applications that need a central, trusted authority to provide a permanent and complete record of transactions (for example, supply chain, financial, manufacturing, insurance, and HR). For customers who want to build applications where multiple parties can execute transactions without the need for a trusted, central authority, Amazon Managed Blockchain makes it easy to create and manage scalable blockchain networks using the popular, open source Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric frameworks. With a few clicks in the AWS Management Console, customers can set up a blockchain network that can span multiple AWS accounts and scale to support thousands of applications and millions of transactions.

“AWS teams have been using Amazon QLDB for years to maintain a complete, immutable, and append-only journal of data changes. We started out trying to use relational databases to do this, but quickly found they could not scale or deliver the performance we needed to support our most widely-used services,” said Shawn Bice, Vice President, Nonrelational Databases at AWS. “Earlier this year, when we started talking to customers about what they needed from a blockchain solution, we realized that the Amazon QLDB’s ledger technology met a lot of their requirements. They wanted a centrally-owned ledger that provided an immutable way to log the transactions history of their applications and was transparent to all the parties with whom they were interacting. So, today we’re offering an immutable, transparent, and cryptographically verifiable ledger, based on the same one that AWS teams have been using for years at scale, as a fully managed service.”

Amazon Managed Blockchain: An easy way to create and manage scalable blockchain networks (available in preview)

Other customers want the immutable and verifiable capability provided by a ledger, however they also want to allow multiple parties to transact, execute contracts, and share data without a trusted central authority. For this, customers use blockchain frameworks like Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric. But setting up these frameworks is hard and time consuming. Each member of a permissioned network has to provision hardware, install software, create, and manage certificates for access control, and configure network settings. As usage of a blockchain application grows, there is a lot of work involved in scaling the network, including monitoring resources across all nodes, adding or removing hardware, and managing the availability of the entire network. This complexity is the reason many customers typically need the help of expensive consultants to make blockchain work.

Amazon Managed Blockchain is a new, fully managed blockchain service that makes it easy and cost-effective for customers to create and manage secure blockchain networks that can scale to support thousands of applications running millions of transactions. Amazon Managed Blockchain supports two popular open source blockchain frameworks, Ethereum and Hyperledger Fabric, and setting up a blockchain network is as easy as a few clicks in the AWS Management Console. Customers simply choose their preferred framework, add network members, and configure the member nodes that will process transaction requests. Amazon Managed Blockchain takes care of the rest, creating a blockchain network that can span multiple AWS accounts with multiple nodes per member, and configuring software, security, and network settings. For a permissioned network, Amazon Managed Blockchain secures and manages blockchain network certificates with AWS Key Management Service, eliminating the need for customers to set up their own secure key storage.

Amazon Managed Blockchain contains a voting API that allows network members to quickly vote to add or remove members. And, as application usage grows, customers can add more capacity to the blockchain network with a simple API call. Amazon Managed Blockchain offers a range of instances with different combinations of compute and memory capacity to give customers the ability to choose the right mix of resources for their blockchain applications.

To learn more about Amazon QLDB, visit https://aws.amazon.com/qldb. To learn more about Amazon Managed Blockchain, visit: https://aws.amazon.com/managed-blockchain.

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