Appendix D – Blockchain as a Service (BaaS)
While the Blockchain Primer introduces the BaaS model, this Appendix includes detailed analysis and provides the reader with enough information to help decide whether to choose the BaaS model. Many of the leaders in the cloud space have seen the potential benefits of offering BaaS to their customers and have started providing some level of BaaS capabilities. As enterprises look to deploy distributed ledgers, the industry’s largest IT providers have launched BaaS, offering a way to test the nascent technology without the cost or risk of deploying it in-house. The BaaS offerings could help companies who do not want to build out new infrastructure or try to find in-house developers, which are in hot demand.
Microsoft (Azure) – Microsoft partnered with ConsenSys to provide the Ethereum-Blockchain as a Service (EBaaS) in their Azure environment. Offering the service will allow “customers and partners to play, learn, and fail fast at a low-cost in a ready-made dev/test/production environment.” Azure BaaS key features are:
- Cryptograhically secure, shared distributed ledger.
- BaaS by Microsoft Azure claims to provide a rapid, low-cost, low-risk, and fail fast platform for organizations to collaborate together by experimenting with new business processes – backed by a cloud platform with the largest compliance portfolio in the industry.
- As an open, flexible, and scalable platform, Microsoft Azure makes it easy to spin up the blockchain of your choice, including leading platforms such as Ethereum, Quorum (EEA), Hyperledger Fabric, R3 Corda, and Chain Core that address specific business and technical requirements for security, performance, and operational processes.
- They additionally claim that their intelligent services, such as Cortana Intelligence, are able to provide unique data management and analysis capabilities unlike any other platform offering.
IBM (Bluemix) – IBM is offering BaaS using the Hyperledger. The IBM release stated that, “using IBM’s new blockchain services available on Bluemix, developers can access fully integrated DevOps tools for creating, deploying, running, and monitoring blockchain applications on the IBM Cloud.”
Amazon (AWS) - Amazon, in collaboration with the Digital Currency Group (DCG), one of the largest investors in blockchain firms, is providing BaaS to members of DCG’s portfolio so they “can work in a secure environment with clients who include financial institutions, insurance companies, and enterprise technology companies.”
The BaaS option provides users a low-cost opportunity to use blockchain services offered by IT vendors. The enterprise user of BaaS need to connect with the peer nodes deployed over cloud provided by the IT vendor of choice and leverage blockchain service offerings by the IT vendor, to form their enterprise P2P chain network.