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Azure Blockchain new services for Ethereum

Improved multi-member Blockchain networks now available on Azure
Microsoft have been working on improving their offering of Blockchain services on Azure, specifically for the Ethereum multi-node digital ledger service. As more and more customers build production Blockchain scenarios, network reliability and health monitoring become increasingly important. Recently Microsoft has introduced significant enhancements to their Ethereum offering on Azure. These improvements are the first of a series of releases designed to enable production-ready consortium Blockchain networks suited for enterprise scenarios.
  • High availability of Blockchain network presence: As a participant on a decentralized network, your nodes’ presence in the consensus process is critical towards achieving a fair and secure network. To ensure high-availability, cross-region Azure VM Scale Sets (Azure VMSS) and Azure Managed Disks are now available when deploying an Ethereum service in Azure. In the case that a node goes down, Azure VMSS will automatically recover the node, and join it back to the Ethereum network. As active nodes may change over time, we take care of maintaining an accurate boot-node list, allowing other members to join the network.
  • Simplified deployment experience: Choosing the right network topology for your scenario can be difficult. Microsoft has invested significant effort into consolidating the various Ethereum network topologies into one experience, which allows users to walk through deployment options and only shows the information that is important to your scenario.
  • Monitoring and operational support: In the world of DevOps, the Blockchain network cannot be a blind spot within your application architecture. We appreciate the need to monitor, log, and analyze network health and Blockchain metrics. Now Ethereum in Azure support deployment of a customizable monitoring dashboard together with your Blockchain network to monitor telemetry of your Blockchain infrastructure. Today, you can monitor and create custom alerts on CPU, Memory, and Disk Capacity across your miner and transaction nodes.
 
The new Ethereum on Azure template can deploy infrastructure for a standalone test network, the creation of a new consortium network, or the addition of a new member to an existing consortium network. Now, a single consortium member has the option to deploy their Blockchain footprint into multiple regions for redundancy and disaster recovery. These solution templates are designed to make it faster and easier to deploy and configure a multi-member consortium Ethereum network with minimal Azure and Ethereum knowledge. With a handful of user inputs and a single-click deployment, each member can provision their network footprint using Microsoft Azure compute, networking, storage, and other services across the globe. Each member’s network footprint consists of a set of load-balanced transaction nodes with which an application or user can interface with to submit transactions, a set of mining nodes to manage consensus, and a VPN gateway for cross-tenant connectivity. For more information on how to deploy Ethereum in Azure, please consult the “Ethereum Consortium Blockchain in Azure Marketplace” deployment guide, which illustrates how to setup the VPN connection to link the gateways and create a fully configured multi-member Blockchain network.
 
A multi-member network architecture where each member has deployed to three regions is illustrated below. Each black perimeter below represents a resource group that contains the footprint for one member in the consortium. It is important to note that although the template configures hub and spoke connectivity model between members, the consortium can change the connectivity model to fit their specific needs.
 
 
References
Ethereum on Azure
https://azuremarketplace.microsoft.com/en-us/marketplace/apps/microsoft-azure-blockchain.azure-blockchain-ethereum?tab=Overview
 
Ethereum Consortium Blockchain in Azure Marketplace
https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Ethereum-Consortium-b0e1bc65

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxTlLFbk1eE



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