Amazon gets into the blockchain with Quantum Ledger Database & Managed Blockchain

Amazon last year dismissed the idea of getting into the blockchain with AWS, but today that’s changed. The company announced a new service called Amazon Quantum Ledger Database, or QLDB, which is a fully managed ledger database with a central trusted authority. The service, which is launching into preview today, offers an append-only, immutable journal that tracks the history of all changes, Amazon said.

And all the changes are cryptographically chained and verifiable.

The company announced the product onstage today at AWS re:Invent, noting QLDB’s other features — including its transparent nature, ability to automatically scale up or down as needed, ease of use and speed. The database can execute two to three times more transactions, Amazon claimed, compared with existing products.

It also announced a managed blockchain service.

“It will be really scalable, you’ll have a much more flexible and robust set of APIs for you to make any kind of changes or adjustments to the ledger database,” said Andy Jassy, AWS CEO, in describing the new QLDB offering.

On the QLDB website, Amazon explains the new database in more depth:

Amazon QLDB is a new class of database that eliminates the need to engage in the complex development effort of building your own ledger-like applications. With QLDB, your data’s change history is immutable – it cannot be altered or deleted – and using cryptography, you can easily verify that there have been no unintended modifications to your application’s data. QLDB uses an immutable transactional log, known as a journal, that tracks each application data change and maintains a complete and verifiable history of changes over time. QLDB is easy to use because it provides developers with a familiar SQL-like API, a flexible document data model, and full support for transactions. QLDB is also serverless, so it automatically scales to support the demands of your application. There are no servers to manage and no read or write limits to configure. With QLDB, you only pay for what you use.

QLDB was one of AWS’s blockchain-related announcements today. The company also debuted AWS Managed Blockchain, which can work with QLDB. (More on that here.)

“Amazon Managed Blockchain is a fully managed service that allows you to set up and manage a scalable blockchain network with just a few clicks,” Amazon said in an announcement. The product eliminates the overhead required to create the network and automatically scales to meet the demands of thousands of applications running millions of transactions, it said.

It also manages your certificates, lets you easily invite new members to join the network and tracks operational metrics such as usage of compute, memory and storage resources.

Managed Blockchain is able to replicate an immutable copy of your blockchain network activity into Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB), which lets you analyze the network activity outside the network and gain insights into trends.

Interested customers can sign up for Amazon Managed Blockchain preview here.

And those with applications that need an immutable and verifiable ledger database can try out Amazon QLDB here.

more AWS re:Invent 2018 coverage