Automate Blockchain Full Nodes With AWS CloudFormation
Swisscom Blockchain AG stands for High Data Security and relies on secure Swiss databases such as Swisscom Cloud Services. However, depending on customer requirements, Swisscom Blockchain also offers solutions on Global Public Clouds, as in this case, in which the Global Public Cloud team supported them to build an automated solution on AWS with CloudFormation.
Is Blockchain a bluff?
The word “blockchain” has been the buzzword for the last couple years. Many people are talking about it, very few actually working with it. The blockchain allows digital information to be distributed but not copied, blockchain technology created the backbone of a new type of internet. Many people referer the first generation blockchain as Bitcoin, also as known as digital currency. While another blockchain platform is called Ethereum, we can transfer more than just money. We can execute smart contracts. A smart contract allows users to perform a credible transaction without third parties, by using the decentralized storage technology as the cornerstone for the blockchain. Goldman Sachs predicted in the year 2015 the blockchain could disrupt everything because of it completely change the trust model. Today we start to see increased and matured implementations and the real-life impact just began.
What is a Full Node?
A full node is a program that fully validates transactions and blocks. It is essential for the network and the person who controls the full node for their own usage. Almost all full nodes also help the network by accepting transactions and blocks from other full nodes, validating those transactions and blocks, and then relaying them to further full nodes. A full node has every single block and transactions presented to it, and verify them against the core consensus rules of the blockchain network. Full nodes together form the backbone of the blockchain network.
Why is a Full Node required?
A Full Node is required if you want to interact with a blockchain without to trust third parties. Uses cases could be: to make or detect crypto payments, deploy and interact with smart contracts, analyzing the underlying blockchain itself.
Our colleagues at Swisscom Blockchain AG were looking for a solid blockchain full nodes solution. As their existing platform is on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Global Public Cloud team helped them to build an automated solution on AWS with CloudFormation.
Automation with CloudFormation
AWS CloudFormation allows us to model entire infrastructure in a text file. It allows our colleagues to provision full node resources in a safe, repeatable manner, allow them to build and rebuild full node applications, without having to perform manual actions.
We build three CloudFormation templates.
1. To create VPC network, Multi AZ, Security Groups and Internet Gateway
2. To extend the VPC for future use (optional)
3. To deploy full node as EC2 instance
In the end, we delivered three different full nodes with awesome collaboration from Swisscom Blockchain colleagues. They can use CloudFormation without too much prior knowledge of AWS to deploy Bitcoin or Ethereum (geth and parity) full nodes. We are proud to deliver it as infrastructure as code and obtain fascinating insights of the blockchain. Last and not least, a happy customer.
The collaboration with our Swisscom colleagues from Global Public Cloud team was a lightweight and agile process. It helped us that we could focus on our core blockchain business where the cloud team provided us with stable and resilient Full Nodes with automation scripts. During the collaboration, the engineers from both teams had a direct communication channel which was used often to adjust the requirements and to understand the real needs of us. Whenever a new delivery was shipped we tested it immediately to guarantee a fast feedback loop. It was a pleasure to collaborate with the colleagues from the Global Public Cloud team and we are looking forward to the next collaboration.
– Mr Blaser Kasimir @ Swisscom Blockchain