Have you tried to deploy a Hyperledger Fabric project to the cloud before? I did, it is not an easy task. This blog post assumes you are already familiar with Hyperledger Fabric’s terminology.
If you want to go for the DIY path and set up everything by your own, you’ll end up spending weeks, if not months, trying to figure out how to do it properly, taking care of all the small aspects of what it means to deploy a Fabric network. And even when you finally come out with a good network, you have to start thinking about how are new members going to be added and managed to this consortium. Multi-cloud, scalability, monitoring, recovery, etc.
There’s another option which you might have heard about already. Blockchain as a Service (or BaaS). This might seems convenient if you want to avoid all the hustle of becoming an expert in Fabric’s infrastructure just to install the network and deploy your system. But it has a trade-off, a really important trade-off.
If you are creating a blockchain project it means that you care about decentralization and keep your data out of third-party hands so you can make ensure its integrity. Well, with BaaS you are giving away all your control over convenience, and most of the services right now demand the rest of the network to be present in the same BaaS offering, basically centralizing a service that is supposed to be decentralized by nature.
How can you deploy a Hyperledger Fabric solution then, without voiding the benefits of blockchain and still be able to do it quickly?
The happy middle
You basically need a platform as easy as BaaS that let you start in minutes without being an expert, but you don’t want to sacrifice on control and security. Forma, a service by WorldSibu (the same company behind Convector), does exactly that.
It creates and orchestrates a whole blockchain network whereas the computing components reside on each of Kubernetes clusters of the network, it doesn’t matter if it’s in Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), IBM Cloud, Microsoft Azure, or even your own bare-metal cluster, without the platform owning the infrastructure.
Forma decouples the computing and the blockchain layer. So it’s easy as a BaaS but you never get locked into a single cloud provider.
So you can always choose where you want your infrastructure to run, in a public cloud provider or in your own private infrastructure.
Plus, you always get to decide if you want to leave one cloud provider for another one. As you are never locked to one.
And more importantly, you can access each component as low level as you wish, allowing you to implement interoperability protocols if you need them.