What is Blockchain as a Service? (BaaS) and How to Select the Right BaaS Platform?
Blockchain technology has reached everywhere these days, is ruling over the marketplaces. And it is happening because blockchain offers a lot of applications that provide a faster output and higher efficiency as compared to the traditional network. Since all enterprises have now started to experiment with the blockchain, it is creating a new kind of marketplace.
Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) is a significant part of the blockchain economy and is contributing to the blockchain development. It has been introduced as a result of the high rate of technology disruption.
Blockchain-as-a-service models have succeeded in making blockchain development simpler and safe for organizations whose core competencies are in fields, but not in IT. Using this new model can help organizations focus more on their core areas while worrying less about the development space.
In case you are looking to understand what is blockchain as a service model, how it works and which is the best model for your business case, this complete guide will definitely all your questions regarding the same.
Let’s start with, “What is Blockchain-as-a-Service?”
What is Blockchain as a Service?
Blockchain as a Service is a unique model that allows consumers to use the cloud-based services to develop, use and host their blockchain apps, functions and smart contracts. In a nutshell, they provide full-fledged blockchain platforms that ease the development process.
Blockchain as a service companies act as a bridge between enterprise companies and enterprise blockchain platforms.
Though these platforms provide a generalized version of the blockchain technology, not all organizations can integrate them into their business solutions.
Some enterprises might require privacy; some might not. Using the platform to build blockchain solutions with their own development team could not be an ideal solution.
Developers who have never worked with blockchain technology or platforms may leave a lot of security holes, and in return, it will harm the company itself. You should always approach blockchain experts before planning to implement blockchain within the business ecosystem.
How Does BaaS Work?
Blockchain as a Service works in a simple way. The BaaS providers set up the blockchain implementation, but you have to give them a certain fee to deploy and maintain the blockchain nodes.
Moreover, the blockchain as a service providers have to manage the back-end services, specifically the complicated services for clients and businesses. It is their responsibility to look after the crucial blockchain technology artifacts and keep them running without any downtimes.
Blockchain services also include hosting requirements and security protocols like distribution of resources, anti-hack layering, bandwidth management and much more.
The Blockchain as a Service Partner may configure the blockchain network on any blockchain platform such as Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, Corda, Bitcoin, Chain Core, BlockApps or Quorum.
With a BaaS model, customers will be able to focus more on the core business functionalities and strategies while depending on the BaaS partner to manage the blockchain infrastructure and performance.
Let’s consider an example to understand how it works.
Start assuming the Blockchain as a Service similar to a Web Hosting Company.
As a web hosting company, you build creative websites which get millions of hits every day. But where do you host a website? You might come across a lot of options for that.
You can host a website on your own server and handle its maintenance yourself. Moreover, you can hire additional individuals to take care of the website.
The second option is to go to a web hosting provider such as BlueHost or HostGator that allows you to host your website on the server’s servers. Furthermore, you can ask for maintenance services from the web hosting providers and they will handle the infrastructure.
Blockchain as a Service works similarly, however, you will get a full running network from them.
BaaS could be the right approach to ensure the mass adoption of blockchain technology across the world. Businesses will no more require a workforce to build and maintain the blockchain solution.
As it is clear what is blockchain as a service and how it works, you should now know how to choose the right BaaS platform.
How to Choose the Right BaaS Platform?
Before you go ahead into Blockchain as a Service integration, you should know which provider can provide you with the right type of solution.
Following are some of the factors that can help you choose the right BaaS Platform:
Every enterprise has its unique needs for backend services. Building the oracles for integration is an obstacle for companies. Therefore, blockchain as a service providers have to provide backend services like mainstream technologies and integrating popular services.
Enterprises should have at least some of the followings from the BaaS providers.
- Data Security:
It is a basic and necessary requirement to ensure that application and user data stays within the boundaries of the platform and is not vulnerable to risks.
- Costing Control:
SaaS platforms come with a subscription instead of a one-time license. But BaaS is not based on any such costing model. They offer cost-effective solutions. But you need to check whether the costing includes hidden expenses or not.
Enterprises run on network layering that should contain multiple layers of processes, workflows and data sources. Also, the back-end services should be able to integrate into the architecture. Therefore, it supports many applications without modifying the old legacy network.
- Process Control:
A scalable environment is essential for every application as it needs to maintain the original performance at all times. Moreover, the environment should have a guard mechanism that can control hacks, data flows, active monitoring tools, computing resources and so on.
Rapid provisioning provides the ability to deploy blockchain networks quickly without any issues. Blockchain as a Service companies have to deal with a lot of pressure to install, deploy and manage the environment quickly.
Also, the environment requires additional support; however, the variation of browsers, firewalls, database, hardware and applications servers make it complicated to achieve.
Following are some of the issues that the BaaS companies need to overcome to provide better solutions:
1. Network environments are too complicated to administer and support.
2. Deployment inconsistency drifts away from the standard.
3. Not enough hardware support for all projects.
4. New tools that should be provisioned after the launch immediately.
5. Patching up thousands of environments.
6. Complex, error-prone installation and arduous that can take days to get fixed.
7. Configuration of features between testing, production and deployment.
8. Inflexible environments and systems that are difficult to integrate.
To resolve all these issues, you need to look for blockchain as a service provider that provides economic and quick deployment, staging, testing and production without any errors.
Ensure to look out for blockchain as a service companies that allow you to:
1. Provide good backup solutions in case of emergencies.
2. Deploy the blockchain network rapidly without several faults.
3. Add up new additions to the platform quickly without any server failures.
4. Less deployment time, such as 10–30 minutes.
5. Roll back to the last version in case of any loopholes or bugs without affecting the data.
Therefore, it is essential that the blockchain as a service platform should facilitate rapid deployment.
You would require a smart contract mechanism to integrate business logic into your blockchain solution. Smart contracts don’t only include the rules like typical contracts, but also enforce penalties in case any party breaks the rules.
Since the platforms are immutable, it makes the testing and deployment of smart contracts quite complicated for developers. Ensure that the blockchain as a service company provides you the smart contract integration with the deployment.
A permissioned network comes with the ability to allow users to access certain information or layers. Integrating an identity management platform would make the blockchain network tightly secure and you will be able to grant permission to individuals.
For example, not every employee in the office can have access to internal sensitive information. Identity Access Management (IAM) is a framework that facilitates the management of digital identities for enterprises.
In order to manage the identities, you can use a single sign-in method or multiple authentication ways to give users access to the information. Look for the BaaS platform that offers IAM framework integration.
Different Runtimes and Frameworks
What if you want to switch to another blockchain platform while building a blockchain app on BaaS architecture? When it comes to blockchain frameworks, you might not find many blockchain as a service providers that offer versatility.
Some BaaS companies only support one kind of enterprise blockchain deployment. Make sure to go for a BaaS that provides first-class support for a diverse range of runtime and frameworks. It will help bring the flexibility to your enterprise requirements.
If you have to build an enterprise-grade solution, permissioned blockchain is a must factor to consider when looking for BaaS providers. Though you might come across popular blockchain frameworks like Ethereum, it is a public network that does not offer proper applicability.
Try to look for a permissioned blockchain as a service solution in case you require privacy across your business solutions.
Explorer Tools and Block Monitoring
If you have a blockchain network and you don’t know how to manage it, the system won’t run efficiently. You would need to monitor or control the network.
Therefore, you would require the exploring and monitoring tools to manage the health of BaaS solution. Tools like Explorer can help you understand how nodes are working or there are any errors on the ledger. Make sure you select a BaaS platform that provides you with exploring and monitoring tools.
Identity-based Consensus Mechanisms
You must have heard about the typical consensus mechanisms such as Proof of Stake or Proof of Work. However, there are other consensus mechanisms that help to reach an agreement between the users.
Proof of Stake or Work cannot offer enough scalability that the enterprise-grade solution needs. Therefore, find the blockchain as a service providers working on a consensus mechanism that does not depend on the computation.
Identity-centric consensus models can scale up the network and enterprises can integrate the technology. So, you should look for identity-based consensus solutions that allow enterprises to operate with authorized identities.
The above factors will help you decide and select the right blockchain as a service solution according to your business requirements.
Why do you Require Blockchain as a Service Framework?
Flexible and Efficient
The best part of using a Blockchain as a Service Platform is that it offers a wide array of consensus mechanisms. Such consensus algorithms can provide the required flexibility in your business ecosystem. It is the reason why various BaaS solutions can provide 5000 transactions per second.
Furthermore, other tools like dynamic joining, physical resource management and switching protocols are offered by BaaS providers to make the solutions efficient.
Open and Easy
Blockchain as a Service framework provides an easy solution to your complex deployment. Building a blockchain solution is not a simple task. One mistake can make the system incapable of performing its operations.
However, BaaS framework allows you to deploy new networks every minute as they are simple to deploy and will not take more than minutes to get started.
Privacy Protection and Security
With Blockchain as a Service Framework, you can manage permission levels, nodes and keys from one single control panel. Every BaaS provider offers the control panel for easy access.
The cybersecurity in such solutions is exceptional as they don’t allow any internal or external fraudulent activity happen.
The blockchain as a service costs comparatively lower than building a blockchain app from scratch. Using the BaaS platforms, you can use the features you require. Therefore, it costs you for the features you are using, not for the entire framework. Also, it does not have any hidden costs.
Blockchain as a service is a promising offering that helps enterprises become future-ready with scalable solutions built on the blockchain technology.
Consult LeewayHertz to make your business processes more efficient, robust and secure with Blockchain as a Service Frameworks.