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AWS makes Amazon Quantum Ledger Database generally available

Amazon QLDB Announcement at AWS re:Invent 2018

Wed, 11 Sep 2019, 11:57 am UTC

Amazon Web Services, a comprehensive cloud computing platform provided by Amazon, has announced the general availability of Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB).

Amazon QLDB is a fully managed service that provides a transparent, immutable, and cryptographically verifiable transaction log ‎owned by a central trusted authority. The announcement follows the opening up of Amazon Managed Blockchain service for general availability earlier this year.

First announced at AWS re:Invent 2018 and made available in preview form, QLDB is now available in production form in five AWS regions – US East (Ohio), US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), and EU (Ireland). AWS said that more regions will be added soon.

Organizations often develop applications with ledger-like functionality for maintaining an accurate history of their applications' data. These ledger applications are often implemented using custom audit tables or audit trails created in relational databases. This, however, is a time-consuming process and prone to human error.

AWS said that blockchain frameworks, such as Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum, could also be used as a ledger. But this is a complex process requiring setting up of an entire blockchain network with multiple nodes, managing its infrastructure, and requiring the nodes to validate each transaction.

It describes QLDB as a “new class of database” that removes the need to engage in the complex development effort of building 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,” it said.

QLDB is easy to use as it offers familiar database capabilities, and its flexible document-oriented data model enables customers to store structured and unstructured data in the ledger. Moreover, it is serverless which allows it to automatically scale to support the demands of an organization’s application.

“Unlike the ledgers in common blockchain frameworks, Amazon QLDB does not require distributed consensus, so it can execute two to three times as many transactions in the same time as common blockchain frameworks,” AWS said.

According to a press release, Splunk, Klarna Bank, Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, Wipro, and Accenture are among the initial customers and partners using Amazon QLDB.

Shawn Bice, VP, Databases, Amazon Web Services, revealed that AWS has been using an internal version of Amazon QLDB for storing configuration data for some of its most critical systems for years.

“Today, we are proud to announce Amazon QLDB, offering customers a fully managed service that provides the same ledger capabilities, along with the ability to cryptographically verify data integrity. We are excited to see customers streamline their operations and enhance their customer and partner experiences by using Amazon QLDB to do things like keep track of credit and debit transactions across customer bank accounts and reconcile data between supply chain systems to track the complete manufacturing history of a product,” he added.

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