Google Cloud Launches Its Own Node-Hosting Service: Here's What You Need To Know

Blockchain is changing the way the world stores and moves its information. To help Web3 developers build and deploy new products on blockchain-based platforms, Google thrilled to announce Google Cloud’s Blockchain Node Engine. 

Blockchain Node Engine, a fully managed node-hosting for Web3 development, will initially support Ethereum (ETH) as its first network. This will allow blockchain developers to offer fully managed Ethereum nodes that have safe access to the blockchain.

Blockchains consist of transaction data that is permanently stored and encrypted, acting as decentralized databases of sorts. Instead of relying on a central entity to validate and store data, the governing infrastructure of a blockchain is a node, a device, such as a computer, laptop, or server, that contains a full copy of the transaction history of the blockchain. Nodes on a blockchain form a peer-to-peer network, constantly exchanging the latest blockchain data so that all nodes stay in sync.

Google notes that manually deploying a node requires provisioning a compute instance, like installing an Ethereum client (such as geth), and waiting for the node to sync with the network. It may take many days to sync a full node from the first block (i.e., "genesis").

Thus, Google Cloud's Blockchain Node Engine aims to help accelerate and simplify this process by enabling developers to deploy a new node in a single action and select the region and network (mainnet, testnet). The engine has security settings that may assist prevent unwanted access to nodes. In this line, only trusted machines and users may connect with client endpoints when nodes are placed behind a Virtual Private Cloud firewall.

Moreover, since it is a fully managed service, there is no need to be concerned about Blockchain Node Engine's availability. The nodes are being continually monitored by Google Cloud, and if anything goes wrong, it "restarts them during outages as needed."

Google Cloud claims Blockchain Node Engine will free teams to concentrate on users rather than infrastructure by "reducing the need for a specialised DevOps team” and "by offering Google Cloud's service level agreement (SLA)."

While offering the node service direct to businesses may be new, Google has been hosting blockchain nodes for some time. However, it previously had a different strategy. It partnered with the network founders in the cases of the Hedera DLT, and the Flow and Theta blockchains. It also joined Hedera's governing council, which requires a financial commitment.

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