PubNub Uses Microservices to Embed Business Logic in Network

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    Conceptually, at least, building out a distributed computing environment to support a real-time application environment such as one that would be required to support an Internet of Things (IoT) application is a straightforward endeavor. In practice, the level of complexity associated with building and managing that environment takes expertise that is well beyond the capabilities of the average IT organization. For that reason, services such as the Data Stream Network from PubNub are starting to be widely invoked.

    Now PubNub is extending the capabilities of that service with the addition of BLOCKS, which take advantage of a microservices-based programming model to enable organizations to embed business logic directly within the Data Stream Network.

    PubNub CEO Todd Greene says IoT applications in particular will require the ability to embed business logic in the network to overcome the inherent latency issues associated with deploying what amounts to distributed applications at scale. While there’s no doubt that business logic will also need to be deployed on endpoints, gateways and in the data center, Greene says the nature of an IoT application will undoubtedly require additional levels of processing of data to occur as large amounts of data move across the network.

    In general, Greene notes that a massive shift is under way toward real-time applications. Businesses of all sizes need to be able to react more quickly to any number of events, which makes processing all the business logic required to rise to that challenge inside a handful of distributed data centers problematic.


    As an alternative, Greene says the Data Stream Network provides a service managed by PubNub that already provides those capabilities via a well-defined set of application programming interfaces (APIs) that are easily accessible to developers using JavaScript or SQL-based programming tools. Additional Services that PubNub is making available to developers include, for example, everything from the ability to send alerts and email notifications to making use of key/value pairs to rank users.

    IT organizations are being asked to deliver new classes of applications that operate much differently than traditional enterprise IT applications. All too often, however, those IT organizations don’t internally have access to the classes of IT infrastructure required to drive those applications. Greene notes that IT organizations can wait for providers of network infrastructure to provide support for programming capabilities inside networking equipment they will need to support those applications and then assume the cost of deploying and managing them. By the time that occurs, however, we’ll be approaching the end of the decade.

    For that reason, many more of those IT organizations are going to look to external service providers that have already invested in making that infrastructure available to developers who need to start developing these applications tomorrow versus sometime in a distant future when, from a competitive perspective at least, it will be far too late.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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