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Synadia uses the power of NATS.io to extend secure connectivity from the cloud to the edge and beyond

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In order to communicate from multiple endpoints, whether it be cloud, on premise, edge, or IoT, businesses use multiple heavy and disparate technologies.  This often results in an expensive, fragile, and insecure system that hinders overall innovation.  Time to value is sacrificed in dealing with the complexity of maintaining and scaling such systems.  As the world becomes more hyper-connected, businesses who do not transition from this model will be at a significant competitive disadvantage.

Synadia believes that there is an opportunity to create the first decentralized, secure global utility powered by NATS.io, to connect all digital systems, services, and devices. It also firmly believes that we are no longer in a data economy but in a connective economy, where the real value and innovation will be realized by enabling the secure and hyper-connected world. Synadia began focusing on building the world’s first decentralized, secure global utility to connect all digital systems, services, and devices, and succeeded with NGS (NATS Global System). Along this journey, they discovered that there is a real market need for utilities like NGS for businesses, and have developed a methodology around this utilizing what they call the NATS Adaptive Edge Architecture. Synadia is expanding its services in that direction, where NATS is a technology that can augment or replace other messaging systems to provide a secure, scalable, and future-proof distributed communications technology.

Synadia was founded in 2017 and the company is based in Los Angeles, California.

In conversation with Derek Collison, Founder and CEO of Synadia

Q. What is NATS.io, and how does Synadia use it?

NATS.io is an open source project that allows components in distributed systems to communicate. It was originally built to power CloudFoundry, a Platform as a Service offering from VMWare that was launched in 2011. Since that time NATS has garnered almost a cult following driven by a growing ecosystem that strives for simplicity, performance and security. In early 2018, Synadia was founded to push the state of the art in secure, distributed communications that are needed to power our hyperconnected vision of the future. Synadia advises customers on secure micro-services and event-stream architectures that combine cloud, on-premise and edge deployments. Synadia also offers a global NATS mesh network called NGS that can be used and extended by our customers who are driving adaptive edge architectures.

Q. Bigger the network. Bigger the issues. How do you help your clients manage the growing severity of security breaches?

NATS allows a distributed security domain to drive backend services, data analytics, event streams and edge-based communications. There is no single point of control, the system is totally distributed and federated and the system itself never has access to private keys or passwords. Many network security issues are driven by competing and different technologies trying to be stitched together to form a cohesive solution. They also utilize simplistic ways to provide access like username and passwords. NATS provides a secure system that is dynamic and changes in real-time based on where client applications are running. It also has a realtime and instant revocation system to revoke applications, users and accounts. This simplicity and forward looking security for both authentication and authorization allows our customers to deploy to any new environment with confidence.

Q. Any company, startup, or a big guy in the market, can’t hit the target without having a well-defined strategy. What is your approach towards facing global competition?

We provide software and services that emphasize ease of use, performance, security, scalability and cost, it’s that simple. No other technology is looking to provide secure communications that cross multiple cloud providers, multiple geos, edge and IoT. Our NGS customers do not need to spend time and resources setting up and maintaining an infrastructure for their local, regional, or global communications. For customers that require private messaging deployments, we provide reduced TCO through radically lower operational overhead. Also we allow customers to mix and match SaaS based utility models with owned and operated servers. An NGS customer can extend our global network and run their own servers if needed. A NATS deployment “just runs” with its self-healing features and doesn’t require a large team of people to manage it. NATS is highly performant, meaning its extremely efficient and can run on smaller and less expensive hardware, drastically reducing cloud spend. It also has many higher level features such as load-balancing, seamless scale up and scale down, policy based authorization and observability already built-in to the core platform, meaning you do not have to run additional components such as sidecars and proxies and load balancers, which further contributes to cost savings. Once the right architecture has been identified, NATS is straightforward to install and operate. We’ve completed POCs in a day with two people where the same POC with other technologies took multiple months to get working. Traditional technologies can be fragile to onboard new applications or new versions of applications, and operators mitigate risk with unnecessary onerous software deployment processes for development teams. NATS provides truly secure multi-tenancy with isolated communication contexts that allow only specific streams and services to be shared. We help our customers best leverage these features to shorten time to value, setting up NATS to support a process akin to an internal SAAS model. Development teams can safely develop in their own space with little risk to the system as a whole, avoid delays in any bureaucratic red-tape in provisioning, and can better utilize agile development methodologies with a type of self-service model supported by NATS.io. NATS is also a technology that can serve clients across nearly all market segments. Often, customer interest is inbound through the NATS.io open-source project. Customers will evaluate NATS and then ask us for assistance in taking the next steps to best leverage NATS internally, ask for commercial support, or use NGS. Customers can even utilize their own NATS servers with NGS, taking advantage of both utility SaaS and private servers without being forced to choose between the two models.

Q. How do you market your services?

Most of our customers are driven by developer awareness around the NATS.io project itself. By contributing to NATS.io and staying engaged with the NATS community, we see quite a bit of interest in NATS support, consulting, and NRE. We write articles and blog posts and engage through social media such as Slack, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Q. What are your plans for the future development of your company?

With a secure multi-tenant system, we see vast opportunities beyond cloud messaging. Work is currently underway to better service the IoT market with native MQTT support in NATS and also approach the mobile and web verticals through WebSockets and additional scalability features. NATS’ true multi-tenancy and decentralized security is a strong value proposition in 5G and Edge Computing. We also believe that with our advanced security, NATS can be a perfect way to access other services like key/value stores, object storage, and relational and document stores. Applications can be radically simplified by just utilizing secure NATS connectivity to drive many microservice and stream based applications. You will see offerings for these in the future in NGS. After all, at the end of the day we are communicating by sending and receiving messages, and NATS is the industry leading technology for digital systems, services and devices communication.

Meet the leader behind the success of Synadia

Derek Collison is a 30 year industry veteran, entrepreneur, and pioneer in secure and large-scale distributed systems and cloud computing. He helped change the way financial, transportation, and logistics systems fundamentally worked while spending over a decade at TIBCO, designing systems that still power much of those industries today. At Google, Derek co-founded the AJAX APIs group and created the largest CDN for popular javascript libraries, identifying the need for easy and secure access to Google’s services without the need for additional servers. During his time at VMWare, Derek designed and architected CloudFoundry, the first open-source enterprise PaaS. He then founded Apcera, a company designed to drive security and policy into easy to use platform technologies. After the successful sale of Apcera to Ericsson, Derek took the messaging technology he designed to power the CloudFoundry and Apcera systems, NATS.io, and created Synadia. Synadia is pioneering secure and global messaging as a digital utility to help drive security and powerful communication and collaboration into IoT, edge, and cloud computing systems.

“With over a century of combined experience in distributed systems and messaging technologies, the team at Synadia can provide a wealth of knowledge aimed at challenging how the world connects”.