How PubNub Works

Users today not only expect an always-on experience from their applications, but also a consistent one across all of their devices. The most popular applications today – chat & social apps, document collaboration, multiplayer games, IoT, ride-sharing, etc. – are powered by realtime data streams. More applications are becoming realtime, and more users are becoming connected; top research firms such as Gartner and McKinsey predict a jump from the 6 billion connected devices we have worldwide today, to 20-30 billion by 2020. And, these are conservative figures compared to estimates of other industry leaders such as Cisco and Intel, who project twice as many devices.

Moreover, traditional three-tier request/response architecture is failing to meet the scalability, latency, and reliability demands of modern data streaming applications, let alone the applications and audience of the future. Architecting lasting realtime applications demands from us new ways of thinking about the network.

PubNub is a programmable network for developing realtime applications; an evolution from three-tier architecture, purpose-built to handle all the complexities of data streams: securing them, ensuring a realtime experience, guaranteeing reliability, and scaling them to any number of devices, anywhere in the world.

You can think of PubNub as a global Content Delivery Network (CDN), but for the streaming web. Whereas a CDN is designed to serve static content (i.e. ‘data at rest’), a Data Stream Network (DSN) is optimized for serving dynamic content (i.e. ‘data in motion’) in realtime.

PubNub can be used to quickly push small messages to one or more devices (smartphones, browsers, microcontrollers, tablets, etc.) – essentially, just about any device that can make a TCP/IP connection to the internet – as well as back again, for bidirectional communication between devices. These messages can be used for human communication (like online chat), machine-to-machine control, IoT, geolocation, smart homes, financial data, multiplayer games, and a lot more.

PubNub knows that security, data ownership, and access control are critical to any realtime application – which is why we have built the entire Data Stream Network around these core tenets.

The PubNub DSN empowers developers to provide an out-of-the-box ‘always-on, realtime’ experience for their applications leaving Engineers, Architects, Developers, Product Managers, etc. to focus on solving the actual business problems for their company and for their customers, rather than worrying about the network, infrastructure, and support resources needed to maintain their own DSN.

Keep in mind PubNub is not merely a messaging solution hosted on a cloud service or platform; PubNub is a full-fledged distributed network. The PubNub network is programmable, meaning you are able to compute on the network layer! Implement your application or business logic directly onto the PubNub network and have it execute on your data streams in-flight simultaneously across all of PubNub’s global edge locations, all while maintaining a realtime experience.

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