A Universal Messaging Hub
Posted by rbpasker on April 14, 2008
Please read: The Twitter Problem(s), too.
I’ve been arguing – again – that we need a SaaS universal messaging hub that can send and receive messages among a variety of different synchronous and asynchronous message services, such email, instant messaging, SMS, RSS, and Comet.
I say “again,” because the company I co-founded in 1999, Kenamea, was originally conceived as “big message switch in the cloud,” which, among other things, solved a problem that is finally being recognized: the enormous and unproductive polling that takes place in HTTP and Ajax.
At the time, nay-sayers claimed that HTTP servers would have no problem scaling with all the zillions of Ajax requests, and of course, they didn’t, not without tweaking. No lesser a publication than WebLogic Developer’s Journal [WEG], featured a “how-to” article, My friend, colleague, and Scala/Lift maven extraordinaire David Pollak even showed us how to do it “right,” using actors. So, yes, maybe the existing httpd’s scale, but not without serious architectural work. I suspect even more work will be forthcoming, as amount of Ajax traffic continues to increase.
The place where much of the unproductive polling is taking place right now is on social networking status feeds, and the web is aflame dealing with issues.
The answer to these kinds of problems is to reverse the protocol: instead of web services, applications, and RIAs polling web sites and web services for changed information, there needs to be a big message hub in the cloud that takes in all the updates from around the web and republishes it to all the other services that are interested in those updates.
Kenamea certain had capability to do this. Using the Kenamea message switch, server applications, such as Twitter, could send messages to client applications (e.g., IM, email, web browser) without the client having to continuously ask Twitter if there were any new Tweets (which is how it works today).
If I were going to do this right now, I would base the technology on the Tervela Tervela TMX Message Switch, which, out of the box, has the ability to switch 1.5 million messages per second, with the predictability and reliability necessary to run the trading system for the largest banking institutions out there. [Note: I am an Advisor to Tervela].
In conjunction with complex-event processing systems, message switching will have a revolutionary impact on the efficiency of distribution and delivery of real-time data around the web. You heard it hear first. Again.