Fueling innovative software
July 15-18, 2019
Portland, OR

Time to Think Different. Decoupling distributed systems from IP networks.

Derek Collison (Synadia Communications Inc.)
5:05pm5:45pm Thursday, July 18, 2019
The Next Architecture
Location: Portland 255
Secondary topics:  Cloud Native

Who is this presentation for?

Developers, Architects, DevOps



Prerequisite knowledge

General understanding of TCP/IP, UDP, TLS and authentication and authorization usage in modern distributed systems. Distributed Systems, Messaging Systems, Microservices, Cloud-Native Architectures.

What you'll learn

Distributed systems architectures continue to evolve and dominate systems architecture. We propose a way of thinking about systems that are not as tightly coupled to IP networks for communications and security.


Distributed systems are the way we design architectures these days. Systems are involving more moving parts, as monoliths are continually being decomposed into microservices. Addressing, communicating and securing services have long involved and depended on IP networks. Systems used to be able to depend on stable IPs where server applications ran on the same machine most of their life. As modern systems have evolved, utilizing IPs and DNS for addressing, discovery, communication and security has run its course. Modern architectures have components moving between different machines, with different network addresses. Even the security model, still based mostly on TLS, is bound too closely to IP networks to continue the evolution of distributed systems.

What is needed is a way to discover applications, and securely communicate freely with multiple communication patterns that may not fit easily into an IP network architecture. Security, both encryption, but more importantly authentication and authorization, should be not be centralized or based on DNS or IP. In this talk we will apply NATS.io, an open source technology and CNCF project, to show how a different way of doing addressing, communication and security can achieve a highly resilient solution with a much simpler design without depending on IP networks and the complexities they require for modern designs.

Global Cellular networks have evolved at a rapid pace over the last 20 years. The way we use them and communicate and secure identities and communications has radically changed. Users no longer even understand that there is a link to a cell tower that can change at a moments notice, or even be able to recall someone’s phone number. Communications have been abstracted away and depend on the application’s purpose. It’s time that modern distributed systems need to evolve as well.

Photo of Derek Collison

Derek Collison

Synadia Communications Inc.

Derek is an industry veteran, entrepreneur and pioneer in large-scale distributed systems and cloud computing. He founded Synadia Communications and Apcera, and has held executive positions at Google, VMware, and TIBCO Software. He is also the creator of NATS and CloudFoundry. He is also an active angel investor and a technology futurist around Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, IOT and Cloud Computing.

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