Distributed systems are the way we design architectures these days. Systems involve more moving parts as monoliths are continually 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 lives. As modern systems have evolved, using 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’s 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. Derek Collison applies NATS.io, an open source technology and Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) project, to show how a different way 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, 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 are 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 evolve as well.
Derek Collison is the founder and CEO of Synadia and is an industry veteran, entrepreneur, and pioneer in large-scale distributed systems and cloud computing. He’s the creator of NATS and Cloud Foundry. Previously, he was founder and CEO of Apcera and held executive positions at Google, VMware, and TIBCO. He’s also an active angel investor and a technology futurist around artificial intelligence, machine learning, IOT, and cloud computing.
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