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When I tell developers about Fanout Cloud, their reaction usually takes one of two forms:
- Sign me up!
- Why would I use an external service for this? Push is easy. I can do it in 20 minutes with <insert modern web framework>.
It is true that there are a bunch of software solutions that make pushing data in realtime easier, and if you’re enthusiastic about maintaining your own servers then a cloud service may not be that interesting. It’s important to recognize, though, that Fanout Cloud is about more than just making push easy. It’s about making it scalable.
Push is hard. Often, implementing realtime push in a website or web service means having to use unfamiliar software or frameworks. If it isn’t an XMPP server with BOSH, then it’s an esoteric HTTP server framework like Node.js or Tornado. Further, while the knowledge and tools necessary for load balancing a traditional web service are commonly found these days, scaling out and operating a push architecture is less straightforward. The interactions between server nodes are different. The traffic patterns are different. Even if you’ve got a handle on whatever particular approach for push you’re using today, do you know how you’ll scale it tomorrow?
Here we’ll discuss Fanout’s various products (such as Fanout Cloud), as well as topics such as realtime, push, distributed systems, synchronization, federation, and open protocols.