USER1 Subsystems today announced Union 2.0, a major upgrade to the popular realtime platform. Union 2.0 revolutionizes connected-application development with two key new features: Union Server clustering and Orbiter.
Millions of Simultaneous Users
Whether you’re building a nation-wide interactive television show, a cloud-based collaboration service, or one of the world’s largest online chess communities, your application has to scale. With Union 2.0, it will. Union 2.0’s new clustering API connects multiple Union Server instances together, expanding Union Platform’s concurrent-connection capacity to colossal proportions. Applications that were previously limited to tens-of-thousands of simultaneous users can now be scaled to hundreds-of-thousands or millions.
With Union 2.0’s clustering API, it’s now almost trivial to spread client communications and application logic across multiple servers. Just make a list of servers, send a remote event, respond to that event, and your application is clustered. To expand your application’s capacity, add any number of machines to the cluster. Then bring on the masses.
And where better to find those masses than on the web.
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Colin Moock, Union Platform co-founder, said “This latest release makes adding realtime connectivity so easy that it seems almost absurd to make an application without it. It’s like releasing a console game without a multiplayer mode, or at least live highscores. From a business perspective, and for the quality of the user experience, it just doesn’t make sense—not when the tools now exist to add collaboration so effortlessly.”
Moock noted that effect of the new release has been deeply felt, even on the Union Platform team: “It’s hard for us to believe, but after 12 years of developing collaborative applications, Union 2.0 has actually paradigm-shifted everything we do. We recently made a remote load-tester for an interactive television deployment. With no appreciable extra effort, we included a shared user interface: if you start a test on one computer, the realtime results are instantly shared with all other viewers. Later in the project, we built a broadcast scheduler to trigger trivia games on television. Again we thought, why not connect all these schedulers to Union Server so we can monitor their health? A day later we had a remote administration interface showing the realtime status of every scheduler in the broadcast network. We’re finally seeing realtime connectivity play a fundamental role in everything we build, right down to the testing and administration tools.”
Derek Clayton, creator of Union Server and Union Platform co-founder, added “Union 2.0’s ease-of-use and massive scale redefine what you can even dream about. You can now build connected applications without worrying whether they’ll break as user demand grows. The leap from small-scale success to extreme popularity is a fragile time in an application’s growth. If a technology doesn’t scale, developers are forced to rebuild from scratch, and that can kill a project. Union 2.0’s new scalability effectively removes that growth risk. It lets you actually start building tomorrow’s vision today. We’ve run installations with over 200,000 connected clients, and we’re just getting started. That’s World of Warcraft territory already, easily enough to handle the world’s biggest concurrent-user experiences. It’s incredibly exciting to bring that kind of industrial-strength reliability to the web industry.”
Clayton was especially happy with the team’s decision to implement Union Server clustering as a core feature.
“Union 2.0’s scale isn’t an add-on. It’s not a plugin, a third-party library, or an afterthought,” said Clayton. “It doesn’t require specialized knowledge; there’s no whitepaper to read. It’s just in there, and it just works. If you’re running Union Server, you’ve already got a single-instance cluster. Building scale into Union Server’s core at the deepest level let us retain the bulletproof reliability we’re known for without overcomplicating the API or the development process. It also ensures that every size of deployment will continue to benefit from the platform’s advancements, from huge commercial installations to tiny 10-user art pieces or academic research projects.”
It’s the industry’s most accessible platform for building truly colossal social experiences,
Union 2.0 is now available.