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On April 16th, 2020 we had our first NATS conference, NATS Connect!. It was virtual of course as we are living in some interesting times, however the NATS ecosystem continues to amaze us and the conference exceeded all of our expectations. There will always be things we can improve, and we encourage your feedback, but for our first go we were pleasantly surprised!

NATS has transformed itself in the last three years. It has gone from a simple, but rock solid and performant, messaging technology to a true connective technology useful for advanced modern distributed systems that extend beyond a single datacenter or cloud region. NATS has evolved to provide advanced security, true multi-tenancy, and the ability to construct any network topology to suit one’s needs. It also allows a NATS system to be shared, within an organization or at a global scale, and still be easily extended by users and account owners who can run their own servers and define their own security. Meaning you can have both a shared utility SaaS model with multi-tenancy and folks who still want to run their own NATS servers.

As we approached our first conference, we really wanted the majority of speakers to be from the external end-user ecosystem and not just maintainers of the project. We did not quite get there but we did achieve 50% of our sessions from external speakers, which I thought was great!

See the full schedule for a list of the speakers, topics, and their contact information and view videos of the presentations on NATS Messaging YouTube channel.

All of the sessions combined to make an amazing and informative event, but a few talks stuck out in my mind that you should check out.

1. Serverless and OpenFaaS and NATS

This is a great talk from Alex Ellis @alexellisuk on how OpenFaaS and NATS work together. If you have not heard of OpenFaas, I suggest you check it out.


2. The World of HTTP and NATS Together has long been a favorite project of ours and Samuel Jirénius gave an inspiring talk of how systems can utilize both.

Resgate Topology

3. NATS and Augmented Reality

This was a fascinating talk from Ron Britvich on how NATS is enabling real-time events at a massive scale and updating for local frame of reference in the Unity game engine.

Unity NATS Subjects

4. Cloud Native WebAssembly

I am a big fan of WASM’s potential and we believe it will play a large role in the NATS ecosystem in the near future. Kevin Hoffman is always pushing the boundaries and his project is no different! He discusses the project and how NATS plays a role.


5. SwimOS and NATS

Enabling edge systems has become a sweet spot for NATS. Enabling remote edge environments to work autonomously but also communicate with more centralized resources is a dominant pattern for distributed data processing. Simon Crosby walks us through what this will really look like in the near future with the platform and why the team think NATS is such a good enabler for these types of platforms.


All of the talks are worth checking out, and we look forward to having these events more often. Feel free to reach me directly with any feedback or questions.

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