Dr Paddy Byers

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CTO and Co-founder of Ably

Paddy has over 25 years experience building and leading software teams. Prior to Ably, he has led the development of realtime, embedded and mobile products and software for safety and security-critical applications.

Paddy holds a degree in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge as well as a PhD in Theoretical Computer Science. He continues to be an active developer, contributing to the ongoing expansion of Ably's technology and to open source projects.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paddybyers/

"Delivering seamless digital experiences in realtime is vital. That’s why we created the Four Pillars of Dependability: predictable performance, integrity of data, reliability of infrastructure, and scalability of service. This mathematically modelled approach to distributed system design guarantees critical functionality at scale for all of Ably's customers."

Ably's four pillars of dependability

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Predictability of performance

"While a focus on predictability may seem counterintuitive, when it comes to developing realtime functionality, performance isn’t simply about minimizing latency and bandwidth requirements. It’s also about minimizing the variance in them and providing predictability to developers who are building experiences that must perform under uncertain network conditions."

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Integrity of data

"When apps rely on a sequence of messages that mutually depend upon one another, like chat, Ably maintains the end-to-end integrity of their delivery. This simplifies app architecture: there’s no need to handle missed, unordered, or duplicate messages. This frees developers from design limitations so they can focus on solving the challenges that really matter to them, not the frustrating realtime edge cases they're otherwise forced to think about and develop around."

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Reliability of infrastructure

"At Ably we think about reliability in terms of fault tolerance. We think about fault tolerance at a global and regional level. Ably’s platform can continue to operate even if a component, or multiple components, should fail. But fault tolerance is not simply a matter of provisioning additional resources; it's about orchestrating the deployment of those resources to the work in hand, detecting and compensating for failures. Applying this to Ably, we’ve designed around the various possible modes of failure and their statistical likelihood, ensuring sufficient redundancy at a regional and global level to ensure continuity of service even in the face of multiple infrastructure failures."

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Scalability of service

"Ably is meticulously designed to be highly-elastic and highly-available, providing the uptime and elastic scale required for stringent and demanding realtime requirements. At scale, availability and elasticity depend on measures throughout the design of a system, including orchestration of services, distribution of work and management of capacity, and these go hand-in-hand with fault tolerance. Ably is designed and operated so that these concerns are addressed systematically. As a result, developers using Ably can place absolute reliance on the service to perform under all operating conditions."