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Async Or Bust!?

Asynchronous is the new normal! Or is it? Many of our languages, runtimes, and libraries are built around synchronous behaviour and usage as we keep trying to make RPC work by force of will. Primitives such as futures and promises present a synchronous facade. Blocking I/O dominates the vast majority of designs. Most of our communication models and architectures depend on synchronous methods of communication. For many years, we've been told that synchronous is simpler and performs just as well as more complex asynchronous designs. Is that true? Or is all that a myth and asynchronous design truly is the means to unshackle our designs for better performance? Maybe synchronous designs are a leaky, or just plain wrong, abstraction that limits our systems? This session will try to shed some light on these questions and perhaps raise some new ones around this seemingly eternal debate.


Todd Montgomery

Ex-NASA researcher

Todd Montgomery is a networking hacker who has researched, designed, and built numerous protocols, messaging-oriented middleware systems, and real-time data systems, done research for NASA, contributed to the IETF and IEEE, and co-founded two startups. He currently works as an independent...

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Performance Mythbusting


High PerformanceSilicon Valley


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