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VMblog Expert Interview: Gerred Dillon Explores Mycelial - Keeping Data and State in Sync for Any App Under Any Network Condition

interview-mycelial-dillon 

To learn more about Mycelial and what the company is doing and the problems they are solving, VMblog spoke with Gerred Dillon, Co-Founder and CTO at Mycelial.

VMblog:  To kick things off, give us a quick background on Mycelial.

Gerred Dillon:  Mycelial connects applications - anywhere. Simply drop in the Mycelial library, and your applications on the edge, on-device, and in the cloud communicate securely with zero time wasted setting up and maintaining infrastructure. Mycelial provides best-in-class offline-first support and state synchronization, eliminating the need for message handling code in your applications. Mycelial enables delivering features to users anywhere infrastructure-free.

VMblog:  And what is the problem that Mycelial solves?

Dillon:  Delivering good offline-first experiences remains a daunting challenge for our industry. Once outside the datacenter (IoT, mobile, edge, etc), the CI/CD toolchain and all the other conveniences we've come to love in the Cloud Native era disappear. In particular, communications between these devices are a thorny challenge. Unlike in the datacenter where disconnection is an error state, we expect devices in the field to lose connectivity. We need those applications to continue to work while offline and to sync their updates with their peers or centralized application when reconnected. Even more challenging are the inevitable conflicts that arise between applications which get out of sync. Attempting to handle these issues in a performant and scalable way today requires a half-dozen different Cloud Native datastores, message queues/buses, local databases, and networking components. These are expensive to architect, implement, and maintain, and dramatically slow time-to-value.

VMblog:  When thinking about data infrastructure, why is Mycelial's offering so important today?

Dillon:  We are proposing something of a paradigm shift in how people think about data infrastructure. Mycelial is a very simple system, capable of scaling to millions of concurrent users. We believe that the combination of recent breakthroughs in CRDTs and WebAssembly provide the tools to dramatically change how app-to-app communications behave today. Today, applications communicate with one another by sending messages - usually an imperative instruction containing the latest change (think "add one to temperature"). CRDTs allow for the synchronization of state between applications (think: "temperature = 72"). One key benefit is that developers no longer need to implement code to teach the application how to add one. All they need to do is display the temperature. And that's just the tip of the iceberg...

VMblog:  Congratulations on the recent funding!  What do you plan to do with the funds?

Dillon:  Mycelial will use the funding to build a world-class team to advance offline-first, secure and efficient app-to-app communication for developers.

VMblog:  You've just announced a private beta of Mycelial.  What are the primary features found in the private beta platform?  And how can I get more information and try it out?

Dillon:  We will launch the private beta with the ability to create and manage distributed stateful actors. Users will be able to:

  • seamlessly pass data between actors,
  • add custom behavior and update that behavior over time,
  • pipe in/extract data, and
  • consume data from anywhere their apps can run.

Developers can connect their database of choice hosted in their own VPC to unlock time travel debugging, and gain the power to understand the state of their system over time. Mycelial's WebAssembly-based runtime provides speed, security, and language agnosticism.

For more information and to sign up for the private beta, please visit: https://www.mycelial.co/  or come say hello in our Discord.

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Published Thursday, November 04, 2021 8:02 AM by David Marshall
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