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Urban Airship Unveils Next-Generation Infrastructure for Real-Time Push Notifications

Massive Scalability Boost Enables Customers to Send 100,000 Messages per Second (May 17, 2012)

PORTLAND, OR -- (Marketwire) -- 05/17/12 -- Urban Airship, the leading platform provider for high-performance push messaging, today detailed significant performance improvements to its infrastructure to be released with Urban Airship Segments this quarter. An initial test of the new system delivered both broadcast and segmented push notifications at a throughput of more than 100,000 messages per second, with a 90th percentile latency of two seconds to first message delivery. As the company experiences exponential growth in push notification volume and approaches a billion mobile device instances that require open connections to its system, app developers can leverage this massively scalable messaging infrastructure to reach users in real-time.

"Expectations from mobile users for real-time information have never been higher and for many apps, whether due to functionality or audience size, massive messaging scalability is a pre-requisite," said Scott Kveton, CEO and co-founder, Urban Airship. "Over the last two years we've made significant investments to completely rework our architecture and quadruple performance to meet the needs of today's most demanding organizations."

The home screen of smartphone users is prime real estate, so push notifications should deliver immediate value and this is often tied to the timeliness of the message. From breaking news and sport scores, to flash sales, live events, social alerts and location targeted messaging, the time it takes to send and receive the message can make the difference between being highly valued or a useless annoyance.

The new components of Urban Airship's messaging infrastructure include:

  • Push Tag & Broadcast Service -- manages associations between applications, devices and tags. This new service supports extremely high push throughput, and offers the ability to perform complex tag queries for apps with hundreds of millions of users across a horizontally scalable architecture.

  • Segments Data Storage -- is a customized, distributed database optimized for querying spatial information including custom location data.

  • Message Routing Service -- Routing tier that uses a Sort-Merge-Join algorithm to assemble results from queries across multiple heterogeneous systems, for example application tags joined with device location information.

  • Edge Message Delivery Service -- Handles last-mile delivery to third-party platform push providers such as the Apple Push Notification System (APNS) with high throughput and low latency. Yaw manages TLS negotiation, message TTL (time to live) and protocol compliance across hundreds of thousands of connections all performing message delivery.

Helium, the company's end-to-end message delivery platform for Android devices, is optimized to work with this enhanced messaging infrastructure and is compatible with an expanding universe of devices including Amazon Kindle Fire, Nook and soon, Tizen. Urban Airship also plans to leverage Helium for companies moving away from native apps to HTML5, using a C++ Helium client library for Linux that includes a web runtime plugin that provides JavaScript bindings for easy development of HTML5 browser extensions for push notifications.

About Urban Airship
Urban Airship helps the world's top brands do great things in mobile. As the most globally deployed service for push notifications, in-app purchases and subscriptions, Urban Airship enables thousands of enterprise organizations to deliver exceptional customer service experiences, build engagement and better monetize mobile app audiences. The company delivers billions of messages per month with unrivaled speed and scale for leading brands such as Accenture, CBS Interactive, Groupon, Macy's, Soundtracking and WarnerBros. Its investors include Founder's Co-op, Foundry Group, Intel Capital,, True Ventures and Verizon. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @urbanairship.

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Candace Locklear
Mighty PR
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Corey Gault
Urban Airship
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