I started shiftr.io six years ago as part of my research into the Internet of Things and have used it since in all kinds of projects. It was vital for me to share this technology and empower others to connect things using MQTT easily and for free. Over the years, I continuously improved the platform and scaled it up to handle the increased load caused by all the amazing projects by fellow IoT enthusiasts. Unfortunately, scaling and keeping up the system became increasingly challenging and expensive over the last two years. At some point, it became clear to me that the centralized approach I followed by having one massive MQTT broker engine powering all projects made the system needlessly complicated and fragile. I decided to rebuild the platform from the ground up by leveraging recent developments in the cloud technology while paving the way for a paid service to fund the project sustainably in the future.
Today, I'm happy to present the result of this two-year-long endeavor. With the new shiftr.io Cloud service, users can deploy isolated shiftr.io broker instances that run independently on our infrastructure. Every deployed instance is a single MQTT broker engine that does not need to coordinate with the rest of the system. This approach is super fast and allows you to publish thousands of messages per second with virtually no latency. All instances deployed with shiftr.io Cloud will not have any hard limits and are only constrained by the allocated computing resources. Instances can be deployed for free but come with the limitation that they can only run up to 6 hours a day and automatically sleep if unused or exhausted. Users that require a 24/7 service or resources beyond the free offering can select a paid plan and scale-up as needed. With this new approach, I hope to improve the service to our free users while allowing professionals to also use shiftr.io in more resource-demanding projects.
With the redesigned architecture came a new user experience that extends the proven real-time graph with real-time metrics on published messages, active connections, and recent errors. Lastly, for the shiftr.io users that require even more bandwidth, throughput, and low latency, I built the new shiftr.io Desktop app. It is available on macOS, Windows, and Linux and allows you to run the shiftr.io broker quickly on your computer. The broker engine used by the app is also available as a stand-alone command-line utility. I hope to add more builds of the app and CLI soon to support additional platforms like the Raspberry Pi.
I hope this new generation of shiftr.io enables even more amazing projects as it already has. Stay tuned, and please share any questions or feedback.