London-based software company Push Technology today announced a new version of its middleware fabric for real-time communications, Diffusion 4.0, which delivers 'live' content over the web to any connected device.

Diffusion is a Java-based platform which turns the traditional 'request/response' web model on its head. Rather than web devices constantly having to check for updates, content is only pushed to users when it changes. This means packet sizes are kept low (around 20 bytes), speeds increase, bandwidth is maximised and scaling becomes easier, the company said.

Diffusion can also test the quality and speed of a connection and adjust the frequency of updates accordingly, in order to maintain a real-time experience. This is particularly important in sectors where real-time data is critical, such as financial e-trading, online in-play betting and multi-player Internet-based gaming.

“If you're on a fast device and you've got an OK connection and you're able to take 10 updates a second, but someone else is on a connection that's only able to take 5 updates a second, the other person will get every other update that you get,” explained Push Technology’s CEO, Sean Bowen. “They couldn't take all the other updates because their device is slower, their connection's slower; it would flood them. So you've got to manage the data.”

With the new version of Diffusion, Push has added auto client failover, clustering and load balancing features, so that client devices can get data from alternative servers located at different data centres should there be connection failure. Users are also able to prioritise certain types of data over others, so for example financial pricing information would take priority over news.

Bowen explained that the company used to focus on getting small packets of data out as quickly as possible, but can now also send big data in such a way that it doesn't affect the faster smaller data that you want to still send.

“We can fragment the data. We can break that news up and send it in small chunks when there's little gaps to send it and then repackage it up the other end and display it to you. So you're always going to get your quality of service,” he explained.

The company also offers a real-time monitoring and management tool called Introspector, which allows system administrators can see data traffic flows in real-time, check the status of connected devices  and monitor systems data like CPU and memory usage, along with disc space availability.

Push Technology's customers include Bet365, Oddschecker and Racing Post, as well as one of the world’s best-known stock exchanges and various global banks.

According to Oddschecker general manager Derren Maggs, speed is absolutely critical for in-play betting, which now accounts for over 50 percent of some bookmakers’ overall betting stakes.

“Working with Push Technology’s Diffusion enterprise messaging and Internet communication solution ensures that we can provide our customers with the latest prices at near zero latency,” said Maggs. “With an end-to-end, Diffusion-enabled data delivery service in place - with bet365, for example - we can remove some 3-4 seconds from the in-play process and deliver in-play prices in well under a second.”