The Things Stack

Johan Stokking

Tech Lead

Posted on 22-08-2018

Almost one year back we decided to rebuild our backend server from scratch. This 3rd generation network stack takes into account all the lessons learned on security, scalability, speed and developer friendliness.

The Things Stack release is taking longer than expected as we do not give in on quality for a shorter time-to-market. We use this opportunity to take all progressive insight into account, sometimes taking two steps back and three forward, to achieve our goals.

One of the main reasons to start the development of The Things Stack was the desire to support LoRaWAN 1.1 natively. Instead of patching the The Things Network V2 codebase, we designed the stack from scratch by taking the LoRaWAN Network Reference Model as guideline: The Things Stack Network Server, Application Server and Join Server are what everyone expects them to be. With the release of LoRaWAN 1.1 in 2017 Q4, we felt the urge to go to market soon. However, the 1.1 specification are not fully stable yet, therefore there's no rush to be LoRaWAN 1.1 compliant.

The future is Connected Private Networks.
One of the most desired features of The Things Stack is the ability to easily run the stack for private networks, either in a private cloud or on-premises. This is what we release first this Fall: the stand-alone MVP for private networks. Open source and independent. This MVP enables developers to get acquainted with the The Things Stack API. Next is the long-awaited feature to exchange traffic (peering) between public and private networks. This allows any private network to use community coverage, while contributing back to the community network. Then, The Things Stack and V2 will be available side-by-side on the public community network, until we gradually move all operations to The Things Stack.

For commercial use, The Things Industries offers The Things Stack with additional services, such as LoRaWAN FOTA, monitoring and alerting, multi-tenancy, multi-region private deployments and peering with the public network and other private networks. Commercial customers can choose between on-premises and private cloud installations, or use the software-as-a-service offering with a pay-as-you-go subscription.