Key concepts

Deployment units

zenoh provides 3 kinds of deployment units: peers, clients and routers.


A user application able to:

Communicate with other peers in a peer-to-peer topology
peer to peer
Communicate with other peers in a mesh topology
peers mesh
Communicate with a wide system through routers
routed peers


A user application that connects to a single router (or a single peer) to communicate with the rest of the system.

routed clients


An infrastructure component able to:

Route data between clients and peers groups
Route data in a clique topology
router clique
Route data in a mesh topology
router mesh

User APIs

zenoh provides 2 levels of API:


A network oriented API providing the key primitives to allow pub/sub (push) communications as well as query/reply (pull) communications. The zenoh-net layer only cares about data transportation and doesn’t care about data content nor storing data.


A higher level API providing the same abstractions as the zenoh-net API in a simpler and more data-centric oriented manner as well as providing all the building blocks to create a distributed storage. The zenoh layer is aware of the data content and can apply content-based filtering and transcoding.

key primitives

zenoh-net primitives

  • write : push live data to the matching subscribers.
  • subscribe : subscriber to live data.
  • query : query data from the matching queryables.
  • queryable : an entity able to reply to queries.

zenoh primitives

  • put : push live data to the matching subscribers and storages. (equivalent of zenoh-net write)
  • subscribe : subscriber to live data. (equivalent of zenoh-net subscribe)
  • get : get data from the matching storages and evals. (equivalent of zenoh-net query)
  • storage : the combination of a zenoh-net subscriber to listen for live data to store and a zenoh-net queryable to reply to matching get requests.
  • eval : an entity able to reply to get requests. Typically used to provide data on demand or build a RPC system. (equivalent of zenoh-net queryable)