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 in any given topology.

full topology

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)