The time-domain community wants robust and reliable tools to enable the production of, and subscription to, community-endorsed event notification packets (VOEvent). The Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) Transient Facility (VTF) is being designed to be the premier brokering service for the community, both collecting and disseminating observations about time-critical astronomical transients but also supporting annotations and the application of intelligent machine-learning to those observations. Two types of activity associated with the facility can therefore be distinguished: core infrastructure, and user services. We review the prior art in both areas, and describe the planned capabilities of the VTF. In particular, we focus on scalability and quality-of-service issues required by the next generation of sky surveys such as LSST and SKA.