Actor-based message-driven runtime

Akka is an actor-based message-driven runtime for managing concurrency, elasticity and resilience on the JVM with support for both Java and Scala.

In Akka, the communication between services uses asynchronous messaging primitives that optimize for CPU utilization, low latency, high throughput and scalability, and reflects years of hardening, based on contributions from the open source community.

Akka embraces the reality of unplanned errors and adopts a pragmatic “Let It Crash” philosophy using supervision and self-healing to ensure impacted components are reset to a stable state and restarted upon failure.

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and Capabilities

Based on the actor model

The actor model provides a higher level of abstraction for writing concurrent and distributed systems. It alleviates the developer from having to deal with explicit locking and thread management, making it easier to write correct concurrent, parallel and distributed systems.

Distributed by default

Actors communicate with asynchronous message-passing and are location transparent, which ensures a single unified programming model, with the same semantics, regardless if it is used in a local or distributed context. Allows scaling the system, without changes, from a single process to clusters of hundreds of machines.

Built-in supervision

Actor supervision hierarchies ensures that every single actor's health is monitored and managed—allowing isolation, detection and recovery from failure, in an fully automated fashion.

Resilient self-healing

When an actor crashes, its parent can either restart it or escalate the failure up to its supervisor, responsible for managing the lifecycle of its children. This enables a clean set of semantics for managing failures in a concurrent, distributed system and allows for writing highly resilient systems that self-heal.

Focus on business logic

Akka, through message-passing, raises the abstraction level from low level plumbing to workflow. This allows you to focus on high-level semantics—communication patterns, how data flows in the application, i.e. the business logic—instead of threads, locks and low level protocols.

The perfect fabric for the Cloud

Stateless, asynchronous, and location transparent, Akka is ideally suited for hybrid cloud architectures and the elastic scaling of cloud platforms. In an experiment with Google, we were able to start a 1000 node Akka cluster on Google Compute Engine (GCE) in less than 4 minutes, which included the time to start the GCE instances.

Streaming back-pressure enabled

Akka Streams is the perfect tool for modelling streaming, data pipelines and workflow, with its built-in support for back-pressure—ensuring steady state through flow control—rich graph DSL for data transformations, and growing ecosystem of drivers for integration (Alpakka project).

Subscription for advanced healing

Network partitions are inevitable when running distributed systems. An annual subscription to Lightbend Platform enhances Akka cluster resilience and prevents data loss with predefined resolution strategies for recovering unreachable nodes during network partitions.

Subscription for monitoring

An annual subscription to Lightbend Platform includes expert instrumentation for monitoring Akka. The agent-based approach understands streams, flows, futures, and traces and integrates with existing visualization solutions.