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akka distributed-architecture

Cloud architecture will fail you. Distributed application architecture will not.

Tyler Jewell CEO, Lightbend, Inc.

Distributed systems will become increasingly more prevalent, and perhaps, essential to application architectures in the near future, as use cases such as IoT and edge continue to extend their reach. Over the last 5 years, the number of endpoints accessing applications has doubled. At this rate, we could see upwards of 1 trillion endpoints by 2030. Many endpoints will not only function as entry points for end users/devices but double as Points of Presence (POPs) for compute and data.

Today’s cloud architecture is standard for building distributed applications. But the construct of cloud architecture systems themselves is ill-suited to manage the sheer number of endpoints, and strain, these systems are incurring even now. Cloud architectures have been structured for the benefit of hyperscalers with users caught on the receiving end of less than optimal experiences. This is particularly evident, in three critical ways:

  1. Leaky Abstraction - Layered architectures force microservice developers to anticipate every network, hardware, or platform failure to create durability and resilience confidence. Devs that write code into multiple APIs or platforms are leaky without excessive failure detection.
  2. Poor End User Experience - Cloud architectures force logic and data deep behind the firewall, causing the end user transaction to travel great distances causing latency to weaken. Application devs purchase additional layers of caching and edge compute to compensate.
  3. Idle Infrastructure Costs - Application devs pay for idle clustering and platform costs including caches, messaging, and databases.

Even a simplified example of a typical Cloud architecture blueprint like the one below exposes numerous single points of failure that can exist across the system, the limited number of fixed POPs for executing logic, as well as resulting latency and cost issues.

Cloud architecture


A distributed architecture, however, takes an approach that inherently overcomes the challenges of Cloud architecture.

With a distributed application architecture, infrastructure capabilities are embedded within your microservices, and the developer's logic is bound to these capabilities creating an airtight abstraction.

Each microservice is capable of self-healing and recovering from any hardware or network failure ensuring Shockproof Resilience. Microservices can move closer to end users, enabling a short round trip and the lowest latency. Further, each microservice consumes only the compute and memory needed to achieve this function.


Cloud architecture distributed architecture

Distributed architecture


Akka has been purpose-built to deliver a distributed application architecture. It thereby ensures:

  • Resilience - A never-fail system regardless of the number of users, their location, network connectivity, or the volume of data. No Lightbend customer has ever had an outage due to Akka.
  • Consistent and Stellar End-User Experiences - Transactions are close to end users ensuring low latency. Data never has to travel great distances. Latency under 20ms.
  • Significantly Lower Infrastructure Costs - Never pay for idle clustering and platform costs including caches, databases, and messaging. Akka customers have reduced underlying infrastructure costs by up to 70% .

Many organizations are already taking advantage of Akka’s distributed application architecture. HP collects upward of one trillion metrics per day from a network of over 20 billion sensors deployed around the world. Applying ML for real-time analysis that provides customers with insight into their infrastructure in seconds and minutes vs hours or days.

Renault Group revolutionized its auto manufacturing when built a digital twin platform using Akka. Rather than rebuilding all the legacy systems, this distributed digital twin approach enables real-time identification of manufacturing bottlenecks, the ability to optimize operations on the fly, and share knowledge seamlessly with factories around the world.

By using Akka, the rapidly growing streaming service Tubi is able to deliver a unique level of hyper personalization through advertising that connects viewers’ individual tastes with the world’s leading brands.

In our digital age, subpar user experiences are simply not acceptable. The pressure to deliver will only continue to increase exponentially with the number of endpoints. A distributed application architecture that has been built for resilience and low latency will deliver both end-user-first experiences, regardless of growth, and highly cost-effective solutions for the business.



The Total Economic Impact™
Of Lightbend Akka

  • 139% ROI
  • 50% to 75% faster time-to-market
  • 20x increase in developer throughput
  • <6 months Akka pays for itself