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Distributed Systems Done Right: Why Java Enterprises Are Embracing The Actor Model

The Actor Model: Getting Distributed Systems Right Since 1973


Most likely, your job is heavily focused on helping your organization modernize for the digital era. As the days of purely Object-Oriented Programming and related frameworks come to a close, enterprises migrating to distributed, cloud infrastructures are embracing a different approach: the Actor Model.

When it comes to distributed computing, the Actor Model is the great-grandparent of it all. Created by Carl Hewitt in 1973, Forrester Research notes, “the Actor model is seeing renewed interest as cloud concurrency challenges grow.” 

Actors For Going Cloud Native On The JVM

For Architects and Developers, the Actor Model allows your team to focus on an application’s business logic rather than on low-level protocols, accelerating time-to-market while keeping your infrastructure costs low. Self-healing, lightweight, resource efficient and message-driven from the bottom up, Actors take a drastically different approach to messaging and processing to the relatively bloated, inefficient thread-per-request model that appears to be no longer relevant in the eyes of those building distributed, Reactive systems.

Yet even if you understand the Actor Model and used some of the toolkits for it (e.g. Akka and Erlang), how do you easily explain the concept to your team, colleagues and managers? Where do you start?

What You'll Learn

In this webinar, Hugh McKee, Global Solutions Architect at Lightbend and author of the recent O'Reilly book Designing Reactive Systems: The Role Of Actors In Distributed Architectureshows you how Actors behave and interact as humans do when it comes to communicating, and how these similar behavioral patterns provide basic intuition when designing Reactive systems.

In this webinar, you’ll learn:

  • Why actor-based systems are one of the foundational technologies for creating microservices architecture (MSA)
  • How Actors delegate work by creating other Actors in a supervisor-to-worker relationship
  • How Actors manage requests and scale horizontally in large systems
  • The difference between traditional systems and actor-based systems
  • How an Actor system forms clusters when the flow of work exceeds a system’s capacity to process it
  • Why failure detection and failure recovery is an architectural feature of Actor systems
  • An example of using Actors to build an Internet of Things (IoT) application

Our goal is twofold: provide you with a comprehensive review of the Actor Model, and give you the resources you need to help others learn why enterprises like Walmart, Intel, Samsung, IBM, Norwegian Cruise Lines and HSBC are committed production users of Akka, the JVM-based toolkit built on the Actor Model.

Watch The Full Presentation (48 Min)


More Resources You May Enjoy

Have more questions? Want to talk to someone at Lightbend? Find out more about how we can help your team accelerate your modernization initiatives with a 15-20 chat:



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Of Lightbend Akka

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  • 20x increase in developer throughput
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