eero disrupts consumer WiFi with highly reliable systems powered By Akka Platform
Before eero even began its product development journey, its founders were certain that the traditional model for home WiFi, based on a single router, wasn’t the future. To provide reliable coverage and consistent performance for a multitude of connected devices throughout the home, the company decided to develop a distributed mesh of WiFi access points, together with a cloud-based interface for monitoring and managing the entire home WiFi network.
To meet customer expectations for a fluid and seamless user experience, eero knew that the backend supporting its cloud interface had to be fast and reliable, offering sub-second response times and always-on availability. The company needed a platform that would make it easy to model its domain as it grew in complexity and that could handle concurrency at a very high scale.
eero quickly became convinced that a traditional web architecture would not scale, due to issues with concurrency and shared memory.
“Perhaps the biggest problem of traditional web architectures is that the database becomes the shared memory in a vastly concurrent system,” explains John Lynn, Cloud Platform Manager at eero. “As systems become more distributed with multiple request servers, async workers, caches, and so on, there’s an increased likelihood that different parts of your system have different representations of the same piece of data. As data moves throughout your systems, consistency is harder and harder to maintain.”
To solve these challenges, eero chose Akka Platform from Lightbend—a toolkit and runtime for building highly concurrent, distributed, and resilient message-driven applications. This enabled eero to harness a powerful in-memory data architecture that enables very high-performance communication between customer device endpoints, the eero backend, and the eero cloud.
Akka Platform’s actor model provides a messaging architecture that gives eero the power to scale customer endpoints, broker data between those endpoints and its backend, and deliver a highly responsive cloud interface to users, regardless of the state of individual devices. By modeling each user’s network and nodes with actors, eero can easily handle and orchestrate even the most complex network management tasks, such as pushing firmware updates out to individual devices.
eero represents a vision of the future for how consumer devices, cloud-native applications, and Internet of Things (IoT) backends can participate in delivering a fast, flexible, and fluid user experience for customers. With Akka Platform, eero has been able to exceed what has conventionally been considered possible by providing a much more solid messaging foundation than a traditional three-level web architecture could afford.
Continuous product innovation over time is a central pillar of eero’s strategy, and the company aims to add new features to both its devices and its cloud interface to make managing home networks easier than ever before. In the first three months since its initial product launch, the company was able to roll out more than 10 software updates, and the reliability and flexibility that Akka Platform brings to the messaging between devices and the backend are core to eero’s ability to innovate.
eero’s innovation with Akka Platform has paved the way for major commercial success. The product quickly became a top seller in the router category on Amazon, and in 2019, eero became part of the Amazon family. eero devices are now available from leading retailers such as Apple and Best Buy, and the company has built on its success to launch new offerings such as eero Secure—a service that helps families stay safe and secure online.