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Akka Community Reaches 200 Thousand Developers As Cloud-Native’s Most Powerful Platform for Concurrency

SAN FRANCISCO, April 23, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lightbend today announced major adoption milestones for Akka, as the platform for concurrency and scale in cloud-native systems approaches its 10 year anniversary. More than 200,000 developers are leveraging Akka and its actor model to manage the hardest application-level concerns for massively distributed cloud-native applications with millions of concurrent users.

Akka was originally created by Swedish programmer Jonas Bonér—who had built compilers, runtimes and open source frameworks for distributed applications at vendors like BEA and Terracotta. He'd experienced the scale and resilience limitations of CORBA, RPC, XA, EJBs, SOA, and the various Web Services standards and abstraction techniques that Java developers used to approach the overall problem set over the last 20 years. He'd lost faith in those ways of doing things.

This time he looked outside of the Java and enterprise space for answers. He spent some time with the Oz and Erlang programming languages. He saw a lot that he liked about how Erlang managed failure for services that simply could not go down (things like telecom switches for emergency calls), and how principles from Erlang and Oz could be applied towards the concurrency and distributed computing frontiers for mainstream enterprises. In particular, he saw the Actor Model—which emphasizes loose coupling and embracing failure in software systems and dataflow concurrency—as the bridge to the future.

After months of intense thinking and hacking, Bonér shared his vision for the Akka Actor Kernel (now simply “Akka”) on the Scala mailing list, and about a month later (on July 12, 2009) shared the first public release of Akka 0.5 on GitHub. Today Akka is the open source platform that brands like Fortnite, PayPal, LinkedIn, Verizon, and Capital One use to handle billions of transactions at massive scale in their cloud-native systems.

In addition to becoming the de-facto model for concurrency in the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) landscape, Akka’s popularity has grown in recent years as a fundamental layer in containerized infrastructure. While Kubernetes is great for managing stateless services, developing and operating stateful data-driven services on Kubernetes is challenging. As an open source programming model and fabric for the cloud, Akka has proven the perfect companion to Kubernetes for the heavy lifting of managing distributed state and communication, maintaining application consistency and delivery guarantees.

When Carl Hewitt invented the Actor Model in the early 70s he was way ahead of his time, said Akka creator, Reactive Manifesto author, and Lightbend CTO, Jonas Bonér. Today, the world has caught up with Hewitt’s visionary thinking; multi-core processors, cloud computing, mobile devices, and the internet of things is the norm. These trends in cloud-native have created the need for a solid foundation to model concurrent and distributed processes is greater than ever. Akka provides the firm ground developers so desperately need in order to build complex distributed systems that are up for the job of addressing today’s challenges—adhering to the Reactive principles of being responsive, resilient, and elastic.

Jonas Bonér, CTO and co-founder of Lightbend

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