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Lightbend Launches Akka Serverless, a New Class of Cloud Native Development Platform-as-a-Service

SAN FRANCISCO, June 10, 2021 – Lightbend, the company providing cloud native microservice frameworks for some of the world’s largest brands, today announced the launch of Akka Serverless, a unique, first-of-its-kind Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering that sets a new standard for cloud native application development. Akka Serverless is based on a revolutionary new architecture that removes the historical limitations that prevented the development of general-purpose, business-critical applications using the serverless model, enables the creation of cloud native apps using any programming language, and eliminates the need for databases in deploying business-critical applications.

The launch of Akka Serverless highlights a renewed focus for Lightbend on supporting developer needs for building cloud native services and APIs. With this strategic shift in mind, Jonas Bonér, Lightbend’s iconic CTO and founder, inventor of the Akka Project, and co-author of the Reactive Manifesto has also taken the helm of Lightbend as CEO.

“Until now, the challenges of dealing with state at scale have meant that a serverless approach has not been able to address many more complex applications, such as IoT platforms, real-time financial services, modern eCommerce systems, streaming media, internet-based gaming, factory automation, telemedicine, and more,” said Jonas Bonér, Lightbend’s founder and CEO. “What is needed is a data-centric backend application architecture that can handle the volume of data required for today’s applications at extremely high performance. Akka Serverless is the first to achieve these capabilities and I’m excited to continue Lighbend’s growth leveraging this superior model for cloud native development.”

Akka Serverless is delivered via a model similar to existing serverless offerings, but it is the first (and currently only) service to provide the ease of use inherent in the current serverless model combined with the capability to build business-critical stateful applications. Akka Serverless delivers these capabilities through a declarative API-first polyglot programming model allowing the developer to focus solely on the business logic. One major reason why serverless offerings are not currently used to build high-performance business applications is the challenge of managing distributed state at scale—something that Akka Serverless has solved. Pioneering a new distributed state model, Akka Serverless delivers increased velocity for the business in an extremely cost-effective manner with existing developers and serverless cloud infrastructure.

“When it comes to key revenue sources such as web-based or in-app checkouts, the technology has to be rock solid,” said Robert Howes, CTO of online payments solution, Judopay. “Akka Serverless removes a significant burden of responsibility from technology teams, supporting time-to-market wins and reducing ongoing management complexities. This means developers can focus cloud native design principles on building solutions that deliver business value quickly, at scale and without compromising on reliability.”

Akka Serverless is built on Lightbend’s powerful Akka Platform technology, a leading framework for building large-scale distributed applications. With more than 20 million downloads annually, Akka is one of the most used programming models for cloud native applications running on containers on Kubernetes. As a result, Akka Serverless gives every business the backend infrastructure that powers the world’s most complex and demanding applications, but without the complexity or personnel requirements needed for a traditional Akka Platform deployment.

As a result of this new distributed state architecture, Akka Serverless is also the first solution to eliminate the need for databases for business-critical applications. Just as serverless offerings allow businesses to not worry about servers, Akka Serverless enables businesses to not concern themselves with database administration, maintenance, or even APIs.

Akka Serverless has a simple, API-driven programming model that makes it easy for developers to define the data that they need and manages that data behind the scenes so that it is available automatically at runtime. Akka Serverless does not have the limitations associated with Function-as-a-Service serverless approaches related to state handling and performance, yet these are not exposed as developer-level concerns.

Akka Serverless supports a broad set of programming languages and allows developers to focus purely on writing the business logic for their application while using the toolchains with which they are most familiar. Akka Serverless leverages Akka’s proven reactive architecture for building stateful, high-performance, business-critical systems, without the developer needing to understand the complexities of Akka itself or distributed systems architecture in general.

Akka Serverless is currently in open beta, with general availability later this year. Developers can learn more about Akka Serverless and become a beta participant today.

Lightbend will also be providing more information on Akka Serverless during its launch webinar on Wednesday, June 16, 2021, featuring speakers from Google Cloud, Judopay, and more. Interested parties can register and learn more here.

About Lightbend

Lightbend (@Lightbend) is leading the enterprise transformation toward real-time, cloud native applications and setting the standard for cloud native architectures. Lightbend provides scalable, high-performance microservices frameworks and streaming engines for building data-centric systems that are optimized to run on cloud native infrastructure. Lightbend powers the world’s most innovative companies. For more information, visit

Editorial Contact

Kimberly Falk

Nichols Communications for Lightbend
Jay Nichols
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