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Lightbend Launches Open Source Project CloudState For Knative / Kubernetes

CloudState delivers powerful primitives for managing state as cloud-native community pursues more ambitious serverless capabilities beyond functions and stateless

SAN FRANCISCO, August 27, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Lightbend today announced the launch of CloudState, the first Open Source Serverless framework designed to enable stateful workloads on the Knative / Kubernetes stack. Created by the team behind Akka, Play and the Reactive movement—CloudState brings powerful new distributed and durable state management primitives based on Akka to the Serverless paradigm.

The Serverless Developer Experience, from development to production, is revolutionary and will grow to dominate the future of Cloud Computing. Industry analysts predict the serverless architecture market will reach $14.93 billion by 2023 (source: Markets and Markets). As cloud-native use-cases have outgrown the functions-as-a-service, stateless workload limitations of the first generation of Serverless technologies, CloudState targets state management’s hardest challenges across common stateful use-cases, including:

  • Training and serving of Machine Learning models
  • Low-latency real-time prediction and recommendation serving, fraud detection, and anomaly detection
  • User sessions, shopping carts, and similar use-cases
  • Distributed transaction and workflow management
  • Shared collaborative workspaces
  • Distributed counting, voting, leader election, and other distributed systems patterns

Bringing stateful microservices, fast data/streaming, and the power of Reactive technologies to the cloud-native ecosystem breaks down the final impediment standing in the way of a serverless platform for general-purpose application development, true elastic scalability, and global deployment in the Kubernetes ecosystem, said Jonas Bonér, CTO at Lightbend and creator of Akka. The marriage of Knative, gRPC, Akka Cluster, and GraalVM on Kubernetes allows applications to not only scale efficiently, but to also manage distributed durable state reliably at scale, while maintaining its global or local level of data consistency. CloudState opens a whole new range of addressable use-cases for serverless.

CloudState is designed for event-driven architecture, event sourcing, CQRS, cluster sharding, co-location of data and processing, CRDTs, and other common distributed patterns. Its polyglot gRPC based API makes these persistence features available to a variety of serverless programming models. The project’s goal is accelerating next generation serverless to support general-purpose application development (e.g. microservices, streaming pipelines, machine learning, etc.).

CloudState is inspired by, and can be used in conjunction with Knative, providing a straightforward path to getting high productivity, auto-scaling, and polyglot support—all in a Kubernetes-native packaging through the CloudState Operator.

CloudState’s support for GraalVM is another exciting aspect of the project. Typical Java Virtual Machines’ (JVM) long startup times and high memory consumption are well-documented as impediments to JVM-based FaaS. GraalVM’s native-image support brings greater startup speed and a smaller virtual machine footprint, and promises to open up new serverless opportunities for JVM-based architectures. The CloudState Sidecar is compiled into a native executable by GraalVM’s native-image, which improves deployment speed drastically.

The CloudState project is excited to welcome collaboration with organizations and developers who share the need for stateful / polyglot serverless workloads, and want to accelerate progress based on the leading cloud-native technology stack. Learn more about how you can contribute to the CloudState project, at: