Introducing Lightbend Products

This short guide is for technical managers, architects, and developers who want to understand more about how Lightbend products deliver value and which technology best meets their current needs. As introduced on lightbend.com new tab, Lightbend technologies offer a proven path to build, deploy, and manage the next generation of cloud-native systems. With Lightbend products, you can create Reactive applications new tab that are responsive and scalable under heavy load and maintain resilience in spite of the uncertainties inherent in the modern ecosystem.

Why consider Lightbend products?

You may wonder why you need to build resilience and scalability into applications when Kubernetes new tab supports scaling and recovery from failures at the infrastructure level. But, scaling and state recovery is also vital, and neither are managed by the container. To fill that need, Lightbend products address the application layer that contains your business logic and manages your critical data.

With Lightbend products, you can choose the programming model best suited to your use case, such as microservices, streaming applications to handle big data in real time, or stateful functions in a serverless environment. And, you can consume Lightbend technology in the way most convenient to you, purchasing directly from Lightbend or through cloud marketplaces.

Lightbend’s product portfolio includes:

  • Akka Platform—​a toolkit for creating and managing Reactive Microservices and streaming components. To accelerate cloud-native and streaming application development:

  • Akka Serverless—​a fully managed platform to deploy stateful services. Akka Serverless provides Reactive benefits with a straight-forward programming model that you can use with the programming language of your choice.

Lightbend offerings

We at Lightbend are committed to helping you build and maintain the infrastructure that drives your business, whether you take advantage of our cloud offerings or subscription-based products and services. Lightbend subscriptions include warranties and certifications and world-class support. Optional training and professional services are also available to prepare your teams for success. Consider some of the challenges that our products can help you overcome.

Meet business goals while minimizing risk

Organizations seeking to modernize are looking for systems that can adapt to rapidly changing market conditions and deepen customer relationships. These requirements put a premium on time-to-market and imply rigorous Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that must be met under challenging conditions. For example, in the retail world, sales revenue depends on the system remaining highly responsive—even under the heavy load of Black Friday, a flash sale, or during unexpected failures.

Development organizations must satisfy these requirements while avoiding schedule and cost overruns. When deployed, cloud expenses must be predictable. The following sections describe how Lightbend Technologies can help you meet these goals during development and deployment—​throughout the system’s lifecycle.

Avoid development delays and overruns

A variety of factors from project staffing to methodology and architecture can contribute to delays and overruns. According to The Enterprisers Project new tab, "Staffing your digital transformation is an enormous challenge." People with the skills required to successfully design and build cloud systems are scarce and in high demand.

Because Reactive characteristics are built-in to Lightbend products, all developers can build highly-reliable elastic systems, reducing the need for specialists. For example:

  • Akka Platform provides an operationally robust platform for Reactive Microservices with clustering and self-healing capabilities.

  • Akka Cloud Platform takes that further by providing deployment and management tooling for AWS and GCP.

  • Akka Serverless doesn’t require developers to know how to use Akka or how to deploy in the cloud but delivers Reactive benefits.

Because of the complexities involved in digital transformation, many organizations have tried to simply move their existing applications to the cloud. Experience has shown the lift and shift new tab approach to be largely ineffective: legacy applications were simply not designed to take advantage of modern cloud environments.

Organizations rarely have the opportunity to redo all of their systems from the bottom up. Integration between new functionality and legacy systems can consume costly development resources that could be more productively engaged adding business value. Again, Lightbend technologies can help:

  • Akka Platform includes components to simplify integration using HTTP, gRPC, real-time streaming with Akka Streams new tab, Alpakka connectors new tab, and message broker integrations with Kafka.

  • Akka Data Pipelines handles the low-level boilerplate necessary to connect and manage multiple data streams, allowing you to focus on capturing the business value for existing data streams by applying analytics and machine learning models.

  • Akka Serverless offers stateful serverless functions that you can use with a variety of programming languages, providing a way to interact with legacy systems.

The bottom line is that Lightbend technologies save developers from writing the low-level code necessary to ensure performant, resilient systems.

Avoid deployment disasters

Distributed systems require special data handling to ensure consistency. Kubernetes handles scalability and failover, but leaves the problem of rehydrating state to applications. This is more complicated when spanning clusters, regions, or data centers. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to test and remedy problems before they occur. Historically notorious outages show the dangers of deploying without preparing for uncertainty.

Lightbend products can help:

  • See the Akka Platform Guide new tab for information on how to build Reactive, self-healing microservices with Akka.

  • Akka Data Pipelines new tab offers backpressure, which prevents slower pieces of a streaming application from being overwhelmed.

  • Akka Serverless new tab provides a framework for handling state in the serverless model.

Once deployed, you need a way to predict and control expenses, especially when using cloud platforms such as AWS or GCP. The elasticity built into all Lightbend products ensures that your application will scale up and out to meet demand, but will scale back to save unnecessary resource usage.

Observing, managing, and troubleshooting distributed and streaming applications requires new techniques. Lightbend Telemetry new tab provides deep instrumentation for applications built with Akka. Telemetry integrates with open source solutions such as Prometheus and Elasticsearch, as well as with monitoring vendors such as New Relic and DataDog.

The Akka platform includes Grafana graph templates to help you get started. Find information about installing the Grafana graphs for Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) new tab, or Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) new tab.

In short, Lightbend products reduce the risks associated with deployment and management.

How to get started

To get started with Lightbend technologies, we recommend choosing one that both meets your use case and the profile of your development team:

  • If your team is comfortable working in Java or Scala, and you need a lot of flexibility in designing your system, you might want to start with the Akka Platform new tab.

  • If you don’t have a lot of Kubernetes expertise, Akka Cloud Platform and Akka Serverless provide good starting points.

  • If you need to work with streaming data and artificial intelligence, Akka Data Pipelines will give your team a head start.

  • If your team is already organized to create microservices using a variety of languages, Akka Serverless can relieve you of the need to manage infrastructure and databases.

See Getting Started for pointers to information and example applications that will help you evaluate and learn more about Lightbend technologies. To learn more about why our offerings can help you achieve your business goals:

Published: 2021-09-15 07:25:32 UTC