Lightbend’s Cloudstate Builds on Akka to Offer Stateful Serverless

Lightbend’s Cloudstate Builds on Akka to Offer Stateful Serverless

Akka creator & Lightbend CTO Jonas Bonér talks about challenges of bringing state to serverless, reactive microservices frameworks and Cloudstate itself.

Serverless computing is getting a hand from an unlikely source: The Java community. Or more specifically, from the Akka distributed messaging toolkit.

In many ways, serverless has grown beyond its initial use case of running small batch jobs. The industry has found that in many workloads, such as Web sessions, some sort of state must be maintained, even if only temporarily. To this end, reactive microservices framework provider Lightbend has devised an architecture, called Cloudstate to bring distributed stateful data retention to function-as-a-serverless (FaaS) and other serverless tasks. It is built on Akka clusters, which offers distributed resilient messaging through peer-to-peer communications with agents/sidecars attached to each function.

In this episode of The New Stack Context podcast, we speak with Jonas Bonér, Akka creator and founder/chief technology officer of Lightbend, about the challenges of bringing state to serverless, reactive microservices frameworks, and Cloudstate itself. TNS editorial and marketing director Libby Clark hosts this episode, with the help of TNS managing editor Joab Jackson.

The New Stack: Context · Episode 136: Lightbend’s Cloudstate Builds on Akka to Offer Stateful Serverless

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Roughly speaking, “State” is all the operational data you need to get an application, or application setting, to keep it running until completion. The traditional model for keeping state often involves a database, which is a weak answer for today’s workloads for two reasons: Communications with a backend database is way too slow, and relational databases can’t be easily used to track versioning, or how data gets updated.

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