Frequently asked questions

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What is Akka Serverless?

Akka Serverless is a stateful serverless Platform-as-a-Service where the data your service needs is injected as needed in real-time. Akka Serverless combines the scalability and cost benefits of serverless infrastructure with the data management and responsiveness of stateful services. This adds up to one managed, cloud-based environment.

What are examples of Akka Serverless use cases?

Any use case requiring high throughput and low latency processing of data is solved efficiently with Akka Serverless. Some examples include:

  • IoT platforms

  • Real-time financial serviceAfews

  • Modern eCommerce systems

  • Streaming media

  • Internet-based gaming

  • Factory automation

  • Telemedicine

  • Chatbots

How is Akka Serverless different from other serverless offerings?

When building and managing services, developers typically need to manage several layers under the logic. For example, components such as databases, caches, and message brokers must be configured and maintained. When services must be highly scalable, low latency, and stateful the task becomes incredibly difficult and cumbersome. With Akka Serverless, integrated building blocks allow the developer to focus in on innovative business logic while Akka Serverless manages the backend. Akka Serverless gives EVERY developer the power to efficiently build robust services that scale up and down as needed.

What are the key benefits of Akka Serverless?

  • Full focus on business logic–eliminates time spent setting up back-end / guides best practices approach

  • No additional infrastructure that slows down velocity and adds to technical debt accumulation is required

  • Flexible way to drive performance while keeping costs (infrastructure & operational) to a minimum

  • Any developer can use–no special skills required

  • No stateful limitations like with “traditional” Function-as-a-Service platforms

  • Distributed teams–teams can work seamlessly together regardless of location

What makes Akka Serverless unique?

  • 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.

  • Unlike traditional Function-as-a-Service platforms, Akka Serverless offers tightly integrated building blocks that developers don’t have to assemble themselves in order to build stateful services and APIs.

  • Unlike existing stateful serverless platforms, Akka Serverless offers a wide range of data modeling and persistence options (like Event Sourcing and CRDTs) so developers can choose what fits their use case best.

What are the business benefits?

In one sentence: "High performance and very low latency in an extremely cost-efficient manner with no database required"

In a few more words, with Akka Serverless, companies can:

  • Provide higher agility to ever changing market demands: Legacy infrastructure and architectures make it very expensive to deliver scalable solutions quickly. Akka Serverless let’s you circumvent all those technical limitations.

  • Increase the speed to innovation: Distributed compute and data have long been purview of expert engineers proficient in narrow scope of programming languages. Akka Serverless makes building these kinds of applications straight-forward in languages you already know and use.

  • Lower infrastructure costs: Scalable cloud architectures are difficult to operate, require large teams of costly resources and run significant risk of unexpected budget overages. Akka Serverless will charge for what you use, not what you might need (when generally available).

What are the benefits for developers?

  • Any developer can get going in 5 minutes or less

  • Developers can use the language, framework and IDE of their choice

  • No database set up or maintenance

  • No maintenance

  • Model domain objects in code, not in database tables

Is Akka Serverless good for large scale systems?

Yes! Akka Serverless is a single globally distributed state model. Teams anywhere in the world can work in their own system, with their own languages and tools using the same state models.

Does Akka Serverless leverage reactive architecture?

Akka Serverless leverages the proven Akka 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.

What languages are supported?

Akka Serverless supports, among other languages, Scala, Java, JavaScript, and TypeScript. For a detailed overview of supported languages see Supported Languages.

Free Trial Accounts

Who can sign up for a trial?

We know that you want to "try before you buy" so everyone can sign up for a free trial! Whether you’re a back-end developer, an architect, a serverless expert, or have a completely different role you can sign up for Akka Serverless. The only thing we ask is that you sign up with your company email address (we promise we won’t spam you or try to sell you anything). Your trial is completely free, we give you a certain amount of credits, and if you run out drop us an email at akkaserverless-support@lightbend.com to request more and extend your trial.

Are there any limits to what I can deploy?

All services are limited to a maximum of 10 instances. This will limit the requests per second (rps) for the services. The maximum rps is dependent also on the type of service being created and the business logic implemented. While rps attainment of multiples of thousands is possible, even within the constraint of the 10 instances, generally hundreds of requests per second should be expected. To support more scale, this limit can be increased via a support request.

All projects on Akka Serverless are limited to a maximum data storage size of 2TB. If you anticipate having more than 500GB of data in one project, please contact us us at akkaserverless-support@lightbend.com so that we can help optimize your data storage and performance. Changes are dependent on use case and business priority.

How does Akka Serverless work within my stack and integrate with my other applications?

Akka Serverless leverages Protocol Buffers as the description of the API. Using these Protocol Buffers, you can generate code to call services on Akka Serverless. Akka Serverless also supports adding HTTP endpoints to your service so you can use RESTful invocations. Calling other services from Akka Serverless works in the same way you normally would.

Does Akka Serverless work with other Akka offerings such as Akka Platform, Akka Cloud Platform and Akka Data Pipelines?

Absolutely! Ever since the first line of code of Akka itself, we believed strongly in interconnectivity. Services you build for Akka Serverless use the same type of API definitions you can use for the other products. Using those API definitions you can connect Akka Serverless to, for example, Akka Data Pipelines or vice versa.

How does Akka Serverless relate to Akka Platform?

Akka Serverless leverages the reactive architecture of Akka Platform, though Akka Serverless isn’t meant as a replacement or managed version of Akka. With Akka Serverless we want to lower the barrier to adopt Akka technology to build highly scalable applications using the programming language that the developer chooses.

How does Akka Serverless ensure my data is secure?

In order to create the most secure environment possible, each project that you create on Akka Serverless gets a unique namespace. Using a namespace allows Akka Serverless to limit traffic to only the services that you expose to the outside world. We also leverage our Cloud Providers' features to keep your data secure.

All data stored by Akka Serverless is encrypted at rest; this includes, but is not limited to:

  • Service state.

  • Information about projects, services, and users.

  • Deployment configuration such as environment variables and Docker credentials.

Encryption is done using AES256, with a FIPS 140-2 validated[1] module of the cryptographic library 'Tink'.

For a more detailed overview of encryption and key management in Google Cloud products see Encryption at rest in Google Cloud.

Will Akka Serverless meet my company security standards?

We take data security and privacy very seriously. If you have any specific questions on this topic, please contact us.

When will Akka Serverless be generally available?

GA is currently planned for later 2021.

What if I have additional questions or want to provide feedback?