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Alternatives to Akka

Spring, Scala, Kafka, Erlang, and Spring Boot are the most popular alternatives and competitors to Akka.
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What is Akka and what are its top alternatives?

Akka is a toolkit and runtime for building highly concurrent, distributed, and resilient message-driven applications on the JVM.
Akka is a tool in the Concurrency Frameworks category of a tech stack.
Akka is an open source tool with 11K GitHub stars and 3.3K GitHub forks. Here’s a link to Akka's open source repository on GitHub

Top Alternatives to Akka

Akka alternatives & related posts

related Spring posts

I've just finished my Masters degree and I am looking at routes into developing my Java knowledge.

The University I studied at requested that all practical Java assignments were done in Java Swing and as such I have a strong understanding in that area of development. Looking at job prospects, many employers are now looking for Java Spring or Android developers.

The plan is to move away from Java SE and skill up in Android development. I was planning on learning Spring Boot to gain exposure in web application development, however looking at StackShare, Django seems to be the more attractive choice for developers.

Does anyone have any advice on which routes/stacks would be the most advisable to adopt. If Spring is not receiving as much exposure or support as Django, is it worth adding to my stack?

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related Scala posts

Marc Bollinger
Marc Bollinger
Infra & Data Eng Manager at Thumbtack · | 4 upvotes · 307.7K views

Lumosity is home to the world's largest cognitive training database, a responsibility we take seriously. For most of the company's history, our analysis of user behavior and training data has been powered by an event stream--first a simple Node.js pub/sub app, then a heavyweight Ruby app with stronger durability. Both supported decent throughput and latency, but they lacked some major features supported by existing open-source alternatives: replaying existing messages (also lacking in most message queue-based solutions), scaling out many different readers for the same stream, the ability to leverage existing solutions for reading and writing, and possibly most importantly: the ability to hire someone externally who already had expertise.

We ultimately migrated to Kafka in early- to mid-2016, citing both industry trends in companies we'd talked to with similar durability and throughput needs, the extremely strong documentation and community. We pored over Kyle Kingsbury's Jepsen post (https://aphyr.com/posts/293-jepsen-Kafka), as well as Jay Kreps' follow-up (http://blog.empathybox.com/post/62279088548/a-few-notes-on-kafka-and-jepsen), talked at length with Confluent folks and community members, and still wound up running parallel systems for quite a long time, but ultimately, we've been very, very happy. Understanding the internals and proper levers takes some commitment, but it's taken very little maintenance once configured. Since then, the Confluent Platform community has grown and grown; we've gone from doing most development using custom Scala consumers and producers to being 60/40 Kafka Streams/Connects.

We originally looked into Storm / Heron , and we'd moved on from Redis pub/sub. Heron looks great, but we already had a programming model across services that was more akin to consuming a message consumers than required a topology of bolts, etc. Heron also had just come out while we were starting to migrate things, and the community momentum and direction of Kafka felt more substantial than the older Storm. If we were to start the process over again today, we might check out Pulsar , although the ecosystem is much younger.

To find out more, read our 2017 engineering blog post about the migration!

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Tobias Widmer
Tobias Widmer

Onedot is building an automated data preparation service using probabilistic and statistical methods including artificial intelligence (AI). From the beginning, having a stable foundation while at the same time being able to iterate quickly was very important to us. Due to the nature of compute workloads we face, the decision for a functional programming paradigm and a scalable cluster model was a no-brainer. We started playing with Apache Spark very early on, when the platform was still in its infancy. As a storage backend, we first used Cassandra, but found out that it was not the optimal choice for our workloads (lots of rather smallish datasets, data pipelines with considerable complexity, etc.). In the end, we migrated dataset storage to Amazon S3 which proved to be much more adequate to our case. In the frontend, we bet on more traditional frameworks like React/Redux.js, Blueprint and a number of common npm packages of our universe. Because of the very positive experience with Scala (in particular the ability to write things very expressively, use immutability across the board, etc.) we settled with TypeScript in the frontend. In our opinion, a very good decision. Nowadays, transpiling is a common thing, so we thought why not introduce the same type-safety and mathematical rigour to the user interface?

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related Kafka posts

Eric Colson
Eric Colson
Chief Algorithms Officer at Stitch Fix · | 19 upvotes · 1.3M views

The algorithms and data infrastructure at Stitch Fix is housed in #AWS. Data acquisition is split between events flowing through Kafka, and periodic snapshots of PostgreSQL DBs. We store data in an Amazon S3 based data warehouse. Apache Spark on Yarn is our tool of choice for data movement and #ETL. Because our storage layer (s3) is decoupled from our processing layer, we are able to scale our compute environment very elastically. We have several semi-permanent, autoscaling Yarn clusters running to serve our data processing needs. While the bulk of our compute infrastructure is dedicated to algorithmic processing, we also implemented Presto for adhoc queries and dashboards.

Beyond data movement and ETL, most #ML centric jobs (e.g. model training and execution) run in a similarly elastic environment as containers running Python and R code on Amazon EC2 Container Service clusters. The execution of batch jobs on top of ECS is managed by Flotilla, a service we built in house and open sourced (see https://github.com/stitchfix/flotilla-os).

At Stitch Fix, algorithmic integrations are pervasive across the business. We have dozens of data products actively integrated systems. That requires serving layer that is robust, agile, flexible, and allows for self-service. Models produced on Flotilla are packaged for deployment in production using Khan, another framework we've developed internally. Khan provides our data scientists the ability to quickly productionize those models they've developed with open source frameworks in Python 3 (e.g. PyTorch, sklearn), by automatically packaging them as Docker containers and deploying to Amazon ECS. This provides our data scientist a one-click method of getting from their algorithms to production. We then integrate those deployments into a service mesh, which allows us to A/B test various implementations in our product.

For more info:

#DataScience #DataStack #Data

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John Kodumal
John Kodumal
CTO at LaunchDarkly · | 16 upvotes · 923.9K views

As we've evolved or added additional infrastructure to our stack, we've biased towards managed services. Most new backing stores are Amazon RDS instances now. We do use self-managed PostgreSQL with TimescaleDB for time-series data—this is made HA with the use of Patroni and Consul.

We also use managed Amazon ElastiCache instances instead of spinning up Amazon EC2 instances to run Redis workloads, as well as shifting to Amazon Kinesis instead of Kafka.

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Erlang

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A programming language used to build massively scalable soft real-time systems with requirements on high availability
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related Erlang posts

Sebastian Gębski
Sebastian Gębski
CTO at Shedul/Fresha · | 8 upvotes · 83.6K views

Another major decision was to adopt Elixir and Phoenix Framework - the DX (Developer eXperience) is pretty similar to what we know from RoR, but this tech is running on the top of rock-solid Erlang platform which is powering planet-scale telecom solutions for 20+ years. So we're getting pretty much the best from both worlds: minimum friction & smart conventions that eliminate the excessive boilerplate AND highly concurrent EVM (Erlang's Virtual Machine) that makes all the scalability problems vanish. The transition was very smooth - none of Ruby developers we had decided to leave because of Elixir. What is more, we kept recruiting Ruby developers w/o any requirement regarding Elixir proficiency & we still were able to educate them internally in almost no time. Obviously Elixir comes with some more tools in the stack: Credo , Hex , AppSignal (required to properly monitor BEAM apps).

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Postmates built a tool called Bazaar that helps onboard new partners and handles several routine tasks, like nightly emails to merchants alerting them about items that are out of stock.

Since they ran Bazaar across multiple instances, the team needed to avoid sending multiple emails to their partners by obtaining lock across multiple hosts. To solve their challenge, they created and open sourced ConsulMutEx, and an Elixir module for acquiring and releasing locks with Consul and other backends.

It works with Consul’s KV store, as well as other backends, including ets, Erlang’s in-memory database.

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related Spring Boot posts

Praveen Mooli
Praveen Mooli
Engineering Manager at Taylor and Francis · | 13 upvotes · 1M views

We are in the process of building a modern content platform to deliver our content through various channels. We decided to go with Microservices architecture as we wanted scale. Microservice architecture style is an approach to developing an application as a suite of small independently deployable services built around specific business capabilities. You can gain modularity, extensive parallelism and cost-effective scaling by deploying services across many distributed servers. Microservices modularity facilitates independent updates/deployments, and helps to avoid single point of failure, which can help prevent large-scale outages. We also decided to use Event Driven Architecture pattern which is a popular distributed asynchronous architecture pattern used to produce highly scalable applications. The event-driven architecture is made up of highly decoupled, single-purpose event processing components that asynchronously receive and process events.

To build our #Backend capabilities we decided to use the following: 1. #Microservices - Java with Spring Boot , Node.js with ExpressJS and Python with Flask 2. #Eventsourcingframework - Amazon Kinesis , Amazon Kinesis Firehose , Amazon SNS , Amazon SQS, AWS Lambda 3. #Data - Amazon RDS , Amazon DynamoDB , Amazon S3 , MongoDB Atlas

To build #Webapps we decided to use Angular 2 with RxJS

#Devops - GitHub , Travis CI , Terraform , Docker , Serverless

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Since you said that your middleware will be accessing DB and expose API, you can go with Node.js. It will make your development fast and easy. Suppose in future you will add some business logic you can choose Java with Spring Boot or Python with Flask / Django. NOTE: Language or framework doesn't matter. Choose based on your programming knowledge.

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Apache Spark

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Fast and general engine for large-scale data processing
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Eric Colson
Eric Colson
Chief Algorithms Officer at Stitch Fix · | 19 upvotes · 1.3M views

The algorithms and data infrastructure at Stitch Fix is housed in #AWS. Data acquisition is split between events flowing through Kafka, and periodic snapshots of PostgreSQL DBs. We store data in an Amazon S3 based data warehouse. Apache Spark on Yarn is our tool of choice for data movement and #ETL. Because our storage layer (s3) is decoupled from our processing layer, we are able to scale our compute environment very elastically. We have several semi-permanent, autoscaling Yarn clusters running to serve our data processing needs. While the bulk of our compute infrastructure is dedicated to algorithmic processing, we also implemented Presto for adhoc queries and dashboards.

Beyond data movement and ETL, most #ML centric jobs (e.g. model training and execution) run in a similarly elastic environment as containers running Python and R code on Amazon EC2 Container Service clusters. The execution of batch jobs on top of ECS is managed by Flotilla, a service we built in house and open sourced (see https://github.com/stitchfix/flotilla-os).

At Stitch Fix, algorithmic integrations are pervasive across the business. We have dozens of data products actively integrated systems. That requires serving layer that is robust, agile, flexible, and allows for self-service. Models produced on Flotilla are packaged for deployment in production using Khan, another framework we've developed internally. Khan provides our data scientists the ability to quickly productionize those models they've developed with open source frameworks in Python 3 (e.g. PyTorch, sklearn), by automatically packaging them as Docker containers and deploying to Amazon ECS. This provides our data scientist a one-click method of getting from their algorithms to production. We then integrate those deployments into a service mesh, which allows us to A/B test various implementations in our product.

For more info:

#DataScience #DataStack #Data

See more
Conor Myhrvold
Conor Myhrvold
Tech Brand Mgr, Office of CTO at Uber · | 7 upvotes · 638.4K views

Why we built Marmaray, an open source generic data ingestion and dispersal framework and library for Apache Hadoop :

Built and designed by our Hadoop Platform team, Marmaray is a plug-in-based framework built on top of the Hadoop ecosystem. Users can add support to ingest data from any source and disperse to any sink leveraging the use of Apache Spark . The name, Marmaray, comes from a tunnel in Turkey connecting Europe and Asia. Similarly, we envisioned Marmaray within Uber as a pipeline connecting data from any source to any sink depending on customer preference:

https://eng.uber.com/marmaray-hadoop-ingestion-open-source/

(Direct GitHub repo: https://github.com/uber/marmaray Kafka Kafka Manager )

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Orleans

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An approach to building distributed applications in .NET
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Netty

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Asynchronous event-driven network application framework
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