Lightbend launches Kalix application layer to simplify serverless and cloud-native development

Lightbend launches Kalix application layer to simplify serverless and cloud-native development

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Lightbend Inc. is making it easier for developers to build cloud-native applications with the launch today of Kalix, a new platform-as-a-service that serves as a unifying application layer in concert with the underlying serverless cloud infrastructure of modern applications.

Lightbend, which has until now focused on tools that make serverless infrastructure viable for different kinds of applications, said developers require an additional “application layer” that’s able to maintain an app’s properties and requirements on behalf of its users.

With Lightbend’s serverless tools, developers can build and run their apps without having to manage the underlying infrastructure. It has numerous benefits, the most important being that developers can spend more of their time writing code. Serverless architectures are inherently scalable too, since they enable faster application updates and often the costs are less as developers are only charged for the compute resources they actually use.

However, as Lightbend explains, developers still have a lot of work to do even with serverless architecture. They must learn the role of multiple different software development kits and application programming interfaces that come with their own feature sets, semantics, guarantees and limitations. Integrating these SDKs and APIs creates even more challenges around end-to-end correctness, data integrity and consistency that are often beyond the capabilities of many developers.

451 Research founder and Research Director William Fellows said it’s because of these challenges that a substantial number of enterprise workloads that have never migrated to the cloud

“The simple truth is most enterprise development teams do not have the skill set required to build mission-critical applications leveraging Kubernetes,” he said. “For true mission-critical applications to become common in the cloud, new platforms that abstract the complexity are required.”

This is exactly what Lightbend intends to do with Kalix. It serves as a unifying application layer that pulls together all of the various components applications need, including databases, message brokers, service meshes, API gateways, Blob storage, content delivery networks and more into a single unified model that’s tailor-made for the cloud and the edge.

It means developers don’t have to concern themselves with tasks such as managing local and distributed application data, workflows and communications, or maintaining their app’s business rules and operational semantics. Included is a programming model that Lightbend says will ensure end-to-end guarantees and service level agreements. Developers are then free to focus on building out the features within their applications.

Kalix provides what Lightbend says is “vertical integration,” thereby extending serverless to become “databaseless” as well, and massively reducing complexity for developers.

“Kubernetes does an excellent job of managing, orchestrating and ensuring availability and scaling of containers, but that’s only half the story,” said Lightbend founder and Chief Executive Jonas Bonér. ”There needs to be an equal investment in the application layer to make it easier for the developer to build complete applications that take full advantage of all the excellent underlying cloud infrastructure we have at our disposal.”

Image: Lightbend

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