Lightbend Launches Kalix, A Revolutionary Approach to Simplifying Cloud-Based App Development for Global Teams
Lightbend, the company providing cloud-native microservice frameworks for some of the world’s largest brands, announced the launch of Kalix, a unique, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering that delivers a new programming model and holistic Developer Experience (DX) designed specifically for the cloud and edge. By doing so, Kalix serves as the next stage in the evolution of serverless computing. Kalix works in concert with underlying cloud infrastructure in maintaining application properties and requirements on behalf of its users, enabling developers to use the skills they already have to build mission-critical, stateful applications in a serverless architecture.
“Complexity in the cloud ecosystem is slowing down engineering and development teams,” said Jonas Bonér, Lightbend’s founder and CEO. “Kubernetes does an excellent job managing, orchestrating, and ensuring availability and scalability of containers, but that’s only half the story. ”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. Kalix is the solution to this critical issue.”
With the current serverless model, application developers are left with many different SDKs and APIs that need to be learned. Each brings its own feature set, semantics, guarantees, and limitations. Creating an integration project and a new bag of challenges to maintain—end-to-end correctness, data integrity, and consistency, ensuring efficiency, scalability, and availability of the system as a whole—is all very difficult and often beyond the capabilities of many developers.
In contrast, Kalix is a dramatic advancement both over the existing serverless model and in abstracting complexity, as it provides a unifying application layer that pulls together the necessary pieces—including databases, message brokers, caches, services meshes, API gateways, blob storages, CDN networks, CI/CD products, etc.—and exposes them into one single unified programming model and DX, tailored for the cloud and edge. This includes a programming model with well-defined and thought-through holistic semantics, ensuring end-to-end guarantees and SLAs. Kalix and its Serverless DX lets developers focus on the essence of value creation: building direct end-user and business value that leaves us with a coherent, understandable, predictable, and maintainable system, all managed from the cloud.
“Even in the midst of the cloud revolution, substantial amounts of enterprise workloads have yet to migrate to the cloud,” said William Fellows, founder, and Research Director, Cloud Native for 451 Research. “The simple truth is most enterprise development teams do not have the skill set required to build mission-critical applications leveraging Kubernetes. “For true mission-critical applications to become common in the cloud, new platforms that abstract the complexity are required. Kalix is doing just that.”
There are many roadblocks preventing organizations from being able to fully embrace the value of what cloud infrastructure can provide, including:
- Managing local and distributed application data with consistency and integrity
- Managing local and distributed workflow, communication, and coordination
- Managing client context and communication
- Maintaining business rules and operational semantics of the application as a whole
- Ensuring intelligent and adaptive co-location of data, compute, and end-user
- Integration with other systems
Kalix removes the need for developers to concern themselves about any of these things. Kalix is a fully managed PaaS for building event-driven, data-centric, real-time, cloud-native applications. It’s a complete developer and zero-ops experience from start to finish. Developers never have to care about any underlying infrastructure, including databases, message brokers, caches, service meshes, and API gateways. It provides “vertical integration” and extends serverless by being “databaseless,” reducing complexity and time-to-market immensely. Since Kalix manages all services and underlying infrastructure pieces in the system end-to-end, it can look across them all in a holistic way, learning how they operate collectively and optimizing things at a system level (instead of at the individual service or infrastructure component level).
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