Reactive Streams, Akka Streams and Akka HTTP

Audience: Architects, Developers

Technical level: Introductory

For many enterprises, the "big" in Big Data is less about the overall volume of data and much more about the need for speed in shuffling data around in real time. We use the term “Fast Data” to describe the trend that enabled this fundamental shift from "data at rest" to "data in motion” to happen. Our data used to be offline––now it's online. Today we can see three major trends driving data volumes, velocity and variety at unprecedented exploding levels that threaten traditional datacenters with a literal data deluge:

  • Internet of Things (IoT) Real-time, data-driven customer interaction solutions Real-time business insight platforms By 2020, Gartner estimates that over 20 billion connected devices will be online, and that getting business value from this new big data opportunity will be a $263 billion market.
  • One of the main drivers of this movement is Reactive Streams 1.0.0 for the JVM, an effort to define a standard for passing streams of data between threads in an asynchronous and non-blocking fashion. This is a common need in Reactive systems, in which the volume of streaming "live" data to process is not predetermined.
  • Engineers from Lightbend are among the founding members of the Reactive Streams initiative, with Akka Streams (which includes Akka HTTP) at the forefront of this paradigm shift to “data in motion”.
  • In this whitepaper by Lightbend, we introduce Architects to the concepts behind the Reactive Streams initiative and expose the inner workings and benefits of Akka Streams and Akka HTTP.

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About Lightbend

Lightbend (@Lightbend) is leading the enterprise transformation toward real-time, cloud-native applications. Lightbend Platform provides scalable, high-performance microservices frameworks and streaming engines for building data-centric systems that are optimized to run on cloud-native infrastructure. The most admired brands around the globe are transforming their businesses with Lightbend, engaging billions of users every day through software that is changing the world. For more information, visit lightbend.com.