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Liberty 3 - 1 Day Workshop

Tuesday June 19th, 09:00-16:00

Understanding Akka Cluster Through Raspberry-Pi Cluster Visualization

About this Workshop

Understanding how to use Akka clusters effectively is well worth the effort. Ask anyone that “gets it.” In this workshop, we use a simple yet powerful visualization of a 5-node, RaspberryPi-based cluster to reveal the inner workings of Akka Cluster. In a matter of minutes, you will gain a strong understanding of clustering. To deepen your learning, you will use Azure’s Akka Stream library for Azure IoT Hub to read events and send commands to connected devices with asynchronous back pressure.

Required Knowledge

  • No prior knowledge of Akka is required, just an open mind and curiosity about learning Akka
  • No prior knowledge of cloud required (a quick review of the Azure IoT hub will give you a head start)
  • Clustering in-depth
  • Basic exposure to terminal / command line
  • Java 8, sbt, ability to clone git repo

Learning Objectives

Attendees leave with:

  • Understand Core Akka Clustering concepts:
    • Cluster node state (Down, Up, Weakly-up, Joining, …)
    • Leader Election and Leader role
    • Heartbeating, Gossip protocol, Failure detector
  • Understand what “Split Brain” means in the context of Clustering and the consequences of it occurring
  • Using the Akka Split Brain Resolver to avoid running into Cluster Split Brain occurrences
  • Run a sample clustered service and access it via a REST interface
  • Understand and explore Cinnamon based monitoring of a clustered service
  • Explore advanced Akka Clustering features such as Akka Cluster Sharding, Cluster Roles, Singleton, Distributed PubSub, Distributed Data, Backing Microservices with Akka Cluster
  • Understand how to connect IoT devices to an Cloud IoT infrastructure
  • Understand how to log and review data from IoT devices in the cloud
  • Understand how to send commands to cloud-connected IoT devices Understanding asynchronous back pressure in a cloud environment


Eric Loots
Consultant and Trainer, Lightbend, Inc.

Eric's a Scala & Akka champion, a global course instructor for Lightbend. Eric began programming in various machine languages some odd 35 years ago, subsequently passing via C and Java to Scala and Akka. Eric's glad with the coming of age of Reactive Systems and enjoys helping others learn to build them.

Kiki Carter
Principal Enterprise Architect, Lightbend, Inc.

I have a passion for leading enterprise transformations, creating innovative solutions using emerging technologies to modernize heritage environments. I find a certain joy developing large scale distributed systems using Reactive Principles, especially when building with Lightbend Reactive Platform - Akka and friends. I have slight Scala bias, but at least half of my time is spent with Java. I enjoy the benefits of broad industry experience having worked in entertainment, hospitality, retail, life science and others. I do play favorites, but you’ll have to ask on the right day. My personal passion project involves non-profit missions in anti human trafficking with focus on prevention and aftercare. For fun, I live “simultaneously” on different continents and wander all the earth and seas between.

Brian Benz
Sr. Cloud Developer Advocate, Microsoft

Brian Benz is based in Las Vegas, NV and works as a Senior Developer Advocate for Microsoft. The mission of his Cloud Developer Advocacy team is to win the hearts and minds of customers by creating a healthy developer ecosystem. He’s focused on showing the developer community how to get the best value out of the cloud with Microsoft Azure.

A prolific speaker and community builder, Brian has given talks at several conferences including Devoxx, Jenkins World, JavaOne, SpringOne, MongoDB Conferences, ChefConf, EclipseCon, Lucene / Solr Revolution, ApacheCon, Build, DevIntersection / Anglebrackets, LinuxFest Northwest, TechEd, OSCON, and numerous technology Meetups. Brian holds multiple certifications.