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Sharded Akka Application (example)

A simple implementation of akka sharding. This is a simulation of Conveyor Sorting Subsystem.

This repository serves as a support for my live-coding talk. You can look at slides on speakerdeck. There is also a blog post that you can use as a guide to create your own version. Please visit Scalability using Sharding from Akka Cluster.

Measuring requests per second

You can test both applications on your local machine by using:

  • ab - Apache HTTP server benchmarking tool,
  • parallel - GNU Parallel - The Command-Line Power Tool,
  • haproxy - fast and reliable http reverse proxy and load balancer,
  • provided URLs.txt for single-noded app,
  • provided shardedURLs.txt and haproxy.conf.

Akka configuration is capped so that we can simulate different conditions on commodity laptop.


Just run SingleNodedApp from your IDE or sbt runSingle and then:

cat src/main/resources/URLs.txt | parallel -j 5 'ab -ql -n 2000 -c 1 -k {}' | grep 'Requests per second'


First build the application:

mvn clean package

This will build target/SortingDecider-1.0-SNAPSHOT-uber.jar. You will be able to run two nodes by overriding default values:

  • first node: java -jar target/SortingDecider-1.0-SNAPSHOT-uber.jar
  • second node: java -Dclustering.port=2552 -jar target/SortingDecider-1.0-SNAPSHOT-uber.jar

For benchmarking sharded application you need to use haproxy. Simple configuration for haproxy daemon can be found in resources dir. Run it with: ```haproxy -f src/main/resources/haproxy.conf````

This will set up a round-robing load balancer with frontend on port 8000 and backends on 8080 and 8081. You can then use different shardedURLs.txt file:

cat src/main/resources/shardedURLs.txt | parallel -j 5 'ab -ql -n 2000 -c 1 -k {}' | grep 'Requests per second'

Analysing results

To analyse results of requests per second measurements, please read Scalability Testing section in this blog post.


  • Please note that Akka's parallelism in this project is capped in order to test being low on resources. Look at both application.conf and sharded.conf.
  • The project uses a very unorthodox shard resolution function, which can return only two values (0 or 1). It is done purely for demonstration purposes. If you want to test scalability of more than 2 nodes, please change this function accordingly.


Simple demonstration of akka-cluster sharding functionality




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