How Kalix Increases Engineering Velocity
- The Kalix Team at Lightbend
- 1 Nov 2022,
- 5 minute read
There are several concepts and metrics in agile methodology that help executives better understand team performance and project health. Engineering velocity measures the amount of work completed in a given timeframe. In software development, efficient development is essential. Without it, we can deplete resources or release a bad product.
In agile development, increasing velocity is necessary to cope with frequent updates without degrading the high quality of the software. But to increase our engineering velocity, we need our software development life cycle (SDLC) and deployment pipeline to function effectively and efficiently.
So, in this article, we’ll explore how Kalix can help us increase our engineering velocity and release quality software more frequently and quickly.
Efficient Development Life Cycle with Kalix
Kalix is a platform as a service (PaaS) that eliminates complicated tasks, such as the need to manage infrastructure, databases, caching, and so on, so development and engineering teams can focus on innovation. Kalix provides robust and performant microservices-based APIs that handle these details so that we can focus on business logic instead of management and administration.
Kalix offers several features and capabilities that can help us speed up development and deployment. In the following sections, we’ll explore some of Kalix’s engineering velocity-boosting qualities and how they can benefit our teams.
As a platform as a service (PaaS), Kalix takes care of maintenance, updates, and provisioning. Kalix allows us to grow and scale at our own rate without worrying about having to manage or maintain infrastructure. Because we don’t need to perform these repetitive, time-consuming tasks ourselves, we can redirect our attention to efforts that increase our engineering velocity.
Kalix offers us flexibility when it comes to selecting how we define and access our data. We can choose between key-value, event sourcing, and conflict-free replicated data types (CRDTs), meaning we can choose how we manage our data that’s best suited to our needs.
In addition to offering flexibility in data access choices, Kalix ensures that we don’t have to create or manage the database. These tasks are handled by Kalix, which saves us a lot of development and configuration time. We no longer need to spend valuable time defining schemas, performing migrations, and maintaining the latest standard, as Kalix does that for us. This drastically shortens the development time and increases engineering velocity.
Today, the cloud is foundational in the scaling, load-balancing, and overall performance of applications. Cloud native applications are easy to scale and maintain. They’re also robust. Kalix builds on these capabilities by making cloud deployment seamless and easy with its powerful command line interface (CLI). With Kalix and Kalix CLI, we can deploy our first API by executing a single command—and Kalix manages the rest.
Kalix promotes and uses distributed computing, which dramatically improves efficiency and performance. Also, we don’t need to worry about distributed state management. Furthermore, built-in optimization means fewer hours spent agonizing about optimization. With Kalix, we need fewer resources to maintain our application’s quality, making our agile development faster and significantly increasing our engineering velocity.
DevOps plays a crucial role in determining engineering velocity. The less time and resources we spend on it, the greater the engineering velocity. Kalix supports DevOps practices by reducing setup and maintenance time. Furthermore, it supports various integrations with continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipelines.
Provisioning is challenging, and with traditional solutions, we have to scale our infrastructure to handle the traffic peaks. However, this solution often leads to over-provisioning and results in paying for unutilized capacity during non-peak times.
Kalix offers a pay-as-you-go structure, allowing us to buy and set up infrastructure as we scale. Auto-scaling solves the problem of over-provisioning by adjusting and paying for infrastructure capacity as needed.
Low Latency and a Zero Millisecond Start
Often, when we use a serverless configuration for our web application, it idles when the server isn’t serving a request. So, when a request does come, it takes the server some time to start up and fill the request. Known as a cold-start, this leads to latency and delays, which isn’t a good experience for end users.
However, Kalix delivers zero millisecond start times for our service —even if we don’t use pro-provisioned capacity. Our services are ready to go and start immediately. The APIs are always prepared for work, ensuring zero downtime for customers. Additionally, Kalix offers low latency processing of computational tasks, increasing the number of tasks we can complete in a given time.
When developing applications, the services or platforms we decide to use must support our language. Issues with language compatibility and team familiarity with new languages can significantly hinder our productivity and engineering velocity—which can then impact our ability to meet project goals.
Application security is paramount. One incident can ruin a smoothly running SDLC. Accordingly, many organizations spend a lot of resources and effort on security, which decreases engineering velocity.
However, with Kalix, we don’t need to worry about security. The data is secure in transit and at rest. Kalix offers integrated authentication support using JSON Web Tokens (JWT), an industry standard. Because Kalix handles security, we can be confident that our software is secure during each stage of development.
Having a high engineering velocity is critical to the success of web applications and other software. How many tasks we’re able to complete within a given timeframe defines our performance during a sprint, and it impacts the overall effectiveness of the SDLC.
Kalix’s features, including database abstraction, distributed computing, managed DevOps, multi-language support, and built-in security, enable us to develop more efficiently and increase our engineering velocity. It saves us time, as we don’t need to take care of complex, repetitive, or mundane management and maintenance tasks, and supports our development through its pay-as-you-go pricing model and provisioning support.
To learn more about how Lightbend and Kalix work together, explore the Kalix website or visit Lightbend.