Production Overview

§Running Lagom in production

Lagom can be set up to work with most production environments, ranging from basic, manual deployments on physical servers to fully-managed service orchestration platforms such as Kubernetes and Mesosphere DC/OS. The core APIs in Lagom are independent of any particular deployment platform. Where Lagom does need to interface with the environment, it provides extensible plugin points that allow you to configure your services for production without requiring changes to your service implementation code.

Lightbend Orchestration is an open-source suite of tools that helps you deploy Lagom services to Kubernetes and DC/OS. It provides an easy way to create Docker images for your applications and introduces an automated process for generating Kubernetes and DC/OS resource and configuration files for you from those images. This process helps reduce the friction between development and operations. If you are using Kubernetes or DC/OS, or interested in trying one of these platforms, we encourage you to read the Lightbend Orchestration documentation to understand how to use it with Lagom and other components of the Lightbend Platform.

If you are not using Kubernetes or DC/OS, you must configure your services in a way that suits your production environment. The following information provides an overview of production considerations that apply to any environment.

§Production considerations

The production environment determines the methods for packaging your services, managing Akka Cluster formation, and providing service location, including that for Cassandra and Kafka:

  • When using sbt builds, Lagom leverages the open-source sbt-native-packager plugin to produce packages:

    • By default, sbt produces standalone “universal” zip archives containing the compiled service, all of its dependencies, and a start script. These have no special infrastructure requirements and can be unzipped and run just about anywhere that supports Java. However, this includes no built-in facility for process monitoring and recovering from crashes, so for a resilient production environment, you’ll need to provide this another way.

    • Lightbend Orchestration automatically configures sbt-native-packager to build and publish Docker images that can be used with Kubernetes, DC/OS, or any other Docker-compatible production environment.

    • Otherwise, you can configure sbt-native-packager to produce other archive formats, Windows (MSI) installers, Linux packages in Debian or RPM format and more.

  • Maven has a variety of plugins to produce artifacts for various platforms:

    • The Maven Assembly Plugin can be used to build archives in zip, tar and other similar formats.

    • The Docker Maven Plugin is recommended for building Docker images. Maven support in Lightbend Orchestration is currently under development.

    • Other Maven packaging plugins in varying states of maturity are available from the MojoHaus Project.

  • At runtime, services need to locate the addresses of other services to communicate with them. This requires you to configure an implementation of a ServiceLocator that Lagom uses to look up the addresses of services by their names. The production environment you choose might provide a service discovery mechanism that you can use with Lagom.

  • Services that require an Akka Cluster (which includes any that use the Lagom Persistence or Publish-Subscribe APIs) must have a strategy for forming a cluster or joining an existing cluster on startup.

    • If you don’t use a service orchestration platform and can determine the addresses of some of your nodes in advance of deploying them, Akka Cluster can be configured manually by listing the addresses of seed nodes in the service configuration.

    • Lightbend Orchestration includes open-source support for automatic Akka Cluster formation on Kubernetes or DC/OS.

    • Otherwise, you can use the open-source Akka Cluster Bootstrap extension for integration with other service discovery infrastructure, or write your own programmatic cluster formation implementation. See the Lagom Cluster documentation for more information.

  • Lagom’s Cassandra module comes out of the box ready to locate your Cassandra cluster using the service locator. This means Lagom considers Cassandra like any other external service it may need to locate. If your production environment requires it, you can also choose to bypass the service locator by providing Cassandra contact points directly in the service configuration, as described in the section below.

  • Similarly, Lagom’s Kafka integration uses the service locator by default to look up bootstrap servers for the Kafka client. This can also be overridden to specify a list of brokers in the service configuration. See the Lagom Kafka Client documentation for more information.

§Using static Cassandra contact points

If you want to use dynamic service location for your services but need to statically locate Cassandra, modify the application.conf for your service. You will need to disable Lagom’s ConfigSessionProvider and fall back to the one provided in akka-persistence-cassandra, which uses the list of endpoints listed in contact-points. The application.conf settings will be applied in all environments (development and production) unless overridden. See developer mode settings on overriding Cassandra setup in Dev Mode for more information on settings up Cassandra in dev mode.

To set up static Cassandra contact-points and disable ConfigSessionProvider, modify the following sections of the application.conf file:

cassandra.default {
  ## list the contact points  here
  contact-points = ["", ""]
  ## override Lagom’s ServiceLocator-based ConfigSessionProvider
  session-provider = akka.persistence.cassandra.ConfigSessionProvider

cassandra-journal {
  contact-points = ${}
  session-provider = ${cassandra.default.session-provider}

cassandra-snapshot-store {
  contact-points = ${}
  session-provider = ${cassandra.default.session-provider}
} {
  contact-points = ${}
  session-provider = ${cassandra.default.session-provider}

§Using static values for services and Cassandra

You can deploy Lagom systems to static locations by using static configuration. When using static service location, you can also hardcode Cassandra locations. To achieve this, follow these steps:

  1. Specify service locations in application.conf.
  2. Bind the ConfigurationServiceLocator in your Guice module.
  3. Optionally add Cassandra locations in application.conf.

The ConfigurationServiceLocator reads the service locator configuration from Lagom’s application.conf file. Here is an example that specifies static locations for two Lagom services: {
  serviceA = ""
  serviceB = ""

To instruct Lagom to use the ConfigurationServiceLocator, you need to bind it to the ServiceLocator class in your Guice module. Of course, you don’t have to configure a separate module, this configuration can be added to your existing Guice module. Since Lagom already provides a service locator in dev mode, you will likely only want to bind this when Lagom is in production mode. Play supports passing its Environment and Configuration objects to module constructors, so you’ll need to add those to your module:

import com.lightbend.lagom.javadsl.api.ServiceLocator;
import com.lightbend.lagom.javadsl.client.ConfigurationServiceLocator;
import play.Environment;
import com.typesafe.config.Config;

public class ConfigurationServiceLocatorModule extends AbstractModule {

  private final Environment environment;
  private final Config config;

  public ConfigurationServiceLocatorModule(Environment environment, Config config) {
    this.environment = environment;
    this.config = config;

  protected void configure() {
    if (environment.isProd()) {

To hardcode the Cassandra contact points when using a static service locator, add the following to the application.conf file: {
  cas_native = "tcp://"

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