SMACK - Potential Replacement for LAMP?
SMACK - Potential Replacement for LAMP?

Like many experts predicted years ago, software is consuming the business world now. Many leading businesses leverage powerful software to gain or extend their competitive edge. The cloud’s rising demand and open source’s domination complements business’ focus on optimizing business processes and maximizing productivity. They now ‘do more with less’. 

Open source technologies have been augmenting businesses consistently for years now, and open source development services still continue to rise with an expanding developer community. Of the most used open source technologies, the LAMP stack stands among the top 5. LAMP fueled innovation when it was demanded most, giving life to dynamic web experiences and interactivity. It transformed how digital information was generated, shared, and distributed.

But now with the growing influence of the cloud and powerful technologies like Artificial Intelligence, LAMP stack is silently starting to move away from the mainstream. However, open source still retains its influence and has brought forth a new wave of technology in the form of the SMACK stack.


The present era is all about processing and analyzing real-time data to gain deep insights that can potentially improve businesses in their digital transformation journey. The interaction between users and network-connected devices generate a large quantity of data, which can be analyzed for insights so as to create new opportunities. Modern applications that process this data come with built-in real-time big data.

To make such applications, today’s technology stack should meet a new set of requirements of a data-driven world with connected devices. The applications should be able to consume data at scale without loss. The SMACK stack can be used to build such applications. 

SMACK is essentially a loosely-coupled chain of proven, open source technologies.

  • S stands for Spark - A general data-processing engine that can process large amounts of data. You can enable analytics from SQL queries, and it also features machine learning, stream processing, and graph analytics capabilities.
  • M stands for Mesos - Mesos is the distributed systems kernel which acts as the foundation for other components in the stack. Mesos provides resourcing and isolation across all other components. 
  • A stands for Akka - Akka is the runtime tool to create distributed apps that are responsive to messages. 
  • C stands for Cassandra - Cassandra is the distributed database management system capable of handling huge amounts of data across servers.
  • K stands for Kafka - Apache Kafka is the high-throughput platform that handles real-time data feeds without loss. 

Spark, Kafka, and Cassandra are popular cloud-native technologies that complement apps powered by cutting-edge technologies like IoT, modern predictive analytics, and AI. Mesos can pool these services for the app, and can automate operations. 

Because the stack can meet the cloud age’s requirements, it’s outpaced LAMP stack itself, evident from a dwindling demand for LAMP development services. SMACK is agnostic to cloud service providers as well. An app running on AWS platform would have to always stick with that platform to be effective. But if the app is built using Kafka, it’d instead have hybrid cloud portability. 


LAMP’s arrival didn’t force the then traditional ERP and CRM systems to disappear altogether. It’d be the same with LAMP now that SMACK is gaining momentum. LAMP would still be there owing to the commercial champions backing it. However, in today’s age, SMACK is likely to take the trophy home as it facilitates the adoption of new distributed systems in a straightforward fashion. It could be the next big thing for the software development companies in Dubai.