Azul Systems Brings OpenJDK to Docker To Boost Java Performance Across On-Premises, Cloud and VMs
Azul Systems is shipping a version of its Zulu 100% open source, binary distribution of the OpenJDK 8 platform that works with Docker container technology. Azul’s Zulu 8 on Docker can improve performance and throughput of Java 6, 7 or 8 applications because it enables them to be configured for easy deployment across the most common Linux server platforms. IDN speaks with Azul CEO Scott Sellers.
by Vance McCarthy
"With Zulu, Azul is shipping the first standards-compliant, freely redistributable Java SE 8 container on Docker."
Azul Systems is shipping a version of its Zulu 100% open source, binary distribution of the OpenJDK 8 platform that works with Docker container technology. Zulu on Docker enables Java 6, 7 or 8 applications to be configured for easy deployment across the most common Linux server platforms
Azul’s Zulu comes to market as enterprise customers continue to look for effective ways to deliver more throughput, more performance and lower latency for their applications, especially legacy Java apps, Azul CEO Scott Sellers told IDN. With Zulu, Azul is shipping the first standards-compliant, freely redistributable Java SE 8 container on Docker,” Sellers said. The release of Zulu on Docker comes as the Linux-based container technology is also taking off.
“The rapid rise of Docker as a new and lightweight form of virtualization is catching a lot of attention. Some of our very large customers are looking to replace their [virtual] infrastructure with Docker. So, that was a wake-up call,” Sellers said. “Believe it. Docker is happening, even in large enterprises.”
Raw numbers confirm Docker’s sky-high popularity – 23 million downloads during the last quarter and support for more than 12,000-13,000 apps. One analyst says Docker’s popularity will continue to rise. “Docker and containerization are taking the enterprise IT world by storm as a better way to package, deploy and move applications,” Jay Lyman, 451 Research’s senior analyst for enterprise software said in a statement.
Docker, which looks to accelerate development and deployment of distributed applications, has been gaining momentum for several reasons, Sellers noted. Among them:
- The Docker container technology is a more lightweight approach than running applications inside full-blown virtual machines. The Docker containers support consolidation of multiple workloads (using one or more servers) despite their light weight. Consequently, Docker is changing how both cloud and on-premises applications are delivered, run and managed, he said.
- Docker has an open source technology and pricing approach. Wikipedia describes the Docker open-source project this way: “Docker . . . automates the deployment of applications inside software containers, by providing an additional layer of abstraction and automation of operating system–level virtualization on Linux Under the covers, Docker uses Linux kernel resource isolation features (e.g., cgroups, kernel namespaces, etc.) to allow independent “containers” to run within a single Linux instance. This avoids the overhead of starting virtual machines.”
- Docker just works. Docker solves configuration and deployment problems because, thanks to the container, Docker lets users configure once, and then deploy or redeploy, according to Sellers. Put another way: “Docker is different than a virtual machine in the sense it hides the app from the underlying infrastructure. It doesn’t require a hypervisor. You can start a Docker container as quickly as you can any other app,” he told IDN.
With Azul’s Zulu now set to play a bigger role for Docker, Sellers said the combination of the two technologies is set to be a force multiplier for application portability. Docker containers would wrap up the app software (and even backend services), allowing the “wrapped apps” to be easily given the infrastructure resources required, as needed, he said.
Sellers listed some key Zulu 8 on Docker features and benefits to programmers and DevOps:
- A no-charge, 100% open source version of OpenJDK, verified with the OpenJDK Java Compatibility Kit (JCK) for Java SE 8, 7, and 6. This means free access to a proven and certified Java development kit and runtime, based on the 100% open source OpenJDK, which can be freely redistributed to others via the Docker hub registry.
- Cloud-ready, out-of-the-box. Zulu works with Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, Rackspace, and other popular public and private clouds. It is also integrated with Microsoft OpenTech’s Azure plug-in for Eclipse Java tooling.
- Full support for virtualized deployments using VMware, Hyper-V and KVM (as well as within Docker containers).
- Zulu versions that are compliant with earlier Java SE 7 and Java SE 6 standards are also available on Docker in the same format.
- A fee-based commercial version with enterprise support options is available.
- Support for Java SE 8 on Docker is a step in the right direction, giving enterprise Docker users some of the security, stability and compliance assurances they expect.
Azul’s Zulu 8 on Docker is available as a free to download. For more information about Docker and Zulu Docker files, visit https://registry.hub.docker.com and search on the keyword Zulu.
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