A+ for effort

Azul Systems aims to lighten the load for DevOps in double release drop

Lucy Carey

Oracle alternative Java solutions provider announces updates to flagship open source JVM and OpenJDK Zing and Zulu.

  Java solutions wizards Azul Systems have stepped up their quest to empower DevOps teams with a double whammy of releases this week. Yesterday, the announced they announced the general availability of Zing runtime for Java 5.10, and followed up today with a new drop of Zulu 8.1.

Let’s start with a quick overview of Zing: a souped-up JVM which is available free to open source developers. Based on Oracle’s Hotspot, Zing is arguably the most advanced JVM around. It first hit the market in October 2010, garnering rave reviews for its zesty take on Java performance and scalability – in part due to its pauseless garbage collection capabilities.

Zing has now been updated to extend production support for new server-grade Amazon AWS instances, is certified for use in Big Data applications running Cloudera Enterprise 5, and provides Java developers and DevOps teams a shiny new set of compiler APIs and other cool bits to extend the functionality and scope of Azul’s ReadyNow!™ tech.

According to head honcho Scott Sellers, giving Java DevOps teams more autonomy over their Java apps has been a driving force in Zing 5.10’s design. As he puts it, “Our goal with this new Zing release is to give leading-edge Java DevOps teams the tools they need to monitor, control and tune the behavior of latency and throughput-sensitive Java applications.”

Like its Zingy stablemate, Zulu, launched earlier this year, is completely open source. With this commercialised and fully supported version of OpenJDK, Azul Systems aim to add diversity to Oracle’s monolithic domination of the Java enterprise space, adding more flexible cost plans, and support for up to ten years.

With 8.1, Azul have extended runtime to support Mac OS X, meaning that  Java devs now have a totally open solution for building applications on the Mac. This is a welcome addition to the pre-existing Linux and Windows support, and makes it simpler for developers to download and update their Java development and runtime environment.

Over new features include Debian (*.deb) installer packages for Ubuntu and Debian Linux families, available in addition to Zip-based packages. These can be accessed through the standard Apt-Get command. There’s also support for distribution of Zulu RPM packages via a Yum repository, and a revamped Microsoft Azure Web Platform Installer (WebPI). There has also been a series of updates, including bug and security fixes, for OpenJDK 8 and 7.

If you’d like to explore either of these solutions, existing Azul customers and partners can download Zing 5.10 from Azul’s Support portal, while prospective users and new ISV partners can access the Zing binaries via the Zing Trial page, located here. Developers working on open source projects can also gain access to free Zing subscriptions by sending an email to [email protected]. For access to Zulu, head on over here.
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