Smooth move Azul Systems

Zing let free to open source Java developers

Chris Mayer

For the radical Zing JVM to gain traction against the more seasoned options, an open source version was always on the cards. Now it’s here

Azul Systems, makers of the souped-up Zing JVM have pledged allegiance to Java’s development moving forward, releasing a free version to open source developers.

Arguably the most advanced JVM on the market  and based on Oracle’s Hotspot JVM, Zing became generally available in October 2010, garnering critical acclaim for its fresh new take on Java performance and scalability, in part due to offering pauseless garbage collection. Coming up to two years on from that date, now seems the ideal time to reach out to the community and show them the benefits of switching to the armour-plated Zing.

Over that time, the concept behind Zing has been pushed on further, aiming to become the number one JVM choice for Java developers. Alongside support for Ubuntu and becoming the first fully native JVM for Linux, April’s 5.2 released added in new management tools for controlling multiple Zing JVM instances. The latter is hugely important for making an enterprise charge, with business always looking for new ways to control numerous JVM instances easily.

The Zing JVM boasts key benefits over its rivals through its elastic scalable option, and now open source Java applications can take advantage of Zing’s offer of improved responsiveness and reduced latency. Other areas where Zing excels is through its support for large, in-memory data processing and how the heap reacts to real-time demand elastically. It is designed to thrive under hardship and make light work through normal runtimes. In turn, this makes Zing an ideal choice for obtaining analytics of your JVM performance.

This new initiative will allow open source developers the opportunity to put Zing through its paces, through their applications running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE, CentOS or Ubuntu Linux.

Already a member of the Java Community Process’s Executive Committee (who provide guidance and cast votes for Java innovation), this open source offer was a given if Azul Systems were to achieve leverage in a crowded space. Thankfully, they’ve already made enough of a splash with their unique JVM solution, so seem ideally placed to further pick-up rate.

“Our goal is to make Zing the de facto choice for Open Source developers to achieve the most consistent Java performance and scalability,” said Scott Sellers, Azul Systems president and CEO. “Azul’s development teams have made extensive use of Open Source technologies over the years, and our new Open Source development initiative is another example of our commitment to the Java community and embracing Open Source software. We have put the lowest–latency and most scalable JVM freely into the hands of Open Source developers, removing the bottlenecks commonly associated with the Java runtime and enabling application innovation in a plethora of new markets such as in-memory computing and Big Data analytics.”

They’ve certainly been noticed by some of the best experts in the industry, with Zing becoming the obvious choice for advanced applications

“As developers have become increasingly important in adoption and procurement patterns over the past decade, availability has become a key factor in overall technology usage,” said Stephen O’Grady, Principal Analyst at RedMonk. “With this announcement, Azul is trying to make it easy for open source developers to leverage and incorporate the Zing JVM.”

“Programming and architectural approaches that leverage immutability to enhance concurrency and scale will be well-matched by a runtime that is able to support high continual allocation rates without disruptions or pauses. By making the Zing JVM available to Open Source developers, Azul is making a fantastic contribution to the community,” said Rich Hickey, author of Clojure and designer of the Datomic database system.

We salute Azul Systems’s Zing for bringing a new perspective to what a JVM can do, and that they are seeking to facilitate change through the JCP. If you’re looking to handle large heaps and heavy loads, the free version of Zing might just be for you.

Developers who are interested in using the Zing JVM should e-mail Azul Systems directly (zing_oss [at] Check out the forum , a bug-reporting tool , and a FAQ for more info on Zing itself.

Keep your eyes peeled for an exclusive interview with Azul Systems CTO and co-founder Gil Tene next week – we’ll be talking garbage collection, recent Java developments and where Azul Systems are heading in the future.

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