production Java

howard green

Production Java Support

Howard Green, VP Marketing, Azul Systems, says:

For most people whose responsibilities cover either Development or Operations, their perception is that Java is free, and not a line item in their software or data center budgets. However, there can be real costs associated with Java, and the production Java support landscape is shifting, even as Java’s popularity continues to grow.

You may recall that downloading Java is simple, painless, and free, from Oracle’s Web site. What is less clear is that older releases of Java (after their end of life) are only available (or supported) via a contract with Oracle. This wasn’t too disruptive for enterprises running very old versions of Java, like versions 1.4 or 1.5. However, when Java 6 reached its end of life last February things became a bit more complicated – and in some cases – painful.

Support contracts continued to be made available for Java 6 – but from a single vendor. This greatly reduced the leverage that data center managers and their colleagues in Purchasing and Vendor Management had when they needed to add support for their servers running production applications written in Java 6. The choice was simple – pay for Java 6 support — or migrate to Java 7. And in some cases, enterprises discovered that they were now expected to pay for Java 7 support.

In January of 2014, Azul Systems launched Zulu, a completely free and Open Source build of OpenJDK, with support on multiple Linux distros as well as Windows desktop and server editions. Zulu is designed to be fully compatible with Oracle’s Hotspot, and supports Java 6 and Java 7, with Java 8 support planned for the Spring of 2014.

Zulu is free, and Azul also offers Zulu Enterprise – full, 24 x 7 x 365 support plans that are designed to meet the needs of the enterprise. Azul’s enterprise support offers quarterly updates as well as out-of-release-cycle updates due to critical bugfixes or security patches. Zulu Enterprise is designed to be cost-effective, with simple pricing plans based upon the number of servers running Zulu.

Beyond its enterprise-grade support plans, Azul has also developed an innovative new service that helps protect production systems and reduce testing and QA costs. This new service is called Application Guard. The Application Guard option allows customers to specify a specific OS rev, kernel, and version of Java (the platform you have in production) and add it to Azul’s standard QA and Test cycle. For each build of the Zulu JVM, Azul’s customers receive a certificate confirming that their target configuration runs without errors – and will continue to be supported for up to 10 years.

Azul Systems has been supporting Java-based systems for over 10 years, in some of the industry’s most demanding environments. As the only company 100% focused on Java and the JVM, along with multiple JVM development teams Azul has built a globally distributed, highly capable Support organization that is solely focused on keeping Java-based systems running. This team stands behind every installation of Zulu Enterprise.

Choosing a support partner can be a difficult decision.  There are many criteria that are in play – pricing, overall service quality, vendor reputation as well as numerous intangibles. Today, you finally have a choice in Java support for your operation and your data centers – Zulu Enterprise from Azul Systems.

Howard Green,
Vice President of Marketing Azul Systems

Howard brings more than 20 years of experience in marketing, public relations, and business development at Silicon Valley-based hardware and software companies, and provides Marketing leadership for Azul Systems.