New JVM Specially Designed for Linux

Java runtime maker Azul Systems released a new Java Virtual Machine (JVM) today specifically architected and optimized for the Linux operating system and x86-based servers. The company is billing Zing 5.0, now available, as the most scalable JVM for enterprise Java workloads.

"Java is the most popular language in the enterprise," said Azul co-founder and CEO Scott Sellers, "and Linux is the most popular operating system. Instead of trying to create a JVM that does all things for all operating environments, as Oracle (and previously, Sun) has done, we decided to get laser focused on developing the best JVM for Linux."

The company's flagship product, Zing, is a 100 percent Java-compatible JVM based on Oracle's HotSpot. For version 5.0, the company took the Zing codebase and re-architected it for Linux. By exploiting the abundant physical resources of modern x86 servers running Linux, this version can support very high memory allocation rates; the company claims it is the only JVM that supports application instances exceeding 512 gigabytes of memory with pauseless operation.  

That ability to provide pauseless execution is a key capability in this release, said Sellers. Azul has long targeted what Sellers called the Achilles heel of Java: Garbage Collection (GC). Mitigating the impact of GC is a long-standing challenge for Java developers. The new version of the company's flagship product is designed to eliminate GC pauses, which limit scalability, enabling Java app instances to scale dynamically and reliably to dozens of CPU cores and hundreds of gigabytes of memory. Azul calls this "generational pauseless garbage collection (GPGC)."

Industry analyst John Abbott of The 451 Group lauded the company's effort to create a JVM that leverages commodity x86 servers to take on scalability issues for enterprise Java workloads.

"The Zing JVM could help solve the scalability problems that have held back Java for the past 15 years," Abbot said in a statement. "It's likely to prove a visible and important contribution to the success of enterprise Java deployments and mission-critical Linux-based applications."

Zing 5.0 also builds on Azul's focus on infrastructure elasticity; individual instances of the JVM can automatically scale up and down memory and CPU resources. And it provides deep Java application visibility in production with an always-on diagnostic and monitoring tool designed to shorten app dev lifecycles.

Zing 5.0 is generally available now. A trial copy is available here.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].