Red Hat Releases Kubernetes-Native Java Framework

Red Hat announced this week the release of a Kubernetes-native Java framework called Quarkus.

Quarkus is a lightweight, high-performance framework designed to significantly reduce the footprint and latency of Java applications, specifically for cloud-native architectures such as microservices, containers and serverless.

Tailored for the GraalVM and HotSpot Java virtual machines (JVMs), Quarkus combines support for the imperative programming model with support for increasingly popular cloud native, event-driven, asynchronous and reactive models in the same platform, explained Jason Greene, Quarkus project co-founder and distinguished engineer at Red Hat, in a blog post, which allows organizations to continue to leverage their Java know-how.

Quarkus provides an effective solution for running Java in the new world of serverless, microservices, containers, Kubernetes, FaaS (Function-as-a-Service) and the cloud because it has been designed with these in mind, Greene wrote. "Its container-first approach for cloud-native Java applications unifies imperative and reactive programming paradigms for microservices development and

"The goal of Quarkus is to make Java a leading platform in Kubernetes and serverless environments while offering developers a unified reactive and imperative programming model to optimally address a wider range of distributed application architectures," Greene wrote.

Quarkus is a "fun-to-use" full-stack framework that leverages best-of-breed, standards-based, enterprise Java libraries "wired on a standard backbone," Greene said, including Eclipse MicroProfile, JPA/Hibernate, JAX-RS/RESTEasy, Eclipse Vert.x and Netty, among others.

One of the project's key goals is to build a vibrant ecosystem. Toward that end, the company has included an extension framework that reduces the complexity of making third-party frameworks run on Quarkus and compile to a GraalVM native binary.

Although this is considered a beta release, 95 percent of the features Quarkus apps use are there, said Mark Little, Red Hat's VP of engineering and JBoss Middleware CTO, on his blog. He also expanded on Greene's explanation of the goal of the project.

"It's important to remember that Java remains the No. 1 programming language for enterprise developers working on the backend, and many organizations have invested a lot of time and money into their Java-based developer organizations and software," he said, "because it has dominated the software landscape for so many years. Being able to continue to leverage those things as they transition to the cloud is, therefore, incredibly important for this huge community. But concerns about Java (performance, runtime memory footprint, boot time etc.) have caused some to re-evaluate their investment with Java and consider some of the newer languages, despite the fact many of those languages don't yet have the rich ecosystem of tools, utilities etc. which have been built up over the years by the Java community.... Therefore, being able to continue to leverage this Java community and ensure that our own communities and customers can do so too, has been one of the important reasons behind what we've been doing with Quarkus...."

Red Hat has provided a getting started page with extensive documentation 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].