Novell is hoping to lure Java application developers to the NetWare platform by increasing the performance of the NetWare JVM (Java Virtual Machine).
Novell will work with Intel to optimise the JVM for Intel servers running NetWare, and is also working with Sun to make sure the new JVM still conforms to the 100% Pure Java standard.
The JVM, codenamed NetFire, will be integrated into NetWare 5 next year, possibly as part of the 64-bit version of NetWare, codenamed "Modesto" which is due next year. NetFire will initially be optimised for Intel's Pentium II processors, including support for Symmetrical Multiprocessing (SMP), and eventually for the new Merced 64-bit chip.
Novell will license technology from and collaborate with Intel to improve the JVM's scalability and performance to benefit server-based Java applications.
Novell is promoting server-side Java as one of NetWare's strengths, claiming it offers faster performance than client-based Java applications. Java applications written for NetWare will also be able to take advantage of NDS (Novell Directory Services), through the use of Novell's Open Solutions Architecture software development kit (SDK).
Novell restated its commitment to Java standards, and said that applications written for other standards-compliant JVMs will run on NetWare 5 and developers will be able to create applications for NetWare using standard Java technologies and tools.
The company's deal with Intel will not be exclusive, and Intel will still be working with Microsoft on its Visual J and JVM technology.
"What we want to be able to do is let applications take advantage of the power of the processor," said Peter Joseph, corporate strategist at Novell. "This is also Intel's goal: it wants applications that will expose the power of its technology. Anyone wanting to run server-side Java applications will want to use the NetWare JVM."
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