Java specialist Azul Systems has released a version of its Zulu OpenJDK implementation using the Docker container technology, enabling Java 6, 7 or 8 applications to be configured for easy deployment across the most common Linux server platforms.
Available now from the Docker site, Zulu 8 is the only commercially available OpenJDK Java Virtual Machine (JVM) implementation that supports the Java 8 standard released by Oracle earlier this year, as well as being able to run applications based on Java 6 and 7.
With the release of a certified version available for Docker, enterprises and other organisations that use Java have an easy way to deploy applications that brings the goal of "write once, run anywhere" a step closer, at least for Linux servers.
Azul Systems chief executive Scott Sellers told V3 the move represents an ideal marriage for users looking for a more convenient way to deploy Java applications.
"Java is all about writing once and being able to deploy in many places. The caveat is that for every different platform you try to deploy to, it takes some unique things that need to be done to make an application work because there are OS dependencies that exist."
"Docker really solves that configuration and deployment problem: the beauty of Docker is that you configure it once, and when you've done that, you can deploy it anywhere, so Java and Docker make a great marriage, because you have all the write-once benefits of Java, and with Docker you have the configure-once benefits, so the two together make a very compelling offering," Sellers said.
Docker has been garnering a lot of interest recently, because the container technology is a more lightweight approach than running applications inside full-blown virtual machines, but still offers many of the same benefits of allowing workloads to be consolidated onto one or more servers, and moved around as necessary.
The Docker platform is restricted to Linux servers, although Azul is supporting Zulu 8 on Docker across a number of common distributions, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.2 or later and 6.0 or later; Suse Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 11 sp1, sp2 and sp3; CentOS 5.2 or later and 6.0 or later; and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and 12.04 LTS. Support for other distributions, including Debian, will be added over time, according to Azul.
Like Zulu itself, Zulu 8 on Docker is free to download and use, with Azul making its money through commercial support subscriptions for customers that need this.
"Docker users can use Zulu, and as they begin to deploy in production and they need commercial support, Zulu Enterprise (support) is available with Docker as a fully supported platform," Sellers said.
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