Azul Systems are well known for occupying a very specific niche in the market – offering 100% Java- and JVM-centric builds with fully supported, standards-compliant Java runtime solutions. Today, it’s been announced that along with enterprise JVM offering Zing and OpenJDK based Zulu, Azul will now be going against Oracle with Java Embedded. This new offering will allow fans of Zulu to embed the solution directly in their product, as opposed to just downloading and using it for various projects.
With Oracle dominating this market, up until now, enterprises in the embedded, mobile and IoT space have had few options in terms of pricing and revenue share, as well as traditional Java licensing constraints. With open source alternative Zulu Embedded in the game however, things may get a little more interesting.
So firstly, what’s new and game changing with Zulu Embedded? Well, actually, as Azul Systems CTO and Co-founder Gil Tene explains, in terms of a dramatic tech angles, it’s a little boring, due to the fact that there’s nothing new per-se at all in Zulu Embedded. What is interesting, Tene says, is the new freedom that the product brings. To him, it represents, “Open source in play.”
However, rather than spawning as a direct challenge to Oracle, Zulu Embedded comes more as a response to customer demand. Tene comments that the company had started to receive requests from outside the traditional enterprise space for an embedded Zulu, initially in software stacks, but more recently in devices too.
In part, he explains, this is being driven by the explosion of interest in the IoT – but, he says, “Also in more traditional devices, for example routers, ATM machines – not necessary cool new ways of connecting into the world, but stuff that’s already there. And parts of them are already in Java, and they need a JVM.”
As the enquiries rolled in, gradually, some very intriguing conversations began to take place. Moreover, given that Azul Systems already build certified and supported JVMs, with teams of expert bug fixers on stand-by, it was a natural fit for them to channel into this growing market.
Currently, there are over two million devices employing Zulu Embedded, which is compliant with Java 6, 7, and 8. In keeping with Azul System’s SME friendly pricing, there’s a flexible pricing model, which should slice the costs associated with existing embedded Java licensing.
Azul Systems also hope to entice across a new swathe of developers into their ranks. Whilst Oracle has been a vocal advocate for Java as the juice that will fire the IoT, for some, footprint, complexity, and cost concerns may have proved barriers to adoption. With Zulu Embedded, Tene and his team hope to win over these holdouts.
Company President and CEO Scott Sellers comments that, “As a 100% open source solution already proven in millions of devices, Zulu Embedded greatly reduces costs associated with traditional Java licensing, making it compelling for a broad set of high volume and industrial embedded products that require a robust, customizable, standards compliant Java runtime.”
If you’re intrigued to explore this new option, visit www.azulsystems.com/products/zulu-embedded for the full list of operating systems and hardware platforms Zulu Embeded caters, as well as full pricing plans.