Azul Zing kicks Java up a notch

Java application performance depends upon the Java Virtual Machine being able to quickly create, use and then destroy pieces of data. Azul Systems has taken its decade of experience building Java acceleration systems and built a new JVM based upon Oracle's HotSpot technology.

Howard Green, Director of Marketing of Azul Systems, reached out to me and wanted to talk about the company's next exciting innovation, a new Java interpreter, called Zing, that is built upon upon what Azul Systems has learned over ten years of accelerating Java performance.

What does Azul say about Zing?

Zing™ is a 100% Java-compatible JVM based on Oracle HotSpot. Zing is optimized for Linux deployments and designed for enterprise applications and workloads that require large memory, high transaction rates, low latency, consistent response times and high sustained throughput, Zing is the only JVM that can elastically grow its application memory heap based on real-time demand and still guarantee response times. 

At its core, Zing uses the Azul C4 (Continuously Concurrent Compacting Collector) which eliminates "stop-the-world" pauses which limit the scalability of all traditional JVMs. Zing also includes a management and monitoring platform with a zero-overhead, always-on visibility tool called Zing Vision and the Zing Resource Controller management tool.

The Zing JVM is simple to install and requires no coding change to the application. Because Zing is both elastic and self-healing, tuning is typically reduced to just a few parameters. Simply point your application or startup scripts to use the Zing JVM, and you're running on the most elastic, scalable JVM with the fastest time-to-deployment for any size application.

Snapshot analysis

Approximately 10 years ago, I had the opportunity to meet Howard Green and key members of his team at a restaurant in, if my memory serves me well, San Mateo, CA. At that time, I was responsible for IDC's system and virtualization software research services.

While we enjoyed breakfast, the team discussed their plans to develop an appliance server designed to accelerate Java applications and services. The team was excited when they described the developed of a new type of multi-core processor designed to deal with interpreted languages such as Java. At that time, they hinted that this processor technology would be useful for other languages in the future. In time, the product described in that breakfast briefing was introduced and took Java execution to new heights.

Zing goes right to the heart of the challenges of accelerating a dynamic, interpreted language, such as Java. Programs create, use and then destroy little pieces of data during execution.  If not handled correctly, these unused and no-longer-needed pieces of data can choke the intrepreter. So, "garbage collection" performance is a key challenge for Java virtual machines. Azul had to think very creatively ten years ago when designing processors for Java. It is clear that what was learned then has been baked into Zing today.

If your organization relies on Java-based services or applications, it would be wise to learn more about Zing.