SuSE's BEA partnership boosts Java on Linux

Linux's credibility as a Java application platform has been boosted with news that SuSE has partnered with JVM developer BEA Systems

SuSE Linux agreed a partnership with BEA Systems on Wednesday that aims to improve the performance of SuSE's operating systems when running Java applications.

One of Linux's failings, according to analysts, has been the way the open-source operating system handles some of the low-level tasks required by a Java virtual machine, most notably thread management. Until the launch of the most recent kernel, version 2.6, running a JVM on Linux was a resource-intensive task. Although kernel 2.6 is a significant improvement when compared to previous versions, this partnership will enable SuSE to tweak its distribution to further improve the performance of BEA's JRockit JVM, said the two companies.

Gary Barnett, research director at Ovum, said that although JRockit is one of the best-performing JVM's available and the partnership is an important step in the right direction, it is still too early to predict that Linux will become the "de facto platform for Java".

Barnett told ZDNet UK: "Linux's credibility as a platform for Java applications will be significantly improved," especially with the "ongoing focus that people like BEA have on Linux as an important platform and with the upcoming release of SuSE and Red Hat distributions that include the full 2.6 kernel."

Bob Griswold, vice president and general manager of the Java Runtime products group at BEA Systems, said that Linux is one of BEA's fastest-growing software platforms. "Linux is approaching critical mass around the world as more and more companies realise its immense value. To respond to these ever-growing demands, BEA is working closely with Linux leaders to offer pre-configured, production-ready solutions designed to help customers rapidly realise increased performance and dramatic price reductions," he said in a statement.