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Azul's Java Appliance Enters Third Generation

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Azul's Java Appliance Enters Third Generation

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Azul Systems, the six-year-old start-up with its own multi-core chips fitted into Java-accelerating enterprise-grade appliances, is entering its third generation of machine, expecting to expand into new markets and consolidate more and more x86 and RISC widgetry that isn’t as clever at “unconstrained” Java application scaling as it is.  

A lot of the trick, says Azul VP, technology and product marketing Ram Appalaraju, lies in having a superior Java Virtual Machine that eliminates I/O bottlenecks.  

Azul’s developed a technique called DirectPath that cuts the time it takes components or services to communicate by doing it all in memory. It enables a virtual data fabric for Event-Drive Architecture and provides bandwidth up to 150 Gbp/s, reducing latency to less than 40 microseconds. It’s supposed to handle hundreds of VMs.  

There’s also a new Real time Performance Monitor built into Azul’s JVM to optimize the Java application environment by discovering performance issues related to threads, memory and I/O even in production environments.  

The Vega 3 Series appliance is based on a 54-core version of the company’s underlining chip, up from the second generation’s 48 cores. It is supposed to be five times as powerful as the first-generation machine Azul fielded in 2005. Its job is to maximize transaction volumes, minimize downtime and deliver “blazingly fast” response times.  

Ram says it plays to the SOA infrastructure yen and absorbs the ongoing transaction volume growth that’s stressing other people’s systems and can’t be solved simply by throwing more hardware at the problem. Azul’s is supposed to be a 30% more TCO-gentle approach.  

The new appliances can scale from 108 to 864 cores and from 48GB of memory to 768GB, vastly more than anything Sun, IBM or HP have with their skimpy 2GB-4GB. It means that Java apps can scale to memory heap sizes of up to 670GB without pausing for garbage collection.  

As a shared network resource the Vega 3 pools its processors and memory to support multiple Solaris-, Linux, HP-UX and AIX-based applications simultaneously using any Java or Java-compatible app server.  

Azul claims hundreds of appliances installed at places like BT Wachovia, Bear Stearns, Credit Suisse and Avaya and quotes IDC as putting the value of the Java marketplace at $11 billion and growing.  

Vega 3 starts at $34,995 for 108 cores and 48GB. The top of the line, which fits in 14Us, can run $700,000-$900,000. A typical customer is expected to start with 216 cores and 192GB  

In a green pledge Azul says it will offset all carbon emission attributed to its products for the life of each product’s deployment – an industry first. Running 864 cores and 768GB takes 3.3KW, Azul said.

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