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Azul's New Migration Service Moves Oracle Java SE Users to Zulu Builds of OpenJDK

Open-source Java platform provider Azul Systems today unveiled a new series of migration tools and services designed to help enterprise and public sector IT teams transition from proprietary Oracle Java SE to its Zulu builds of OpenJDK. These tools and services include inventory and usage auditing, testing, and certification, "to help organizations move their entire Java estate quickly, easily, and securely from Oracle to Azul's OpenJDK platform," the company said in a statement.

"Oracle's new Java licensing and commercial support pricing changes--its subscription model--is definitely not for everyone," Azul president and CEO Scott Sellers told ADTmag. "Lots of users are looking for cost-effective, open source alternatives. And the truth is, for most organizations, migration to Azul Zulu builds of OpenJDK is fairly easy. It's just a straightforward drop-in replacement for Oracle Java SE, because it's based on the same underlying source code developed in the OpenJDK project. Oracle Java and Azul's Java products are effectively identical with regard to Java specification compliance and performance."

But some Java-based organizations face more complex migration scenarios, Sellers explained--situations in which the developers of legacy systems are long gone, or there's simply a lack of the necessary resources in-house to manage such a project themselves. For those types of customers, Azul and its certified partner ecosystem now provide advisory support and project management, plus turnkey migration and application modernization.

Azul is offering two levels of its migration services: Migration and Modernization.

  • Migration: A typical scenario involves an organization who wishes to migrate directly from Oracle Java to Azul Zulu builds of OpenJDK. In this case, Azul partners work alongside the organization's technical teams to expedite a complete turnkey migration, from inventory and usage auditing, through testing and certification. The process typically takes a few weeks from planning to completion, and results in creating an inventory of the Java estate by vendor, by Java version, by Java security patch level, and by which Java runtimes are currently being used, and then defines the timetable and executes the migration through final test and 'go live.'
  • Modernization: This service is ideal for customers wishing to modernize their applications from older Java versions to more current releases, for example applications based on Java 6 or 7 updated to run using Java 8 or 11. Modernization initiatives result in Java deployments being inherently more secure and maintainable.

Azul is partnering with EPAM Systems, a global provider of digital platform engineering and software development services, to deliver the new migration services. EPAM's end-to-end solutions (from strategic consulting to engineering at scale) help customers quickly migrate and modernize legacy Java systems with minimal disruption and risk.

"We're still a relatively small company," Sellers said. "What we've done is to develop the tools and services, and we're partnering with others to deliver them.

"Migrating from Oracle Java SE to an open source OpenJDK distributions, like Azul Zulu, in complex legacy systems or across an enterprise is an undertaking that requires thorough planning and implementation, and a technology partner experienced in Java and open source as well as complex enterprise landscapes," said Eli Feldman, CTO in EPAM's Advanced Technology group, in a statement. "We're pleased to be working with Azul in offering this new migration service and look forward to using our depth and breadth of experience to provide a seamless process to those interested in successfully completing the switch."

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Azul bills itself as the only vendor focused exclusively on the Java and the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). The Zing JVM is based on Oracle's HotSpot, a core component of Java SE. Zing is a "no-pause" JVM designed to eliminate Garbage Collection (GC) pauses, a long-standing challenge for Java developers. This pauselessness, which Azul calls "generational pauseless garbage collection" (GPGC), enables Java app instances to scale dynamically and reliably. Sellers has called GC "the Achilles heel of Java."

Posted by John K. Waters on October 22, 2020