Feeds

Stealthy Azul's Java plans unstealthed

Opteron attack

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

At last check, Azul Systems held tight to its stealth mode status, but a few sources have come forward to expose the company's hardware and software plans.

Azul is a small start-up based in Mountain View, California and run by former Cobalt CEO and Sun Microsystems exec Stephen DeWitt. Up to this point, the company has refused to provide any details about its technology other than hints that it has planned both server and software technology. After failing to push more details out of DeWitt during a recent interview, a couple of sources stepped forward to help El Reg out.

Our sources indicate there is an Opteron and Java play on the horizon at Azul. The start-up is apparently looking to tune up a Java application server that screams on "industry standard" hardware such as servers based on AMD's 64-bit Opteron chip.

At present, it's unclear if the Azul systems will run on Opteron exclusively, but the Java ties have been confirmed without doubt. Azul is looking to fill its hardware with Java accelerators - a move being mimicked by none other than Sun.

But will Sun pump out $2 billion for Azul like it did with Cobalt? Not bloody likely.

Earlier this month, Sun announced its purchase of Kealia. The company, run by Sun co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim, also makes Opteron-based gear. And with Bechtolsheim being renowned for server designs, it seems Sun can afford "not to do DeWitt again", as one executive put it.

It's pretty amazing to see the Java/Opteron market both Sun and AMD have helped create. Azul and Kealia are just two out of a number of start-ups said to be looking at speeding up Java code for large companies.

Similar to Cobalt, you can expect that Azul will wrap its hardware with a tight, focused software package. The company is not going after the general purpose server market at all. Instead, it's here to help with specific functions. Not a bad play.

It's hard to say who is ahead in this particular Java war with all of the relevant companies clinging to their stealth status. Azul, however, should have some concerns. It may well have "time-to-market" on its side, but the big boys such as Sun have a serious research and development advantage.

Sun, for example, is talking up its Rock family of multicore processors. The company has hinted that different cores can be tuned to handle specific functions such as processing TCP/IP requests or encryption. And, yes, Java processing is on the roadmap as well.

At this point, it's impossible to determine whether the off-the-shelf approach or the in-house technology "systems company" attack will win out.

Either way, Sun and AMD have conjured up a lot of interest around their products. Can someone point us to a start-up working on .Net / Intel acceleration? ®

*Here's a reminder for the hardware fans out there to take part in our "help Intel, HP and Sun" contest. Thanks to the hundreds of you who have already participated. Keep em coming!

Related stories

DeWitt comes to terms with Cobalt's end
Sun and Cobalt left me with a dinky toy
Sun Linux boss quits

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.