Electronic Design
Q&A: Zulu Embedded Builds on OpenJDK

Q&A: Zulu Embedded Builds on OpenJDK

Azul Systems recently launched Zulu Embedded, a new offering for developers and manufacturers in the embedded, mobile, and Internet of Things (IoT) markets requiring 100% open-source, customizable, reduced-footprint, and standards-compliant Java SE runtimes and development solutions. Here’s what Azul’s CEO, Scott Sellers, has to say about it.

Scott Sellers, CEO and Co-Founder, Azul Systems

Java still resides everywhere from the enterprise to the desktop. It’s in embedded applications as well, and there are many sources. Azul Systems recently launched Zulu Embedded, a new offering for developers and manufacturers in the embedded, mobile, and Internet of Things (IoT) markets that require 100% open-source, customizable Java.

I talked with Scott Sellers, CEO and Co-Founder of Azul Systems, about their latest release.

Wong: Tell us a little about Zulu Embedded.

Sellers: Zulu Embedded is a new offering from Azul Systems targeting the embedded marketplace and the IoT. It is a 100% open-source, flexible, customized build of OpenJDK for developers and manufacturers who wish to use Java and want to leverage open-source technologies and/or an alternative to Oracle.

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Wong: What is OpenJDK?

Sellers: The OpenJDK is as its name infers –a 100% open-source Java Development Kit and Java runtime. OpenJDK itself is source-code-only, and is the reference implementation for Java SE (Standard Edition). OpenJDK is built in the open community, with strong contributions from Oracle, IBM, Red Hat, Azul, and others. Oracle takes the code developed in OpenJDK in-house, and then releases it as its closed-source/proprietary HotSpot product.

Zulu and Zulu Embedded are certified, 100% open-source binary builds of OpenJDK. The OpenJDK project does not release (or support) any binary distributions. Azul’s Zulu is the only multi-platform build of OpenJDK, supporting a wide variety of operating systems, hypervisors, containers, etc.

Wong: What are the advantages of using Zulu Embedded?

Sellers: There are several:

First, Zulu Embedded is 100% open source. No licenses to buy or acquire, no use or distribution restrictions.

Second, it is flexibly priced—no need to count processor cores, units shipped, etc. Azul works with its embedded customers on a variety of very flexible support and customization plans.

Third, it can be customized to fit a specific OS/configuration/ bitness/ headless/-ful/ footprint without costly up-front payments as may be required from Oracle.

Finally, it meets all Java SE standards for Java versions 6, 7, and 8, and is tested using the Community Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK) as well as Azul’s rigorous test suites.

Wong: What are the resource requirements and what platforms will Zulu Embedded run on?

Sellers: Zulu Embedded is available now for 32- and 64-bit x86 architecture devices, and has been shipping since October 2014. ARM devices are on Azul’s near-term roadmap. Operating environments include a wide variety of Linux offerings, with Wind River’s being the most recent addition, plus Windows and Mac OS X.

Wong: How does Zulu Embedded relate to IoT?

Sellers: The IoT is comprised of many systems, ranging from extremely simple sensors to huge Cloud-based server configurations. The ability to customize Zulu Embedded to meet the footprint needs of the specific application allows Java to be used in extremely low-cost/memory-scarce devices. And the 100% open-source nature of Zulu Embedded allows for it to be used in even the most cost-constrained deployments.

With Zulu Embedded, Java and its 10 million developers worldwide are now much more available for practical use in designs targeting the IoT.

Wong: How does Zulu Embedded fit with Azul’s other offerings?

Sellers: Zulu Embedded is a very natural extension of Azul’s Java runtime offerings.  As a company 100% focused on Java and the JVM, and highly skilled at supporting mission-critical applications 24x7, releasing a flexible, embedded-friendly Java runtime and development kit is a logical next step.

Wong: What about licensing and support costs and issues?

Sellers: Since Zulu Embedded is 100% open source, there are no licensing charges. Support and customization costs are negotiated to ensure they meet the pricing and configuration needs of Azul’s Embedded customers.

Azul’s Support team is globally distributed, battle-tested from over 10 years of supporting a demanding and performance-sensitive customer base, and 100% focused on Java and Java runtime troubleshooting.

Wong: When will Zulu Embedded be available?

Sellers: There are well over two million Zulu Embedded devices in the field today, and the installed base is growing rapidly. GA versions of Zulu Embedded will begin shipping in October 2014.

Wong: Where can I learn more about Zulu Embedded and download it?

Sellers: Visit http://www.azulsystems.com/products/zulu-embedded for more information on Zulu Embedded.  Zulu can be freely downloaded from http://www.azulsystems.com/products/zulu/downloads.

Download this article in .PDF format
This file type includes high resolution graphics and schematics when applicable.
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