Azul announces 192 core Java Appliance

Network processing vendor Azul Systems has launched the latest generation of its Java appliances. Built using the company's new 48 core Vega 2 processor, the first systems offer up to 192 cores in a relatively small 5U system. A 768 core system with up to 788GB of RAM will be released next year.

Best thought of as a hardware replacement for a Java virtual machine, the first generation of Azul's appliances had an impressive performance, and the Vega 2 processor should offer a better than three times improvement.

Despite introducing a new processor architecture and microcode, Vega 2 systems will not require any new application development. Its performance looks good, and Azul is claiming a record score for the SPECjbb2005 benchmark. Other figures suggest that a large-scale data mining application could have more than a 300 per cent power saving over the equivalent x86 server farm - and in less than half the rack space.

British customers include BT, which is using Azul hardware to improve performance of their existing B2B portal. As Azul's appliances replace software JVMs with a networked pool of processing resources, applications didn't have to be rewritten. Additional Azul systems can be added to the pool as required, to deal with spikes in demand.

"We urgently needed to ensure service levels on a massive scale that we simply could not achieve with traditional servers," said Clive Selley, chief information officer at BT Wholesale. He also expects to see significant cost savings over traditional infrastructure implementations, especially in cooling and power requirements.

Azul has also renewed its partnership with BEA, and will certify the WebLogic platform for use with its appliances. Other supported Java frameworks include Gigaspaces' grid-computing platform. An ISV programme will help developers certify applications and technologies.