Azul Systems is happy to announce a major change for the way that we bill for our Java platforms. Going forward, Azul will use a capacity-based pricing structure, billing based on the processor power of the server rather than the count of servers. The metric we use is vCore.
A vCore, also known as Virtual Core or Logical Core, is a logical unit of computer processing power able to run an operating system. If you’re a cloud customer, you’re probably used to this metric already, as major cloud vendors like Amazon Web Services price their virtual machines by vCores. If you’re using a physical server, each core on your CPUs counts as two vCores if you have hyper-threading enabled on the machine. If hyper-threading is turned off, you would count each core as one vCore. Oracle also charges by what it calls “Oracle Processors”, which for Java on x86 machines is the number of cores * an Oracle Core Factor of .5. So to get an Azul vCore count for an x86 server, you would take the Oracle Processor count and multiply it by 4.
So why are we changing our pricing? In the past we used the server as our billing metric, billing the same amount for any physical or virtual server regardless its size. But with the growth of virtualization and cloud Infrastructure as a Service, customers are increasingly able to right-size their server processing power for the task at hand. So just saying “a server is a server is a server” makes less sense in today’s world.
We want to achieve three main goals with our new pricing:
- Smoothly integrate into today’s highly virtualized environment, where it is often much easier to count vCores than it is to count servers. If you’re working on a cloud vendor like AWS, you’re already getting billed in vCores. Likewise, many container engines also report usage in vCores.
- Make it easier for Oracle customers evaluating Azul to calculate their spend on Azul Platform Core or Azul Platform Prime. For all x86 servers, customers can just take their Oracle metric and multiply it by four.
- Deliver a metric that delivers consistent ROI across hardware sizes.
This last point is key. With Azul Platform Prime, we consistently deliver a 15-40% infrastructure savings over running your Java programs on “vanilla” OpenJDK. We have priced Azul Platform Prime to deliver a compelling ROI when you factor in your infrastructure savings. With vCore-based pricing, you get the same ROI whether you are running a few very large servers or a large fleet of small servers.