Azul Platform Prime FAQ

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Product Questions

What is Azul Platform Prime?

Azul Platform Prime is a Java platform for the modern enterprise. It includes several components, such as the Azul Zulu Prime Builds of OpenJDK, a JVM that is compatible and compliant with the Java SE specification, and Azul Zulu Prime System Tools, a package for running Java with massive heaps and on older versions of Linux.

Azul Platform Prime is optimized for Linux and x86. Designed for enterprise applications and workloads that require any combination of large memory, high transaction rates, consistent response times or high sustained throughput, Azul Zulu Prime is the only JVM that delivers predictable response times independent of heap size.

Didn’t it used to be called Zing?

Yes, Azul Platform Prime was previously called Zing. You will still see the word Zing in many artifacts like command-line switches, repository names, and file names.

What does Azul Platform Prime cost?

Azul Platform Prime is priced on a subscription basis per server. With per-server pricing, you don’t need to worry about core counts, memory size, or number of instances deployed per server. The annual subscription price for Azul Platform Prime with premium support is $3500 USD per server (physical or virtual). We offer lower prices for higher volumes and longer-term subscriptions. Please contact us to learn about the special pricing available for start-ups and companies with $25 million or less in annual revenue, and for ISVs and manufacturers looking to embed/integrate Azul Platform Prime with their products. Note: you can get pricing information for all Azul products at https://www.azul.com/products/pricing/

How is Azul Platform Prime different from traditional JVMs for deploying Java applications?

Azul Platform Prime is a highly optimized JVM and elastic runtime that breaks traditional Java scale barriers and provides applications with orders of magnitude improvement in Java responsiveness, scale, and throughput.

Why is Azul Platform Prime important to Java developers, architects and application owners?

With Azul Platform Prime, Azul has created the most scalable JVM for enterprise workloads and made it available on cost-efficient commodity hardware. With Azul Platform Prime, enterprises can now dramatically simplify Java deployments by using fewer instances while achieving greater response time consistency under load and dramatically lower operating costs.

How does Azul Platform Prime deliver better performance than other JVMs?

Azul Platform Prime eliminates “stop-the-world” garbage collection pauses that limit the scalability of other JVMs so that each Azul Zulu Prime JVM instance can scale to 8 TB of heap memory. Azul Platform Prime also utilizes highly optimized just-in-time (JIT) compilers and uses tiered compilation by default. Traditional Java warm-up issues are solved by Azul Platform Prime’s ReadyNow! technology that allows applications to start up fast and stay fast, allowing operations teams to save and reuse accumulated compiler optimizations between runs and avoiding de-optimization stalls that can slow down processing when workloads or conditions change. Every Azul Platform Prime subscription also includes support for Flight Recorder and Zulu Mission Control — powerful open source profiling and performance monitoring and management software that includes ultra-low-overhead production-friendly performance data logging via built-in Flight Recorder technology.

Will Azul Platform Prime work on my desktop machine/mobile device?

While Azul Platform Prime is designed for use on servers, the minimum configuration is a Linux-based x86-64 processor. Zing will run with 1 GB of memory and 2 cores. MacOS an Windows are not supported at this time.

How can I try Azul Platform Prime?

Azul Platform Prime Stream Builds are free for development, testing, and evaluation. You can see if your environment is supported by checking our specifications page. To request an on-site evaluation and work with an Azul expert, simply contact us.

How can I buy Azul Platform Prime?

You can order Azul Platform Prime from an Azul representative, reseller partner, or by using a credit card. Contact us via email, phone (+1 650.230.6500), or web form.

How does Azul Platform Prime solve Java warm-up issues?

Azul Platform Prime uses Azul’s innovative ReadyNow! technology to solve warm-up issues. Designed for low latency systems, ReadyNow! allows Java applications to achieve optimum performance and consistency at startup and minimizes disruptive de-optimizations that can occur when load conditions change.

I understand Azul Platform Prime has its own compiler, called “Falcon”. Why was Falcon introduced?

Falcon JIT compiler was developed to ensure that Java developers and Java-based businesses can extract maximum performance from today’s server hardware.

What technology is the Falcon JIT compiler based on?

The Falcon JIT compiler is based on technology from LLVM, the popular compiler infrastructure project with active involvement from leading universities and dozens of corporate contributors including Adobe, Apple, Google, NVIDIA, and Intel.

Is Falcon faster than C2?

Yes.

Which versions of Java are supported by Falcon?

Falcon works with applications built using Java SE 7, Java SE 8 and Java SE 11

Technical Questions

Do I need to port my application to Azul Platform Prime?

No. Deploying Azul Platform Prime requires no changes to existing applications. You merely point the application’s JAVA_HOME environment variable to Azul Platform Prime and you are running on the most scalable JVM on the market. Azul Platform Prime also requires no changes to other aspects of your infrastructure – security, other applications, monitoring tools, etc.

How does Azul Platform Prime support large heap sizes and how is it elastic?

Azul Platform Prime allows Java applications to utilize any amount of memory they need to execute, limited only by the physical memory in a system or the amount recognizable by the hypervisor. Because of Azul Platform Prime unique garbage collector, based on Azul’s groundbreaking C4 (Continuously Concurrent Compacting Collector) technology, GC pauses are independent of the size of the JVM heap and do not limit application scalability. In addition, Azul Platform Prime includes a patented innovation of “memory pools” (i.e. memory reserves) that allows JVMs to dynamically grow its memory footprint based on real-time demand; when demand lessens, Azul Platform Prime gives this memory back to the system. This memory reserve not only ensure consistent performance under heavy load, but it can act as the emergency memory for JVMs that encounter “memory leaks” due to bugs or coding errors.

What versions of the JDK does Azul Platform Prime support?

Azul is currently shipping Azul Platform Prime for Java SE 11, 8, and 7.

How is Azul Platform Prime invoked by an application?

Once Zing is installed on a system, invoking it is done just like any other JVM/JDK (i.e. by simply changing JAVA_HOME to point to the new JDK).

Which operating systems and versions are supported?

Azul Platform Prime supports recent x86 versions of Linux distribution families, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Ubuntu, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Oracle Linux, Debian, and Amazon Linux. Review the Azul Platform Prime system specifications for specific versions. Azul Platform Prime also offers flexible Linux version support through an AutoBuild feature for its memory manager module.

What is ReadyNow!?

ReadyNow! is technology built into Azul Platform Prime that solves Java warm-up problems for good. ReadyNow! has two major features. First, it gives operations teams the ability to save and reuse compiler optimizations across runs. Second, ReadyNow! offers developers robust APIs and compiler directives to pre-compile code that will be commonly used or methods that must be fast even though they are called infrequently.

How does Azul Platform Prime deliver pauseless operation?

Azul Platform Prime uses the Azul C4 garbage collector by default. The C4 collector is continuously compacting regardless of heap size and never uses ‘stop-the-world’ pauses for garbage collection.

What is the C4 garbage collector?

The C4 (Continuously Concurrent Compacting Collector) is an updated generational implementation of the Azul Pauseless GC Algorithm and is the default collector of Azul Platform Prime.

Can Azul Platform Prime help resolve database contention?

Yes. With fewer application instances, your database may see fewer connections and less contention.

Has Azul Platform Prime been tested with a wide variety of Java applications?

Yes. For each release, we test a variety of application stacks (including Wildfly, Active MQ, Cassandra, WebLogic Server, JBoss, and Tomcat), as well as other open source software and 3rd party apps. Please contact us if you have a question about a particular application.

Business Questions

Why should line of business managers care about Azul Platform Prime?

It’s simple — Azul Platform Prime reduces Capex and Opex. You’ll need substantially less hardware or fewer cloud instances to meet your performance and scalability targets. As your business grows you can get more out of your existing capital investment — scaling up is less expensive than with any other Java runtime. Azul Platform Prime also helps you meet your business objectives without re-engineering your existing systems. You’ll deliver a better customer experience, support more users on your existing infrastructure — and you’ll be able to deploy new features faster than your competition. Java applications are often business-critical and mission-critical. Performance and scalability issues that affect revenue and usage are often NOT due to the application, database or network but are more often related to the choice of JVM. By choosing Azul Platform Prime, you can eliminate unexpectedly long wait times for users and out-of-memory crashes to capture lost revenue and customers and deliver a consistent user experience even when demand spikes unexpectedly.

My application has to deliver a strict service level. How can Azul Platform Prime help?

Azul Platform Prime eliminates long response time delays, inconsistent response times (aka response time outliers) and system crashes that can cause service level violations. You’ll spend less on re-engineering, re-architecting, and troubleshooting with Azul Platform Prime — your applications will work the way they were envisioned, without JVM-related performance artifacts like jitter, atalls, and random pauses.

How can Azul Platform Prime help my Cloud-based or SaaS-based application?

Because of memory and scalability limitations, conventional JVMs are not always a good fit for cloud- and SaaS-based services. Azul Platform Prime is the best JVM for multi-tenant SaaS and cloud applications. Azul Platform Prime allows more tenants to be run on a single instance, scales elastically as loads increase to prevent one tenant’s peak from affecting another tenant’s response times, and lets you support large customers without worrying about scalability.

We’re a software company. Why should I encourage my customers to deploy on Azul Platform Prime?

Your Java-based application will run better – more scalable and with far lower peak latency – on Azul Platform Prime as opposed to any other JVM. Azul Platform Prime also makes deployments simpler, with fewer instances and less tuning; allows your customers more flexibility in deployment type, such as enterprise clouds or virtualized workloads; and provides always-on monitoring tools to optimize performance on production (running) systems.

Open Source Developer Questions

How is Azul Platform Prime different from traditional JVMs for deploying open source applications?

v is optimized for Linux and x86 hardware favored by users of open source. Azul Platform Prime improves the performance of your open source applications with orders of magnitude improvement in peak Java latency, scale, and throughput.

Why is Azul Platform Prime important to open source developers?

With Azul Platform Prime, open source developers can stop worrying about GC, use whatever memory configuration is ideal for your application, and achieve greater response time consistency under highly variable workloads.

How can I use Azul Platform Prime in my open source development project?

Through our free open source developer access program. Email us at [email protected] to request access, which is free (annual free subscriptions can be renewed annually) for Open Source committers. You can see if your preferred Linux distro is supported by checking our specifications page.

How can users of my open source project buy Azul Platform Prime?

Please refer your users to Azul Systems. They can contact us via email, phone (+1 650.230.6500), or web form. Please feel free to post this information on your website.

What license do I need for open source development, qualification, and testing?

You will need the Azul open source agreement. When you download Azul Platform Prime, you will accept this agreement as part of the process.

What license will users of my project need for deployment?

Commercial users of your open source project will need to purchase Azul Platform Prime subscriptions from Azul Systems. Please direct your users to call us at +1.650.230.6500, email us at [email protected] or use our web form to request assistance.

How can I get support during development?

Free support is available via the Zing Community Forum. You may also purchase support from Azul Systems. Please contact us for more information.

Can I embed Azul Platform Prime in my open source project or in software that I sell?

You may include Azul Platform Prime with your open source project or commercial software.  Your users or buyers will need a production license in order to deploy the software on Azul Platform Prime.

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