Azul today announced today it will provide migration services for IT organizations looking to transition from the proprietary Oracle Java Standard Edition (SE) developer platform to the Zulu edition of an open source OpenJDK equivalent.
OpenJDK is based on the HotpSpot edition of the Java virtual machine, the Java Class Library and the Java compiler. The Zulu edition was originally developed by Azul and Microsoft and has since been supported by Oracle, IBM, Apple, Amazon, SAP and Red Hat.
Azul CEO Scott Sellars said that while OpenJDK is compatible with Oracle Java SE there are some minor differences that enterprise IT organizations need help with to make the transition. While distributions of OpenJDK have been around for years now, Sellars said the fees for support that Oracle has been charging for Oracle Java SE have reached a point where more organizations are now ready to make the jump to OpenJDK.
In the wake of the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic organizations of all sizes are looking to reduce costs by transitioning to open source software whenever possible, he added. Rather than reduce the size of their IT staff most organizations would prefer to rein in their IT budgets by reducing their dependency on proprietary software, Sellars noted. The United States Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), for example, earlier this month revealed it is replacing Oracle Java SE with Azul Zulu builds of OpenJDK to in part lower Java support costs. Taboola, an online advertising platform, also made a similar switch.
Azul is now offering two classes of migration services. A Level 1 offering helps organizations migrate directly from Oracle Java to Azul Zulu builds of OpenJDK and includes creating an inventory of the Java estate by vendor, by Java version, by Java security patch level and by which Java runtimes are currently being employed. A Level 2 service brings in a third-party IT services firm to enable organizations to migrate older implementation of Java Virtual Machines (JVMs) to either the Java 8 or Java 11 platform.
A recent Forrester Consulting study commissioned by Azul finds the Azul Zing Java Virtual Machine pays for itself in less than three months by reducing development and infrastructure costs, with a three-year 224% return on investment (ROI).
Regardless of the open source instance of a Java platform, it’s clear that going forward most of the ongoing innovation is shifting to platforms that multiple vendors are now contributing to more frequently. OpenJDK, for example, is now on a release cadence of every six months. Each distribution of an open source Java platform serves to reduce costs in a way that enables IT organizations to achieve backward compatibility.
Despite first being employed in the enterprise more than two decades ago, reliance on Java platforms remains high. There has been widespread adoption of multiple programming languages but most back-end systems in the enterprise are still based on Java. Many developers that have mastered Java have also been reluctant to abandon it no matter how many other programming languages they may learn.