Microsoft has partnered with Azul Systems to deliver the Java server environment on the Azure cloud.
The software giant's open source subsidiary, Microsoft Open Technologies, will work with Azul Systems to develop a Windows version of the community-driven open-source Java implementation, OpenJDK.
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The move is part of Microsoft's overall strategy to expand its Azure infrastructure as a service cloud (IaaS). Earlier this year the company made it possible to run Linux VMs on Azure.
Azul Systems will build and certify a compliant OpenJDK-based distribution meeting the Java SE specification for use with Windows Server environments on Azure. It will be freely distributed and licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2) with the Classpath Exception.
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Jean Paoli, president of MS Open Tech said, “This partnership will enable developers and IT professionals to ensure their mission-critical apps deploy and run smoothly on Windows Azure, using the open source Java environment they prefer. ”
Scott Sellers, Azul Systems president and CEO, said, “We will be providing a fully open and unconstrained Java environment — with open choice of third-party stacks — for developers and essential applications deployed on Windows Azure.”
The two companies said developers would be able to deploy Java applications on Windows Azure using the existing open source MS Open Tech Windows Azure for Eclipse Plugin with Java. The new Azul Systems offering will be available later this year.
Computer Weekly Comment
This is quite a significant move for Microsoft as it fleshes out its strategy to offer an alternative to AWS. The Azure cloud already supports the SuSE and Ubuntu Linux distributions. The availability of OpenJDK and support for Eclipse means that Java server-based applications can now run on top of Azure. Whether commercial Java application servers like IBM WebSpere or Oracle’s (BEA) WebLogic will be certified for Azure remains to be seen. But Microsoft’s move shows that it is serious about making Azure an open Iaas platform.