Oracle GraalVM Ent is a multilingual virtual machine

Oracle recently came to the dinner table with its Oracle GraalVM Enterprise Edition, so what it, why is important to developers and does Larry Ellison still have a beard?

Built on Java SE, GraalVM Enterprise is a multilingual virtual machine for use in cloud and hybrid environments.

This low footprint technology claims to be able to start services up to 100X faster and reduce memory usage up to 5x by compiling programs, including Java applications, ahead-of-time.

GraalVM Enterprise contains optimisation algorithms that seek out opportunities to accelerate application processes by rearranging compiled code.

It also includes security features to address some of the common sources of security application vulnerabilities, including buffer overflows in native code.

“Most real-world applications today in managed languages like Java, JavaScript or Python include native libraries to improve performance of compute-intensive code. However, these native libraries may form a back-door that could enable an attacker to bypass VM-level isolation features like bounds-checks and garbage collection, which increases the potential for security vulnerabilities for your application,” noted Oracle, in a press statement.

Considering those issues, GraalVM Enterprise includes a “safe mode” for native libraries based on Oracle’s LLVM bitcode runtime.

Safe Mode compiles even those portions of the application implemented in C code to use managed memory, garbage collection and bounds-checks, which help protect against common security applications vulnerabilities like buffer overflows.

Multilingual capabilities

The multilingual capabilities of GraalVM allow legacy applications to be modernised faster. The open source library ecosystem for all of the supported GraalVM languages is available for developers building any application, not just the one for the language in which the application was initially written.

So that’s what GraalVM is and that’s why it matters… oh and yes, as far as we know, Larry does still sport chinny whiskers.