Azul's Zulu 8 is an open-source, tested, compatibility-verified and trusted binary distribution of the OpenJDK 8 platform. Azul has also made Zulu versions compliant with earlier Java SE 7 and Java SE 6 standards available on Docker in the same format. The company plans to offer Java 9 support when that version of the platform becomes available, said Scott Sellers, CEO of Azul, in an interview.
"Docker is rapidly changing the IT landscape in terms of how cloud and on-premise applications are delivered, run and managed," Sellers said in a statement. "With Zulu on Docker, Java programmers and DevOps benefit from free access to a proven and certified Java development kit and runtime, based on the one hundred percent open source OpenJDK, which can be freely redistributed to others via the Docker hub registry."
Docker is an open platform designed to enable the rapid development and deployment of distributed applications. Each "Dockerized" application is containerized and completely portable and can be run on any server or easily integrated with other Docker containers. As of mid-September 2014, the company had reported more than 23 million downloads.
"Docker and containerization are taking the enterprise IT world by storm as a better way to package, deploy and move applications, but there is still a lot of work required to make Docker enterprise-ready in terms of security, scale and management," said Jay Lyman, senior enterprise software analyst at 451 Research, in a statement. "Support for Java SE 8 on Docker is a step in the right direction, giving enterprise Docker users some of the security, stability and compliance assurances they expect."
Azul's Zulu is a build of OpenJDK that is aimed at companies that prefer a fully open-source tool chain or that have key applications running on Java and need cost-effective, high-quality ongoing support across multiple major releases of Java.
"We saw a need for a fully commercialized build of OpenJDK certified for Docker," Sellers said."That's important because there is no other freely distributable JVM available for Docker that is supported by a commercial entity. We think this is a fantastic marriage."
"Zulu is Java for Docker," added Gil Tene, CTO of Azul. "When you put this out there you know it's going to work across the spectrum. And it allows you to redistribute the bits. This takes away the friction between Java and the Docker way of doing things."