Microsoft, Azul Partner to Bring OpenJDK to Windows Azure

Microsoft and Azul systems announced a partnership to deliver an OpenJDK build on Windows Azure.

Looking to expand the number and types of workloads that run on its Windows Azure cloud, Microsoft is partnering with Azul Systems to deliver an OpenJDK build for Windows Azure.

At the O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) on July 24, Microsoft Open Technologies (MS Open Tech), a subsidiary of Microsoft dedicated to bridging Microsoft and non-Microsoft technologies, and Azul Systems, a provider of Java runtime scalability solutions, announced that they are partnering on a Windows distribution build of the community-driven open-source Java implementation, known as OpenJDK, for Windows Server on the Windows Azure platform.

As part of this partnership, Azul Systems will build, certify and distribute a compliant OpenJDK-based distribution meeting the Java Platform, Standard Edition (Java SE) specification for use with Windows Server environments on Azure. The new OpenJDK-based offering will be freely distributed and licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2) with the Classpath Exception. A preview or limited beta version of the technology will be available in the fall with general availability by year end, the companies said.

Open source is now a key building block for enterprise IT strategies, Microsoft officials said. Customers also require choice in where and how they deploy new and existing Java applications. Through this partnership, the global community of Java developers gains access to open-source Java on the Windows Azure cloud. It will also serve the growing number of Java applications that small and midsize businesses as well as large global enterprises depend on to run their operations.

"This initiative is all about bringing Java to the masses in the cloud," Scott Sellers, Azul Systems president and CEO, said in a statement. "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 partnership was a natural decision, Jean Paoli, president of MS Open Tech, said in a statement. "[The companies] are motivated by a common goal to make the world of mixed IT environments work better together for customers," Paoli said in the statement. "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."

Gianugo Rabellino, senior director of open-source communities at MS Open Tech, told eWEEK the partnership with Azul is "complementary" to the one Microsoft made with Oracle last month to enable customers to run Oracle software —including Java, Oracle Database and Oracle WebLogic Server—on Windows Server Hyper-V and in Windows Azure.