Azul Systems

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Azul Systems
IndustryComputer Software
United States
Key people
Scott Sellers, CEO, President, and Co-Founder

Gil Tene, CTO, Co-Founder
Leonid Leniashin, VP of Engineering

Eric Graber, EVP Field Operations
ProductsComputer software

Azul Systems, Inc., a privately held company, develops runtimes (JDKs, JVMs) for executing Java-based applications. Founded in March 2002, Azul Systems is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, with offices in London, United Kingdom; Saint Petersburg and Novosibirsk, Russia and Bangalore, India.[1]


Zing JVM[edit]

Azul produces Zing, a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and runtime platform for Java applications.

Zing is compliant with the associated Java SE version standards. It is based on the same HotSpot JVM and JDK code base used by the Oracle and OpenJDK JDKs, with enhancements relating to Garbage Collection, JIT Compilation, and Warmup behaviors, all aimed at producing improved application execution metrics and performance indicators.

Key feature area touted[2] by Zing include:

  • C4 (Continuously Concurrent Compacting Collector):[3] A Garbage collector reported to maintain concurrent, disruption-free application execution across wide ranges of heap sizes and allocation rates [from sub-GB to multi-TB, from MBs/sec to tens of GB/sec]
  • Falcon:[4] An LLVM-based JIT compiler that delivers dynamically and heavily optimized application code at runtime
  • ReadyNow:[5][6] A feature aimed at improving application startup and warmup behaviors, reducing the amount of slowness experienced by Java applications as they get started or restarted

Zing first became generally available on October 19, 2010.[7] The company was formerly known for its Vega Java Compute Appliances, specialized hardware designed to use compute resources available to Java applications. Zing utilized and improved on the software technology initially developed for the Vega hardware.[8] The product has been regularly updated and refreshed since.[9]

Zing is available for Linux, and requires x86-based hardware powered by Intel or AMD processors.[10]

Zulu and Zulu Embedded JVM[edit]

Azul distributes and supports Zulu and Zulu Enterprise, a certified binary build of OpenJDK. The initial release in September 2013 supported Java 7 and 6 and ran on Windows 2008 R2 and 2012 on the Windows Azure Cloud.[11] On January 21, 2014, Azul announced Zulu support for multiple Linux versions as well as Zulu Enterprise, which has subscription support options.[12] Support for Java 8 was added in April 2014 and Mac OS X support was added in June 2014.[13] In September 2014, Zulu was extended to support Docker.[14] Zulu Embedded, which allows developers to customize the build footprint, was released in March, 2015.[15]

Developed for manufacturers in the embedded, mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) markets, each Zulu Embedded build is verified by Azul using the Java Community Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK) and incorporates the latest OpenJDK bug fixes and security patches.

Azul produces the jHiccup open source performance measurement tool for Java applications. It is designed to measure the stalls or "hiccups" caused by an application's underlying Java platform.[16]

Company history[edit]

Azul Systems was founded by Scott Sellers (now President & CEO), Gil Tene (CTO), and Shyam Pillalamarri (VP of Engineering).

Initially founded as a hardware appliance company, Azul's Java Compute Appliances (JCAs) were designed to massively scale up the usable computing resources available to Java applications. A proxy Java Virtual Machine (JVM) installed on the existing system will transparently redeploy Java applications to the Azul appliance. The first compute appliances, offered in April 2005, were the Vega 1 based models 960, 1920 and 3840, consisting of 96, 192 and 384 processor cores, respectively.[17] The latest appliance versions, based on the Vega 3 platform, contained up to 864 processor cores and 768 GB of memory. [18] [19]

With the introduction of Zing in 2010 ,[7] the company transitioned to producing software-only solutions, later adding Zulu (2013 [20] ) and Zulu Embedded (2015 [21] ). It retired its hardware appliance Vega product lines in 2013.

Stephen DeWitt previously held the position of CEO.[22]

Funding history[edit]

Based on public filings,[23] Azul has raised more than $200M in financing to date.

Date Type Amount
2003-01-22 Series A $7,000,000
2003-03-04 Series A $1,027,162
2003-05-29 Series B $13,572,021
2004-05-19 Series C $34,999,994
2005-02-16 Series D $29,473,400
2006-01-13 Series E $42,189,628
2007-05-31 Bridge $10,016,758
2007-08-30 Series F $40,552,043
2007-12-04 Series F $18,557,590
2008-11-26 Series 2 $9,408,124

Major investors include Accel Partners, Austin Ventures, Credit Suisse, Meritech Capital Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Velocity Interactive Group, and Worldview Technology Partners.[24] ComVentures and JVax Investment Group have also invested in Azul.[25]


  1. ^ "Company Locations". Azul Systems.
  2. ^"Zing hits the trifecta"blog entry
  3. ^ Tene, Gil; Iyengar, Balaji; Wolf, Michael (2011). "C4: the continuously concurrent compacting collector" (PDF). ISMM '11: Proceedings of the international symposium on Memory management. doi:10.1145/1993478. ISBN 9781450302630.
  4. ^ "Falcon: An optimizing Java JIT" The 11th meeting of LLVM developers and users Keynote
  5. ^ "Azul ReadyNow! Blasts Heat On Java "Warm-Up" Problem" Dr. Dobbs article
  6. ^ App Developer Magazine article: "New ReadyNow From Azul Systems Solves The Java Warmup Problem"
  7. ^ a b "Azul Zing: moving its JVM from silicon to software" ZDNet article
  8. ^ Ryan Slobojan (December 30, 2010). "Azul Puts the Zing in Java". Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  9. ^ "Zing Virtual Machine Release Notes"
  10. ^ Specifications
  11. ^ ( Archived October 21, 2013, at the Wayback Machine: Microsoft, Azul to put open source Java on Azure cloud, July 24, 2013
  12. ^ Azul Systems press releases and
  13. ^ Azul Systems press releases and
  14. ^ InfoWorld, "Run anywhere again: Java hooks up with Docker"
  15. ^ Electronics Weekly article
  16. ^ ( Azul Releases Open Source jHiccup Tool to Provide Response Time Analysis of the Java Runtime
  17. ^ Azul takes wraps off Java compute appliance Archived January 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine -, April 18, 2005.
  18. ^ Purdue University's S3Lab use of Vega 3 hardware platform for transactional memory abstraction research
  19. ^ Azul Systems Vega 3 announcement, 2008
  20. ^ "Azul Systems Releases Zulu, an OpenJDK Build for Windows Azure At JavaOne" InfoQ article
  21. ^ "Azul Announces Zulu Embedded, based on OpenJDK" InfoQ article
  22. ^ DeWitt, Stephen (2003). "Commission of Corporations, State of California, Notice of Transaction Pursuant to Corporations Code 25102(f)" (PDF). San Francisco: California Department of Corporations. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ California Department of Business Oversight Database
  24. ^ "Azul Systems Investors". Azul Systems.
  25. ^ "Azul Financing Article". San Jose Biz Journal.

External links[edit]