BellSoft Optimizes Java for Cloud-Native Platform
BellSoft today is adding a BellSoft Alpaquita Cloud Native Platform to its portfolio that makes it possible to more efficiently run Java applications encapsulated in containers.
As part of that effort, the company is making available an Alpaquita Linux distribution that is optimized for the BellSoft Alpaquita Cloud Native Platform. The Alpaquita Linux distribution is based on the existing Alpine Linux distribution.
The BellSoft Alpaquita Cloud Native Platform also includes Liberica Lite, a version of Liberica JDK specifically optimized for cloud environments based on the OpenJDK specification, and the Liberica Native Image Kit.
BellSoft CEO Alex Belokrylov says these offerings are natural extensions of the Liberica Java development kit (JDK) that is based on the OpenJDK standard. Together they provide a runtime environment specifically optimized for running Java applications that have been encapsulated in containers, he adds.
Additional capabilities provided include the ability to more optimally consume memory as well as support for either the Java or GraalVM virtual machines built using OpenJDK along with additional security capabilities such as tracking common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs).
The overall goal is to provide a more cost-efficient platform for running Java applications at higher levels of performance than could otherwise be attained, noted Belokrylov.
It’s not clear how many Java applications are currently running on containers, but one of the primary methods for lifting and shifting existing Java applications is to encapsulate them in containers that can run on any cloud platform. At the same time, there are legions of developers that continue to build new applications destined to be deployed in cloud-native environments. BellSoft is making a case to reduce the total cost of deploying those applications by taking advantage of OpenJDK to eliminate the need to pay licensing fees to Oracle. Under the terms of an existing agreement, Oracle still retains the right to charge subscription and support fees for Java. Development teams that shift to OpenJDK are employing an alternative runtime based on open source software.
Java, of course, is not as dominant in the enterprise as it once was, but there are still millions of lines of new Java code being developed. The challenge organizations face today if they rely on Java is determining how to take advantage of platforms optimized for microservices written in Java versus requiring developers to learn an entirely new programming construct. While most developers today are familiar with multiple programming languages, they are generally more proficient in the one they have used the longest.
Regardless of the approach to deploying applications in the cloud, it’s arguably only a matter of time before legacy monolithic Java applications running in the cloud are modernized using microservices based on containers. The debate is determining whether to undertake that effort before applications are lifted and shifted into the cloud versus after they have been deployed. One way or another, it’s clear that the amount of Java code running across what is becoming a hybrid IT environment isn’t likely to decline any time soon.