Friday, December 22, 2006
BEA and Liquid VM
BEA Systems has created a version of its Java application server designed for virtualization technology, using an approach that cuts the operating systems out of the picture. I believe that lots of enterprises will be interested in displacing both Solaris and Linux along with the support costs that come with it. Hopefully BEA will start doing its enterprise roadshows asap.
Liquid VM is a Java VM that was written to run on VMware's hypervisor, which is the basis for VMware's virtualization software. Some virtualization software uses a hypervisor that lets a single computer run several instances of an individual software package. In BEA's case, it created software called Liquid VM. Liquid VM is an addition to the company's JRockit Java virtual machine, which runs directly on VMware's hypervisor.
That virtual machine allows Java programs to interact with hardware servers without the need for an operating system. The goal of the virtualization push at BEA is to give IT administrators a set of tools to consolidate several Java applications on a single server and to optimize their performance. Typically, virtualization is used in corporate data centers to improve the utilization of existing servers by putting several workloads on a single machine.
Of course, you won't hear a peep out of the industry analysts who are too busy covering the hype behind federated identity, web 2.0 and other less important things. Of course, BEA is not the first vendor to port directly to a Virtualization layer eliminating the need for an operating system and certainly won't be the last. I suspect if I were to call up any analyst firm and ask them could they name five others that have similar implementations, they would be confuffled.
Even the folks in the blogosphere that are in the security space such as Gunnar Peterson should take notice as this approach increases security of enterprise applications ten fold. No more MS or Linux trojans, worms, etc to worry about.
Now that Java is 100% open source, I suspect that it will for a brief period of time become dysfunctional giving BEA a big window to capitalize on their recent win. Likewise, this continues the lead that approaches such as Smalltalk and Ruby on Rails could only dream of...
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