Appliance Aims At Adding Muscle To The Network - InformationWeek

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9/30/2004
03:10 PM
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Appliance Aims At Adding Muscle To The Network

Technology will reduce the need for more servers to run Java applications, Startup says

Silicon Valley Startup debuted a network appliance last week that it says can help companies cut data-center costs by reducing the need to buy new servers or upgrade existing ones to run Java-based applications. The technology from Azul Systems Inc. is designed to provide muscle to the network as needed, going up against on-demand computing environments from IBM and Sun Microsystems, a former employer of Azul co-founder Steve DeWitt.

With 384 processors and 256 Gbytes of memory for running simultaneous applications, "the level of parallelism that Azul is targeting is fantastic, even compared to chipmakers IBM and Intel," Illuminata analyst Jonathan Eunice says. Azul's appliance plugs into a company network like any other device with an IP address, and an application must run on Azul's Java Virtual Machine, based on Sun's HotSpot technology, to tap into the added processing power and memory. A software control panel lets staff manage the amount of resources assigned to an application. "Everything in the data center stays exactly the same," says co-founder and VP of software engineering Shyam Pillalamarri, a former software VP at Nortel Networks Ltd. "The only thing that changes is the application sees an immense amount of computing power and memory capacity."

Azul plans eventually to support Microsoft's .Net Framework, which competes with the Java 2 Enterprise Edition in application development and as a run-time environment. The appliance will be on the market in the next year; pricing isn't yet set.

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