"Java is a 15 year old language," says Waratek Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer John Matthew Holt. At the time it was developed, he points out, the computing landscape was "very different from what it is now." Virtualization was just starting to be used. Parallel computing was not yet common. And clouds were white, fluffy things in the sky, not someplace you'd want to run Java. But today, almost all commercial applications are running in the cloud. And Waratek's iteration of Java not only helps your Java applications move into the cloud, but -- the company claims -- "future-proofs all your application investments."
Holt asks, "How comfortable would you be with a single instance of Tomcat running on one server, with 10 different Web applications written by 10 different people you don't trust, all running on that single instance of Tomcat?
"How comfortable would you be that those applications wouldn't eat each other's memory, wouldn't use each other's CPU, wouldn't conflict each other's time and resources to do their jobs?
Today, we have large, multi-ported computing environments that can tolerate large workloads, and highly virtualized service even on small business and home office servers. And we have the cloud, whether it's a public cloud we use utility-style, a la Amazon EC2 or a private cloud we run on our own servers behind our firewall. And we almost certainly have existing Java code we want to move to our virtualized servers or our cloud, and we will almost certainly want to add more Java to what we already have, but now we'll want it to be native in the cloud. And that's what Waratek offers.
How do We Write Java Applications Differently for the Cloud?
"The requirement for Java developers is to change the way they author and architect their applications, to become compatible with multi-core and multi-tenant environments," says Holt.
The Java promise was always "Write once, run anywhere." This promise was never fully realized, and over the last 15 years, Holt says, "we've watched Java break and fragment and fracture."
Now that he's pointed out all these Java problems, Holt talks about solutions to them. "Waratek as a company was founded," he says, to solve core challenges Java faces "now and into the future."
The Waratek Web site says:
"There are potentially serious incompatibilities and costs around running Java in the Cloud that have hampered organizations from re-engineering their businesses to take full advantage of new IT delivery models. Having standardized on Java, they face unexpected challenges as they look to the future".
The Waratek Cloud VM for Java is a breakthrough product that plugs this strategy gap, enabling every type of organization to control costs, drive new efficiencies and reap the benefits that new cloud platforms have to offer. The much-hyped promise of turning IT into a service, delivered back to the business in a way that can be scaled and metered, becomes a reality.
Whether it’s deployed for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) or Software-as-Service (SaaS), our cloud-friendly Java Virtual Machine is the key to unlocking on-demand features that are transforming the way IT is consumed.
Waratek's Cloud VM for Java(tm) is Still New
The license they ask you to accept before you download their product is called, "The Waratek Beta Software License Agreement."
That is an obvious clue as to how new their product is. Whether or not it's ready for production use is questionable, and depends on your company's level of technical expertise and willingness to risk riding the leading edge of the software universe. But the concept is certainly interesting enough to be worth a download and trial run if you are measurably dependent on Java. They have a download page that details system requirements (basically RHEL or CentOS 6.x), and if you don't feel up to the download but you have an Amazon EC2 account, they have pre-built Amazon EC2 images available.
Holt admits that many companies are moving from Java to newer, more cloud-friendly languages, but still sees a need to make Java cloud-friendly. If nothing else, there are millions of lines of legacy Java code that are worth moving to multi-core computing environments or into the cloud -- instead of replacing them with new code, in a new language, that would cost mega-dollars (and take mega-hours) to write.