Azul Systems

Azul Systems, Inc., a privately held company, develops runtime platforms 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]

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

Anya Barski, Vice President of Engineering
Eric Graber, Vice President of Sales

Gil Tene, Vice President of Technology and CTO, Co-Founder
ProductsComputer software


Zing JVM

Azul produces Zing, a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and runtime platform for Java applications. The company was formerly known for its Vega Java Compute Appliances, specialized hardware designed to use compute resources available to Java applications. Zing utilizes and improves on the software technology developed for the Vega hardware.[2]

Zing became generally available October 19, 2010. The product includes a JVM, management tool and monitoring tool.[3] Zing is based on established technology from Azul that allows existing Java applications to scale to dozens of CPU cores and hundreds of gigabytes of memory "elastically", meaning resources can also scale up and down based on real-time demands, and without garbage collection pauses present in other Java runtimes.[4]

Zing is compliant with the Java SE standard and is based on Oracle's HotSpot.[5] Where a typical Java Virtual Machine uses static heap sizes and reaches a practical size limitation due to garbage collection pauses, Zing implements Azul's C4 (Continuously Concurrent Compacting Collector) garbage collection software technology, allowing heap sizes of hundreds of GBs without pauses.[6] Zing also utilizes Azul's technology for elastic memory, which allows memory heaps for Java instances to grow and shrink based on load. This dynamic heap scaling removes the need for most JVM and GC tuning. Zing also incorporates ReadyNow! technology to shorten warm-up time and avoid de-optimization during runs.[7]

The Zing Vision tool provides low overhead production visibility of running Java applications using statistical information that is already available from processing occurring within the JRE.[8]

Zing is available for Linux, and requires x86-based hardware with Intel Nehalem or AMD Opteron processors.[9]

Azul's Java Compute Appliances (JCAs) were designed to massively scale up the usable compute 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 latest version of which, the Vega 3, can contain up to 864 processor cores and 768 GB of memory.[10]

Zulu and Zulu Embedded JVM

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

Azul Systems was founded by Scott Sellers (now President & CEO), Shyam Pillalamarri (VP of Engineering), and Gil Tene (CTO). The first computer appliances, offered in April 2005, were the 960, 1920 and 3840, consisting of 96, 192 and 384 processor cores, respectively.[17]

Stephen DeWitt previously held the position of CEO.[18]

Azul Systems was approached in 2005 by Sun Microsystems, who offered a licensing deal for patents it claimed Azul had violated.[19] In March, 2006, Azul Systems sued Sun Microsystems, asking a U.S. District Court in northern California to rule on the issue of patent infringement. In May 2006, Sun Microsystems sued Azul Systems in federal court in San Jose, CA, claiming patent infringement and violation of a non-competitive agreement with former Azul CEO, Stephen DeWitt, also a former Sun employee. Both parties agreed to the terms of an undisclosed settlement in June 2007 prior to either suit going to trial.[20]

Funding history

Based on public filings,[21] 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.[22] ComVentures and JVax Investment Group have also invested in Azul.[23]


  1. "Company Locations". Azul Systems.
  2. Ryan Slobojan (December 30, 2010). "Azul Puts the Zing in Java". Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  3. ( Azul Readies x64-Based Java Virtual Appliance, IT Jungle, June 28, 2010
  4. ( Azul Zings Its Java Hardware - Poof, It's Software, Java Developer's Journal, June 24, 2010.
  5. ( Product page
  6. ( Azul web site, page describing C4 garbage collection algorithm
  7. Dr. Dobbs article
  8. ( Azul press release, October 19, 2010.
  9. ( Azul's Pauseless Garbage Collector, artima developer, December 17, 2010
  10. ( Azul Compute Appliance - Azul Product Page
  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. 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)
  19. Update: Sun sues Azul for patent infringement – Infoworld, May 4, 2006
  20. Sun Microsystems Settle Patent Disputes With Azul - InformationWeek, June 20, 2007
  21. California Department of Business Oversight Database
  22. "Azul Systems Investors". Azul Systems.
  23. "Azul Financing Article". San Jose Biz Journal.
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