Azul brings compute appliance

Azul Systems, a startup headed by former Sun executives, is offering appliances that promise to help customers adapt to rapidly changing Web-based workloads.

Azul's compute appliances are multicore, multiprocessor systems designed to take the compute-intensive load off busy application servers (see The idea is to provide a pool of compute resources that can be tapped into by the application servers as needed.

Azul calls its approach network-attached processing, in which application servers have access to a pool of memory and compute resources. The company compares it to network-attached storage, in which servers tap into shared buckets of storage resources.

Azul originally focused on Java-based applications, rolling out its first Compute Appliance in April 2005. On Monday, Azul announced support for .Net applications, as well, through a partnership with Mainsoft, a company that converts .Net code to Java.

"Mainsoft takes files that are .Net and translates them into new files that are Java. That Java code can then be used on the Azul Compute Appliance just like any other Java code," says Shahin Khan, vice president and chief marketing officer at Azul.

Those .Net applications can expect throughput that is three times faster by tapping into the Azul Compute Appliance, Khan says. Perhaps more importantly, IT managers don't have to have idle hardware standing by to handle spikes in demand, because the .Net applications can now tap into the Azul compute pool and get additional memory and processing resources as needed.

Azul is working with Microsoft to provide native support for .Net, but for now the Mainsoft alliance will give .Net users earlier access to the Azul platform, Khan says.

He wouldn't say when Azul would support native .Net virtual machines. Java and .Net both use a virtual machine architecture, meaning that the application is separated from the hardware and can run on any platform, allowing processing-intensive workloads to be moved from traditional application servers to the Azul Compute Appliance.

With Azul proxy software installed on the application servers, Java processing can be offloaded to the Azul platform. The Mainsoft software encapsulates the .Net code into a Java virtual machine that can be shuttled to the Azul appliance. Users set policies directing how much processing power should be assigned to each application.

With upgrades to Azul's software, also announced on Monday, users can manage the Azul Compute Appliance through such higher-level management tools as HP OpenView and IBM Tivoli.

The Azul Compute Appliance runs on customsilicon designed to handle multiple application instructions simultaneously. Azul's processor, code-named Vega, includes 24 cores on a chip.

A four-processor Compute Appliance with 32GB of memory starts at about US$80,000, while a 16-processor system with 128GB of memory starts at about $400,000.

Azul's software updates are scheduled to be available in June.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jennifer Mears

Network World
Show Comments


James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >


Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?