BEA has announced a significant portion of their direction in 2007, including a push for virtualization support. This will come in the form of a JRockit Liquid VM, which can serve as an operating system image in something like VMWare, rather than requiring a supporting host OS. In addition, BEA announced that they expect WebLogic 10, with Java EE support, out at around the same time.
The virtualization support is aimed at data centers, where a large concern centers around space, power consumption, and cooling. There's been a concentrated shift in many environments to use virtualization - where many virtual instances run on a single CPU instance - to increase the use of that single CPU, instead of leaving multiple CPUs underused.
Virtualization isn't just as simple as starting up four instances of VMWare on a single backplane, though. If the average CPU usage is 20% for each of those four, then obviously moving them into a single CPU means (roughly) 80% CPU usage, assuming the host OS takes up no CPU time itself. However, this means there's not much room for the applications to manage load; if one of those applications has a lot of load to handle, then the other hosted machines will endure resource starvation.
JRockit Liquid VM enters the picture by reducing the supporting instances' requirements for an OS. Liquid VM runs as if it were an OD in and of itself, so there's no need for VMWare to run Windows in order to run JRockit; instead, the VMWare instance would run JRockit directly. In addition, Liquid VM supports monitoring applications such that the managing application can deploy other virtual instances to other physical CPUs in order to support the datacenter's needs optimally.
Liquid VM is designed so that developers can create an application or SOA service point with a "normal VM," on a standard development platform, and then move that application to a virtual server without having to worry about the differences in platform. The Virtualization platform will contain WebLogic 9.2 and the JRockit Liquid VM. Initial platform support is aimed at VMWare.
Another aspect to BEA's announcement is that WebLogic 10 should be ready for release. It's already available as a preview, but it hasn't been certified as being Java EE compliant yet. The release will accompany changes in WebLogic Workshop to cater to the specific capabilities of WebLogic 10.
It would be nice if they support Amazon EC2, which is based on Xen.
The data centers that I have used so far all had some kind of infrastructur for backup, monitoring and uptime support (HP OpenView, CA UniCenter, homegrown shell scripts). How would a Liquid VM server tie into those? Is the Liquid VM really all proprietary, or is it just a hidden RedHat Linux with a VM running on top of it? I would actually find that better, because of the tool support.
Awesome! We've known that this was coming for a couple years now, and it looks like it's finally in a state that BEA can talk about it publicly. This is a huge step down the road to full virtualization of the data center, at least from the POV of Java.
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About a year ago I found this http://jamvm.sourceforge.net/
looks like someone has already started.
I can't say how good/bad it is but I had a play with it back then and it seemed good.
Sorry Wrong URL http://jnode.org/
Now, the WebLogic 9.x with a lot of bugs, I wonder whether they have fixed all of them or not. The WebLogic 9.x is really bad product and hope the 10 is a stable version.
Could you provide me with an URL to find some more details? It sounds mighty interesting.
Could it be the first real Java OS?
Leaving aside the jnode project linked to above, I would have thought the answer is still - No. Surely this is the removal of the OS from the scenario, a JVM running directly on virtual hardware.
However, I assume we could remove the 'virtual' and run the JVM directly on real hardware. This would set the possibilities whirling. Could we then use a JVM like this to create a real Java OS, with process control and intercommunication?
It would be fast for sure, but then I'm sure I wouldn't want the next rev of the JVM release that I'm using stalling on hardware centric issues.
I could be convinced, but right now that dividing line between the virtual OS and the application VM sounds like good complexity and dependacy management.
This is going to be great, only one thing to tune and manage.
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