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Azul Attacks Data Center Apps

Data center startup Azul Systems Inc. emerged from stealth this week with a network-attached device to help manage applications across dozens of servers.

The compute appliances are 11 rack units high, roughly the size of a midrange server. Each appliance contains up to 384 processor cores and 256 gigabytes of memory. This can support up to 100 data center servers, according to Azul execs.

The company predicts that the new devices will do for servers what storage area networks did for disk and tape back in the 1990s. Compute power looks a lot like direct attached storage did -- each application is allocated a server,” says Gil Tene, the company’s CTO.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based firm’s strategy is all about freeing these applications from their individual servers and sharing them across the entire data center infrastructure, powered by the compute appliances. Supporting Java and J2EE-based applications, the devices use a virtual machine proxy technology to redirect workloads across the available pool of compute resources.

So, why has Azul decided to focus on Java and J2EE? “Java and J2EE is where the money is now in data center deployments, so we’re going where the big bucks are,” says Tene. The devices also support BEA Systems Inc.’s (Nasdaq: BEAS) WebLogic family of products and IBM Corp.’s (NYSE: IBM) WebSphere.

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