Oracle’s collected quite a few complimentary—and occasionally overlapping—pieces of software throughout its recent run of acquisitions. Now it’s working on unifying a pair of Java Virtual Machines while providing support for both in the short term.Datamation looks at what’s next for the JRockit and HotSpot JVMs.
In the span of two years and two acquisitions, Sun found itself in possession of two Java Virtual Machines. Now it has the task of merging the two into a single JVM, a task that won’t be rushed because it won’t be simple and because Oracle does not want to disrupt either JVM.
Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL) acquired BEA Systems in 2008 and the JRockit JVM along with it. With the purchase of Sun, Oracle now has HotSpot as well. When the deal was finally consummated at the end of January, Oracle said then that it would eventually merge the two.
Now the image is becoming more clear.
In a Webcast this week, Mark Reinhold, Oracle’s principal engineer and a former Sun staffer, said the company would continue to develop both platforms in the short term (JVM talk begins at the 16:42 mark).
“The plan is still evolving. We’ve got leads from the HotSpot and JRockit teams spending lots of quality time together. It’s not an easy problem, taking the best of each, figuring out the long-term convergence plan,” he said. “Customers have things in production on both, taking advantage of specific features in both. We’re not going to cause an earthquake and make systems fall over,” he said.
Reinhold added “At some point in time there will be one VM. Will it be in the next three months? Probably not. In the next year and a half to two years? Yeah, I think so.”