Azul Systems – Profile
HQ: Mountain View, CA
Management: Company has a stellar pedigree. President & CEO is Stephen DeWitt who was VP and GM of content delivery and edge computing for Sun Microsystems. Prior to that he was CEO of Cobalt Networks which went public before being acquired for $2B by Sun in 2000. Co-founder Scott Sellers was a co-founder of 3dfx Interactive, a graphics processor company.
Investors: Azul has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Accel Parnters, ComVentures, Austin Ventures, Worldview Technology Parnters, Redpoint Ventures.
Business Model: The company has developed network-attached processing appliances that it claims bring efficiencies to running virtual machines like Java. Users install Azul’s proxy software on servers running middleware products such as BEA Systems’s WebLogic or IBM’s WebSphere. The proxy software then transfers Java processing jobs away from the server that is running WebLogic or WebSphere and over to the Azul appliance. Azul has custom-designed its own microprocessor – a chip with 24 processor cores that is designed to consume less power than conventional chips. Azul sells its appliances to large companies on the promise that they will see 5x to 100x efficiency gains. The appliances sell for $80K on the low end to $900K.
Competitors: No direct competitors at this point, but it competes peripherally with symmetric multiprocessing like VMWare as well as standard servers like those of Sun.
Dirt: The conventional wisdom is that Azul breathes fire, however their price points are steep. Companies will take a deep breath and make sure that Azul Systems work as promised.