openjdk support
March 26, 2020

Why Pay for OpenJDK Support?

Development
Open Source

Do You Have OpenJDK Support? 

Most OpenJDK distribution vendors provide just basic support for OpenJDK. If you look at some of the OpenJDK vendors that offer free support (such as IBM and Redhat), it’s actually very limited. This support doesn’t extend to infrastructure concerns such as application server architecture, proactive best practices recommendations, performance and optimization, or even support for core Java. Mainstream OpenJDK vendors such as RedHat and IBM will not extend their support beyond installation of the JVM into the environment or beyond the operating system layer.

What Are People Looking for with Enterprise Support? 

Enterprises need support vertically along the Java application stack. Making sure Java is properly installed is just the bare minimum requirement for the typical enterprise.  

Developers need support for the core language itself, especially with the recently introduced rapid release schedule. OpenJDK is continually receiving new features and fixes from upstream. Teams need to be able to understand application server landscape as well as the emerging Java microservice landscape. Moreover, enterprise organizations understand how to deploy Java at an enterprise scale. 

And all of this knowledge and maintenance needs to be owned by resources who understand the protocols and culture of the OpenJDK communities. With the transition of the enterprise at large to OpenJDK (Gartner is predicting an 80% shift to OpenJDK by 2023). Java shops will require conduits into the developer groups that direct OpenJDK’s growth.

Support Limits and Vendor Lock-In

As noted previously, most OpenJDK vendors will not extend their support beyond integration at the operating system level.  The majority of vendors will help organizations make sure Java is properly installed, but there is no support beyond that.  While these support duties absolutely extend from a larger set of responsibilities which deserve credit and recognition, i.e. obtaining the source code and creating the specific build, once OpenJDK is set up within your environment, you’re largely on your own. Furthermore, relying on these vendors solely for OpenJDK support creates additional lock-in. Vendors tend to only support their own builds, and so you would not be free to run supported OpenJDK in other flavors that make more sense for your environment.

For instance, enterprises commonly have a blend of Windows and Linux environments supporting their business.  It is easiest in these cases to use a Windows-specific build of OpenJDK such as the ones available from AdoptOpenJDK in Windows environments, and to use a package manager provided distribution in a Linux environment such as the RedHat RPM distribution of OpenJDK.  Finding a single vendor that will provide equal support for both distributions is difficult.  This fragmentation in OpenJDK has led to confusion on who supports what and as to what kind of support is available for OpenJDK. This where OpenLogic by Perforce comes in. 

Getting Supported for All Stages of Your OpenJDK 

With OpenLogic, it doesn’t matter where you got your OpenJDK build from, our team can support it. OpenLogic enables you to get support at every stage of your OpenJDK journey. We also have the ability to produce obscure builds of Java for intricate and specific enterprise purposes. Our support of the product doesn’t stop at installation since the majority of problems we help customers solve tend to deal with the Java language, both in syntax and practices, as well as quirks in the JVM (such as class loading or memory behavior). OpenLogic provides support even further on up the stack, as we get into application servers, middleware and broader deployment strategies. 

Next Steps to Get Supported

Interested in learning more about how you can get your OpenJDK supported? Our enterprise architects are ready to help. Get connected with an enterprise architect or weigh your Java options with this free whitepaper. 

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