What to do when free Java 8 updates end

You have four paid options—from Azul, IBM, Oracle, and Red Hat—to get support for the most used version of JDK

Time is running short for free updates for commercial users running Oracle’s Java Development Kit (JDK) 8, the most in-use version of Java and the foundation for many Java applications. The free JDK 8 updates will end by February 2019; a paid subscription for JDK 8 updates remains available. Oracle advises users to switch to Java 11 instead.

But other providers are stepping in to the plate to provide paid alternatives to Oracle’s own JDK 8 builds and support plans.

Azul Systems Zulu Enterprise

Azul’s Zulu Enterprise service provides commercial support for OpenJDK builds, with customers receiving a certified build of OpenJDK from Azul. Zulu Enterprise has long-term support for Java releases designated as long-term, meaning Java 8 and Java 11, with eight-year access to bug fixes, security updates, and other fixes. A Zulu Enterprise subscription costs $13,200 per year for as many as 25 systems, with prices rising for more systems.

Where to download the Zulu OpenJDK build

You can download Zulu from Azul’s website.

IBM Runtimes for Business

The IBM Runtimes for Business service features commercial support for open source Java runtime environments as well as monitoring and management for Java applications. Support is provided for community builds of OpenJDK 8 that run the Eclipse OpenJ9 JVM, with support available for specific clients and servers in an enterprise. A 12-month subscription starts at $48 per authorized user.

Oracle Java SE Subscription

Oracle Java SE Subscription is a monthly subscription program for Java SE licensing and 24/7 support for desktops, servers, or cloud deployments. It includes a commercial license plus technical support and updates to legacy versions, including Java SE 8. Users can upgrade to later releases of Java at their own pace. Desktop pricing is $2.50 per user per month. Processor pricing for use on servers or cloud deployments is $25 per month or less.

Red Hat

Having already offered Java support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux users, Red Hat promises to offer long-term commercial support for OpenJDK on Windows deployments later this year. A subscription will offers enterprise-ready software, product security and technical support. Red Hat would not reveal pricing for its Windows offering.

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