Network latency has become increasingly important for data center applications. Accordingly, several efforts at both hardware and software level have been made to reduce the latency in data centers. Limited attention, however, has been paid to network latencies of distributed systems running inside an application container such as the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) or the NET runtime. In this paper, we first highlight the latency overheads observed in several well-known Java-based distributed systems. We then present jVerbs, a networking framework for the JVM which achieves bare-metal latencies in the order of single digit microseconds using methods of Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA). With jVerbs, applications are mapping the network device directly into the JVM, cutting through both the application virtual machine and the operating system. In the paper, we discuss the design and implementation of jVerbs and demonstrate how it can be used to improve latencies in some of the popular distributed systems running in data centers. Copyright © 2013 by the Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.