Open Systems. DBMS 2020, Volume 28, Number 2


Serverless Computing—Where Are We Now, and Where Are We Heading?
Serverless systems are becoming more popular and being adopted by a large number of companies. Serverless computing is a new paradigm that provides a platform to efficiently develop and deploy applications to the market without having to manage any underlying infrastructure. However, serverless solutions introduce several new issues that companies need to tackle. In this article, we introduce serverless technology and its evolution, discuss its benefits and issues, and describe future challenges that researchers should address.
Davide Taibi (, associate professor, Tampere University; Josef Spillner (, associate professor, Zurich University of Applied Sciences; Konrad Wawruch (, cofounder,

Serverless Applications: Why, When, and How?
Why do so many companies adopt serverless? When are serverless applications well suited? How are they currently implemented? To address these questions, we analyze serverless applications from open source projects, industrial sources, academic literature, and scientific computing-presenting the most extensive study to date.
Simon Eismann (, Maximilian Schwinger (, Johannes Grohmann (, Ph.D. students, Nikolas Herbst (, research group leader, University of Wurzburg; Joel Scheuner (scheuner@chalmers.s), Ph.D. student, Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg; Erwin van Eyk (, Ph.D. student, Alexandru Iosup (, professor, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; Cristina L. Abad (, associate professor at Escuela Superior Politecnica del Litoral.

A Serverless Alternative to Traditional Databases
Serverless computing becomes increasingly popular, growing from experimental technology into an industrial-grade solution. Most cloud service providers now have serverless platforms, with the move into the serverless era offering new opportunities for cutting the infrastructure “tax” that users have to pay now. Still, just a few databases are currently available for the serverless ecosystem, and Yandex Database aims to bridge that gap.
Andrei Fomichev (, head of data storage and processing systems development department, Oleg Bondar (, project engineering director, Yandex (Moscow).

Data-centric Operating System
With data being the lifeblood of the digital age, the technologies and architectures of hardware and software solutions used for handling it should be data driven. And still, current server operating systems are centered on control flows rather than data, which leads to multiple issues.
Andrei Nikolayenko (, Architect, Rubitech; Dmitry Volkov (, Senior Research Fellow, M. V. Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics (Moscow).

Internet Evolution: Critical Issues
The Internet has been gradually evolving since its inception. In this article, we highlight the crucial factors that have driven this evolution, and describe how the Internet is nevertheless still struggling with several critical issues that need to be solved to meet predicted requirements of future applications. We discuss possible approaches, solutions, and open issues, bearing in mind the considerable inertia of the Internet's key architectural features.
Mehdi Bezahaf (, Senior Research Associate, David Hutchison, professor, Daniel King (, Senior Research Associate, Nicholas Race (, Professor, Lancaster University.

Information Needs: Lessons for Programming Tools
Why is programming sometimes so frustrating and annoying and other times so fast and painless? This article surveys a few of the important lessons emerging from studies of programming and the new programming tools they motivate.
Thomas D. LaToza (, assistant professor, George Mason University.

Is Hardware More Secure Than Software?
Computer hardware is usually perceived as more secure than software. However, recent trends lead us to reexamine this belief. We draw attention to the "firmwarization" of hardware and argue for revisiting the role of hardware and software in systems security.
Lianying Zhao (, assistant professor, Carleton University; David Lie (, professor, University of Toronto.

Could a Software Engineer Have No General Education?
A recent series of disasters caused either by software defects or too narrow approach to problem solving has once again highlighted the importance of having a general education for software developers, a must that had used to go without saying when the IT industry was still in its infancy.
Sergei Kuznetsov (, Alexander Konstantinov (, employees, Unidata; Nikolai Kuznetsov (, fellow, Department of Mathematics and Mechanics, St. Petersburg State University.

AI in Healthcare: Solution Islands in the Ocean of Opportunities
The huge potential of using AI in healthcare just cannot be overstated. Analysts have highlighted ten most promising directions that really deserve a research of their own.
Irina Sheyan (, reviewer, Open Systems.DBMS Journal (Moscow).

Intelligent Autonomous Systems and Blockchain: The New Decade
The December, January, and February Issues of Computer Magazine (IEEE Computer Society, Vol. 53, No. 12, 2020, Vol. 54, No. 1, 2, 2021) cover the subjects of autonomous systems, 2021 technology trends, and distributed ledgers.
Alexander Tyrenko (, reviewer, Computerworld Russia (Moscow).