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Enterprise Systems

Historically, a distributed system has been defined as a network of interconnected computers - this term, however, was also coined at a time when most IT systems still ran on a single machine. Today’s IT systems, in contrast, are inherently distributed due to three main driving forces: the development of new deployment and infrastructure platforms, the digital transformation of almost all application domains, and the abundance of open source (web) technologies. In ISE, we do research in all three areas, subsuming these under the term enterprise systems.

DevOps and Microservice architecture: Modern applications, often built and run following the DevOps paradigm, extensively use abstracted infrastructure and platform capabilities, such as container-based deployments and cloud services. To deliver cost-efficient, highly available, and scalable applications, system architectures are more and more designed as distributed systems and use concepts from the domain of distributed systems. The use of container technologies, most prominently Docker, in combination with DevOps best practices and workflows, enable IT-centric organizations to improve agility and continuously enhance their business capabilities. Microservice architectures provide a conceptual framework for organizations to utilize these new technologies trends and best practices. The emerging style of "Serverless" architectures promises to deliver autonomous applications ("NoOps") and can be viewed as a subform of Microservice architecture that allows to speed up application development and reduce cost of development and operations even more. Migrating existing monolithic applications to Microservice or even Serverless architectures is non-trivial: an existing silo application needs to be broken down into individually deployable components which is a challenging task that can hardly be automated.

Digital transformation of application domains: Almost all business and application domains are undergoing an extensive digital transformation process – homes and cars become smart, hospitals become e-health playgrounds, renewable energy resources require smart grids and decentralized control, Industry 4.0 replaces traditional factories, Fintechs and blockchain technologies disrupt existing banking business models. In each of these transformation processes, IT is the key technological driver. Since these new IT systems are closely tied to their physical counterparts, they are inherently distributed – e.g., each car and its components have become individual system components that interact constantly. Furthermore, sensor and actor networks of the Internet of Things (IoT) can easily comprise thousands or even millions of physically distributed devices leading to large scale distributed systems that have never before existed in these dimensions. Handling these extensive numbers of system components and the gigantic amounts of data produced by them comes with many open challenges, ranging from resilience, fault-tolerance, and dependability to questions of privacy and security, performance or architectural concerns.  

Full-stack engineering: Job market trends show an increasing demand for full-stack engineers (full-stack developers), i.e., versatile generalists who are familiar with a range of technologies, such as JavaScript frameworks for cross-platform front-end development (Angular 2, React, React Native, Electron), modern back-end languages and environments (Node.js, Go, Rust), a wide range of distributed system technologies (e.g., NoSQL databases, such as Cassandra, MongoDB, Redis, Riak, HBase, etc.), as well as cloud services and platforms (AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure). Cross-stack technology experience is essential for designing, building, and successfully operating full-stack applications ("you build it, you run it"). Thanks to the abundance of open source web technologies and cloud services, small teams of industrious individuals can quickly develop and operate complex Software-as-a-Service applications.

Related Projects


J.Eberhardt and S.Tai (2017). On or Off the Blockchain? Insights on Off-Chaining Computation and Data. ESOCC 2017: 6th European Conference on Service-Oriented and Cloud Computing

Link zur Publikation

S.Tai and J.Eberhardt and M.Klems (2017). Not ACID, not BASE, but SALT - A Transaction Processing Perspective on Blockchains. Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Cloud Computing and Services Science - Volume 1: CLOSER,. ScitePress, 755-764.

Link zur Publikation

M.Klems and J.Eberhardt and S. Tai (2017). Trustless Intermediation in Blockchain-based Decentralized Service Marketplaces. Proceedings of the 15th International Conference on Service Oriented Computing (ICSOC17). Springer.

Link zur Publikation

D. Bermbach and J. Eberhardt (2017). Audio-Visual Cues for Cloud Service Monitoring. Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Cloud Computing and Services Science: CLOSER

Link zur Publikation

S. Tai (2017). Continuous, Trustless, and Fair: Changing Priorities in Services Computing. Advances in Service-Oriented and Cloud Computing (ASOCC). Springer.

Link zur Publikation

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