28 May, 2018

"OS DAY Reliability" conference has been held by ISP RAS jointly with leading IT companies

The fifth OS DAY conference, traditionally bringing together representatives of the system programming industry from all over Russia and the post-Soviet space, was held at the end of May in the headquarters of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Reliability of operating platforms was the main topic for the discussion. The issue of vocational education and training, as one of the main factors of reliability, was considered as well.

"We run OS DAY in cooperation with other organizations and IT companies; for 5 years the conference has become a respected communication venue for academic and industrial software researchers, hardware manufacturers and customers," said Arutyun Avetisyan, director of ISP RAS, chair of OS DAY program committee, "Now we can already see some progress, movement forward. The number of participants has increased; new companies which had not participated in the conference before have emerged. What is most important, we can see now connections between them, a desire for cooperation, an understanding that success today can be achieved only by joint endeavors and provided that both sides win - it's better than if we had a winner and a loser."

The issue of OS reliability, which became the main topic in the key-note lectures and discussions of OS DAY 2018, is more relevant today than ever before. "Reliability is a factor of utmost importance in the system programming world," said Dmitry Zavalishin, CEO of DZ Systems, one of the founders of OS DAY, at the opening of the conference. "Some 5-10 years ago, software systems played a secondary, supporting, role but today they have become an integral part of our lives. No surprise, the software we create has the same requirements for reliability, security and resiliency, which had one intended for space, medicine, and the army only a few years ago. The collapse of today's operating systems can cause a serious crisis, if not to say the whole civilization’s collapse."

At the same time, the participants of the conference noted that it is practically impossible to achieve full and unconditional software reliability with today's program code, measured in millions of lines. "There is no absolutely reliable software," said Alexei Novodvorsky, deputy general director of Basalt SPO. "Too many factors affect its vulnerability. Not to mention the possible negligence of software vendors that allow vulnerabilities in the code, it should be noted that in recent years the threats we have to face have changed. Hacker attacks have become multi-vector, more in depth and serious. If previously it was enough just "to run an antivirus and everything would be fine," now it doesn’t work. As a result, today we are trying to find a balance between openness and security, between security and trust, an effective prevention and solution of problems as they arise."

"Given the current market conditions, software requirements are constantly increasing while the development time is shortened," stressed Andrey Dukhvalov, head of advanced technologies at Kaspersky Lab. "At the same time, issues of software reliability and security are transformed from discussions at conferences and articles on professional sites into lines of technical requirements. Under such conditions, it is possible to win the competition only on the basis of system software which is not only safe and stable, but also provides applications with a number of security services. Especially, these tendencies are manifested in the IoT sphere. Now it has become a challenge for the system programming industry. The operating systems that do not cope will die, just as it’s happened with OS/2, CPM and others."

A number of software products that are closed solutions based on open source code as well as designs of Russian programmers created from scratch (in particular, operating systems, both highly specialized and general, user-defined) have been presented at the conference. "Russian origin of the software is the basis for ensuring its reliability and security," said Alexander Oruzheinikov, head of NTC-1 "RusBITech-Astra. "Today in Russia in the field of safe software development, in the areas of research, verification and certification of protective equipment, a modern methodological and regulatory framework has been created. But its implementation is stipulated by the developer’s endeavor. Due to the market laws, it is possible only provided the developer being a domestic company, or the main sales market being the domestic IT segment. In the post-Soviet space, there are enough competence centers and groups of programmers who can enrich the high-tech industry with their designs. The main point is to effectively use Russian scientific and technical groundworks in creating reliable commercial solutions."

As one of the factors to ensure reliability and safety of software, the training of the industry personnel was also considered. A separate section within OS DAY framework was dedicated to this topic; the conference ended with an open discussion on the perspectives and methods of training system programmers. "The modern education system has a large gap with the needs of the industry," summed up Roman Simakov, director of the department for the development of system products RED SOFT. "It is necessary to pay attention to three important points. First, education should be as close to the industry as possible. Secondly, it is necessary to motivate working experts to participate in educational activities. And finally, we have to study Russian platforms, processors, tools, including available world analogs to be able to compare."

In general, all participants of the discussion agreed with the theses: it is necessary to create an ecosystem in which education, science and industry are merged, which brings up personnel that can be mobilized to solve global problems.

Also within OS DAY 2018 framework there was an exhibition of designs and products of Russian manufacturers of operating systems and hardware platforms, tools for software development and reliability. The OS DAY 2019 conference will be held in Moscow in May, next year. It will be for the third time run by a consortium of leading Russian IT companies and organizations, which includes ISP RAS, DZ Systems, Kaspersky Lab, BaseALT, State Research Institute of Aviation Systems (GosNIIAS), Swemel, RusBITech, RED SOFT, Trusted Platform Computing Association.

The conference is supported by the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), the Federal Agency of Scientific Organizations (FASO Russia), the Federal Service for Technical and Export Control (FSTEC Russia), the Advanced Research Foundation (ARF Russia).

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