The Rise of Memory-Safe Languages: Building a Fast, Elastic, Secure Software & Hardware Architecture


Motivated by developer productivity, serverless computing, and microservices have become the de facto development model in the cloud. Microservices decompose monolithic applications into separate functional units deployed individually. This deployment model, however, costs CSPs a large infrastructure tax of more than 25%. To overcome these limitations, CSPs shift workloads to Infrastructure Processing Units (IPUs) like Amazon’s Nitro or, complementary, innovate by building on memory-safe languages and novel software abstractions.

Based on these trends, we hypothesize a MemorySafe Software and Hardware Architecture providing a general-purpose runtime environment to specialize functionality when needed and strongly isolate components. To achieve this goal, we investigate building a single address space OS or a multi-application library OS, possible hardware implications, and demonstrate their capabilities, drawbacks and requirements. The goal is to bring the advantages to all application workloads including legacy and memory-unsafe applications, and analyze how hardware may improve the efficiency and security.

Poster at DARPA Forward Conference