Presentation: Selling Unikernels: The CyberChaff Experience


10:35am - 11:25am




Unikernels represent a fundamental shift in how software can be built and deployed across enterprises, both in the cloud and in local installations. However, they are currently a leading-edge technology, which can make people nervous. How will using a unikernel affect my ability to pivot towards opportunities? Will customers be encouraged or discouraged by this new technology? What does it mean for staffing and recruitment? Are unikernels the magic pill that will make all your problems go away and cause my customers and funders to fawn all over you, or are they a nefarious plot to destroy you and everything you love?

In this talk, I'll walk through our experience developing CyberChaff, a novel network defense solution with unikernels built into its core. I'll tell you why unikernels made sense for us, and how we talk about unikernels with our customers. Like any technology, our use of unikernels have helped us in some ways and impeded us in others: I'll tell you our experience, so you can think about how unikernels might (or might not!) be the right solution for your project.

Speaker: Adam Wick

Research Lead, Leads Mobile Security/Systems @Galois, & Haskell Lightweight VM Maintainer

Adam Wick leads the systems software group at Galois, Inc., an R&D company in Portland, OR. Galois does research in formal methods, programming language development, operating systems, compiler engineering, and security. Dr. Wick has worked in a variety of fields at all level of the software stack, from hardware synthesis to web applications, but has recently focused on network and operating system security. Amongst his current jobs, he is also the maintainer of the Haskell Lightweight Virtual Machine and oversees Galois' projects using this technology. @acwpdx

Find Adam Wick at



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Conference for Professional Software Developers