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Department of Computer Science and Technology


Systems and Networking research theme logo

The Systems Research Group is one of the largest groups in the Department, undertaking research and teaching into all aspects of computer systems, broadly conceived, including computing and communications hardware and software, operating systems, distributed and mobile systems, and the legal and policy implications of future computing systems. The group has a strong tradition of design, implementation, and deployment of working platforms.

Systems research has been at the heart of the Department since its inception. Past systems developed and deployed here include the EDSAC (1949), the Titan operating system (1966), the Cambridge Ring (1974), the CAP (1976), and the Cambridge Distributed Computing System (1982).

More recent work includes the Desk Area Network (1991), the Tempest distributed network control system (1996), the Nemesis operating system (1999), the Xen hypervisor (2003), NetFPGA (2008), and the MirageOS unikernel system (2013).

Successful recent platforms include Xen, NetFPGA, and MirageOS. The group also has a tradition of spinning out start-up companies to commercialise research results. Recent successes include XenSource acquired in 2005 by Citrix for $500 million, and Unikernel Systems acquired by Docker Inc. in 2015.