Big Data Team

New Computer Solutions Aimed at Monitoring and Managing Big Data Infrastructure

It seems that everyone knows by now that Big Data is big business. But given the sheer volume of data that organizations contend with – as well as the deficiencies of many existing tools designed to monitor and manage it – it can all be extremely problematic.

An I-Corps program team at UCF is stepping into the gap to provide some solutions.

“The Big Data industry is growing at an incredible pace,” said Hong Zhang, a computer science Ph.D. student at UCF, who researches the monitoring and optimization of big data computing infrastructure. “As it does, the supporting infrastructure grows with it and has become a major market in its own right. That brings with it a lot of complex technical issues.”

Zhang, the entrepreneurial team lead, logged three years of industrial development and management experience in China before pursuing his doctorate. He is working under the supervision of Liqiang Wang, Ph.D., an associate professor in UCF’s Department of Computer Science at the team’s Academic Lead.

“We’re developing a tool that accomplishes what the current generation of tools hasn’t been able to,” Zhang said. “It accurately monitors resource status, records application progress, and it optimizes performance. It can also diagnose problems by analyzing run-time profiling information and execution logs of applications.”

The market potential for these tools exists because of how difficult it is to profile and optimize the performance of the computer platforms that work with big data. There is a great need for more power in current commercial solutions, Zhang said.

Wang said that methods exist for monitoring execution and performance, but they’re labor-intensive processes. “Computational scientists, systems researchers, business analysts – they all have to do this manually via a battery of tedious experiments,” he said. “Our tool greatly simplifies the process and provides much more accurate results.”

Among the UCF professor’s areas of expertise are parallel systems design, scalability, performance optimization and data-intensive computing on the Cloud and other platforms. His work involves program analysis to pinpoint errors and programming and performance. Wang received a National Science Foundation Career Award in 2011.

The many agencies that use big data analytics are expected to serve as the tool’s broad customer base.

“There’s a great need out there for the functions this tool provides,” said Zhang. “Our work has been aimed at filling that need.”