The University of Arizona

Events & News


DateThursday, October 10, 2013
Time11:00 am
Concludes12:15 pm
LocationGould-Simpson 906
DetailsFaculty Host: Chris Gniady
SpeakerAli R. Butt
TitleAssociate Professor
AffiliationComputer Science, Virginia Tech

On Using Simulations to Evaluate MapReduce Cluster Design

MapReduce has emerged as a model of choice for supporting modern data-intensive applications, and is a key enabler for cloud computing. Setting up and operating a large MapReduce cluster entails careful evaluation of various design choices and run-time parameters to achieve high efficiency. However, this design space has not been explored in detail. In this talk, I will discuss a simulation approach to systematically understanding the performance of MapReduce setups. I will present MRPerf, a toolkit that captures such aspects of MapReduce setups as node, rack and network configurations, disk parameters and performance, data layout and application I/O characteristics, among others, and uses this information to predict expected application performance. I will also discuss the challenges faced in obtaining realistic traces to drive our simulations, and present tricks and tips we have used. The overall goal is to realize a tool for optimizing existing MapReduce setups as well as designing new ones.


Ali received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Purdue University in 2006. Ali is a recipient of an NSF CAREER Award (2008), an IBM Faculty Award (2008), a VT College of Engineering (COE) Dean's award for "Outstanding New Assistant Professor" (2009), an IBM Shared University Research Award (2009), and a NetApp Faculty Fellowship (2011). Ali was named a VT COE Faculty Fellow in 2013. He has served as the Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems (2013--present) and Sustainable Computing: Informatics and Systems (2010--present). He was selected to participate in National Academy of Engineering's USFOE Symposium in 2009, USJFOE in 2012, and also as an organizer for the USFOE in 2010. Ali's research interests are in operating systems, distributed systems, file and storage systems, and cloud computing. At Virginia Tech. he leads the Distributed Systems & Storage Laboratory.