WSU’s Ennovar Institute gains new partner focused on big data storage solution

The Ennovar Institute at Wichita State University has a new partner that will allow students to gain unparalleled experience working with big data storage solutions.

Re-Store is a California-based IBM premier partner focused on infrastructure engineering. The firm started working with Ennovar last fall on a project that involves Spectrum Scale, an IBM software-defined storage supercomputing tool.

Spectrum Scale is full-featured, software-defined storage with management tools that deliver high-end storage output. Re-Store and Ennovar are tasked with helping drive industry standards in the field of big data.

“Big data can analyze large and complex data sets to solve problems,” said Bernard Shen, director of engineering for Re-Store. “But you need massive power to be able to use it.

Working on this project will give Wichita State students the knowledge and skillset needed to be an asset to companies using big data to solve problems.”

Shen and Hideaki Kikuchi, Re-Store’s senior managing consultant, were recently on campus for two weeks conducting training for seven students working on the project.

“The training provided by Re-Store and the opportunity to be deeply involved in this project is a really unique applied learning opportunity for the students at WSU,” said Matt Forney, director of research and technology for Ennovar.

The experience was an invaluable resource for the entire team, says engineering junior Jacob Kilitzke.

“Because we received training both in abstract concepts and application, our ability to design and run tests to achieve maximum performance has greatly increased,” he says.

Classroom and real-world experience

In addition to the training opportunity and real-world experience working with industry-standard tools, students will gain additional soft skills through collaborating with and presenting results to the IBM Spectrum Scale users group and Re-Store engineers.

“In today’s high-tech job market many companies are looking for skilled labor that has a very short ramp time,” said Forney. “These students will have what I call the ‘and factor’ when heading out to the job market, having both classroom learning and real-world experience.”

Terrance Figy, Ennovar research fellow and assistant professor of physics at WSU, is also involved in the project, providing use cases in a research environment to determine potential verticals and enhance research efforts.

Ennovar’s Solutions Reference Architecture Lab will provide performance benchmarking that will produce best practice guides and white papers for big data vertical markets.

The project is scheduled to be complete by December 2016. Ennovar deliverables will include a best practices guide and performance benchmark documentation.

Ennovar, the Institute of Emerging Technologies and Market Solutions, emphasizes education, emerging technology, experiential learning, evolutionary research, exploration and engagement. Ennovar is committed to strengthening Wichita State’s reputation in research and technology in order to drive the economy.

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