Whether it’s machinery for sale or rent in construction, mining, or agriculture to name a few: in the world of building and production, there are few areas that Zeppelin is not involved in. With this many activities, it comes as no surprise that the company has a singularly complex IT infrastructure, generating a vast amount of data. Keeping track of all that data and using it to best effect is crucial for company success. Vehicles and machinery need to be monitored in order to plan necessary maintenance and prevent unwanted, costly downtime.
From logging to predicting
Originally, Zeppelin addressed the vast challenges of monitoring and data analysis through copious log files, produced by various IT systems, which include SAP databases, a VMware-based virtualisation platform and a hyperconverged infrastructure for software-defined storage. Teams for the different business units were responsible for writing the needed scripts independently from one another.
Splunk, the Data-to Everything platform entered the company as a replacement for a monitoring tool that no longer sufficed. In the eight years since, it has not just provided advanced monitoring for the vast IT infrastructure at Zeppelin, Splunk has enabled real-time visibility by aggregating the many existing logs and alerts into event clusters, allowing the Zeppelin system engineers to “see exactly what is happening with millisecond precision”.
However, the benefits at Zeppelin enabled by Splunk go further than seeing what happens, while it happens. For example, based on data gathered through Internet of Things applications and the implementation of Splunk’s Machine Learning Toolkit, it is possible to predict failures in spark plugs. This directly contributes to reducing the need to shut down equipment, improving acustomer uptime. . Interestingly, integrating the Machine Learning Toolkit into existing business processes did not require a single line of programming. Its’ worth a read to see how the software works in full, details of the case study can be found here.
Next step: business intelligence
The next step for Zeppelin is to use Splunk to provide customers with insight in business performance data, for example on sales volumes, best selling items and most active customers. The heavy machinery and engineering on the one hand and detailed data analytics on the other might seem worlds apart, but Zeppelin and Splunk’s partnership demonstrates these go together very well indeed. Hear all about it, here.