Is Splunk Big Data’s Big Solution?

Yes, it’s incredibly powerful - but is it enough?

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Dell EMC

There’s been a security breach. It’s every CIO and CTO’s nightmare. Your tech team is at a standstill, with no idea what happened, and the clock is ticking. Suddenly, that quiet guy in the corner – yes, the one who wears the same black hoodie every day - has the answer. And how did he find it? Splunk – the Big Data analysis tool that may just be the best software technology a lone IT ranger ever sneaked in the back door of your enterprise.

               Founded in 2003, Splunk has seen its success rise in tandem with the rush of organizations undergoing digital transformation. Very simply put, Splunk is a software platform that indexes machine data and turns it into accessible, actionable intelligence. The company’s motto is “any question, any data, one Splunk” – and they mean it. Here are 5 key areas where that “one Splunk” can improve your enterprise through operational intelligence:

  • Applied to IT operations, Splunk can predict service degradation, and measure the impact of a critical service going offline.
  • It can also analyze application performance, uncovering the cause of crashes and comparing the performance of various releases.
  • On the security front, data analyzed by Splunk can detect breaches, and help prevent or stop an attack.
  • Marketing departments love Splunk for its ability to provide insights into user behavior, revenue sources and competitive analysis.
  • And when it comes to the biggest data generator of them all, the Internet of Things, Splunk allows organizations to integrate sensor data with other controls, predict downtime and assess cyber-security threats.

               In addition to its breadth of applications, Splunk offers additional benefits. First, it delivers analyses in real time, allowing users to respond instantly to events and insights. It’s also a highly scalable solution - under the right conditions. So what’s the catch? For many organizations, it’s that Splunk becomes a victim of its own success.

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               Remember that hoodie-wearing lone ranger and his security save? Once someone has brought Splunk into play, it doesn’t take long for other users across an organization to recognize its power and potential. Suddenly, what was a case-by case solution becomes a Tier Zero application. That means enterprise IT standards must be applied: high availability, disaster recovery protocols, resiliency and all the other elements critical applications require. Not only has scalability become a major issue, but changes made in one place can have unanticipated, disastrous consequences downstream.

               Since Splunk is a software tool that is laid across an enterprise’s infrastructure, where and how the machine data that it indexes is stored – and accessed – is critical. But there is often a gap between the operators, the users of Splunk, the administrators and the underlying IT operations personnel who have to deploy the servers, network, and storage to run Splunk well. That’s where a third party can provide exceptional value, although Splunk sets extremely high standards for infrastructure alliance partnerships.

Dell EMC is fortunate to be one of those partners. Organizations that wish to harness Splunk’s analytics power quickly and easily can deploy it using one of Dell EMC’s Splunk-validated Ready Solutions. By pairing a scalable, flexible infrastructure with the Splunk ecosystem, using machine data to generate operational intelligence has never been easier or more efficient.

               Current ROI for deploying Splunk on optimized infrastructure includes faster deployment, easier deployment, simplicity of scale and alignment with enterprise IT requirements. But it is a constantly evolving platform. Hot trends include the integration of machine learning, and use cases for the IoT. In addition to the dominance of these two areas, look for Splunk to help organizations cope with the impact of regulations such as the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation, to be implemented on May 25, 2018.

               You can learn more about Splunk-validated infrastructure solutions here and here. And for an-depth look at best practices for architecting Splunk deployments that scale, check out this presentation from Splunk.conf 2017.

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.