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To Splunk or Not to Splunk

Posted by Focus Solutions Engineer on Mon, Jan 16, 2017

To Splunk or not to Splunk is the question that a lot of customers have been asking themselves, as well as, what is machine data and why do I care. The answers to those questions differ wildly between organizations.  Splunk, since its beginning has always wanted to be an application that makes all machine data accessible, usable, and valuable to everyone in an organization, and it shows.  Use cases and company logos using Splunk vary tremendously. Over 10,000 customers in 100 countries, including 80 of the Fortune 100, are using Splunk today.



In order to understand Splunk and how your business can benefit from it, one must first understand what machine data is. First, machine data is big data, and big data is everywhere.  Big data is generated by all the machines that power our world. Believe it or not, you, yourself are generating big data right now.  Just reach into your pocket and grab your smart phone, or look down at your smart watch.  Every time you interact with your smart phone, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or browse the internet, you are creating big data or machine data.  Machine data isn’t just limited to smart phones and social media, but instead it’s being generated by every piece of equipment that makes up your datacenter.  Machine Data is the fastest growing, most complex and valuable area of big data, but most importantly, it tells a story about you, your family, your business, or your infrastructure.  Splunk delivers the platform that allows you to tap into that machine data like nobody else can.  It allows you to search, analyze, monitor, report, remediate, and correlate issues that impact your business on a day to day basis in real time, and using it’s schema on the fly technology, you can see what’s happening now, yesterday, two weeks ago, or 2 months ago.



Now to answer the most important questions on everyone’s mind, why Splunk, why now, and why me? Whether you have a traditional datacenter with physical hardware or a hybrid datacenter with a cloud footprint, Splunk can help you control your machine data and generate business value out of the information you retrieve.  Let’s take a closer look at some use cases and how Splunk can help.


Security Play:

Splunk security solutions enable you to detect, respond, and prevent internal as well as external threats. It does this by gathering, analyzing, and correlating data from all laptops, desktops, servers, switches and routers in your network.  It looks at log data and the way systems are interacting with each other and it learns the patterns.   Splunk’s UBA (User Behavior Analytics) offering is a perfect example on how Splunk can help secure your network.  By monitoring and learning user behavior Splunk, can report and block abnormalities. For example, you have a disgruntled employee who, before giving their notice, decides to copy company proprietary information to google drive or an external thumb drive.  In this scenario Splunk’s UBA offering would see this and alert you on the event, but it doesn’t stop there.  UBA will then correlate and compile all actions taken by this user.



IT Operations:

With Splunk’s universal machine data platform, customers can ingest data from any source and easily correlate events. What does this mean?  Let’s say you recently rolled out a new update to a customer facing application. Everyone from developers, QA, and infrastructure engineers will be able to monitor performance as well as errors all from the same management interface, allowing IT Operations to either roll back those changes or push new updates.  The means to troubleshoot IT related problems can drastically be reduced.  If you are experiencing performance problems with an application, Splunk can monitor and correlate cpu, memory and disk latency down to the LUN on the storage array or down to the physical host the virtual machines resides on.

In closing, the question to Splunk or not Splunk is very simple. We all have big data and it’s growing in size every day.  Your data is telling you things that you might not even know, so why not try it out and see how long it takes before Splunk delivers the “Aha moment”!


Tags: Big Data, User Behavior, Machine Data, Splunk

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