Analytics tools

Splunk announces tools for higher-ed, enterprise security, storage

Splunk Inc., which offers popular software utilities for data analytics, has made a set of recent announcements that broaden the scope of the Splunk platform for the higher education research community --both as a network security technology and as a way to monitor and manage IT operations across the enterprise.

The company says its software, which analyzes machine-generated data from disparate Web sites, networks and mobile devices, has more than 6,400 customers in the business, government and university communities. It wants to extend that footprint with a recent deal to make Splunk software available at a pre-negotiated price to hundreds of universities that are members of the Internet2 consortium.

Internet2 is a group of research universities that collectively identifies and vets technologies to address their common requirements and interests.

Baylor University in Texas, one the universities that helped put the terms of the agreement together, has standardized on Splunk Enteprise to help it combat network security threats as well as to manage its IT operations.

“In IT operations, Splunk software made an immediate difference by helping us to reduce downtime and resolve problems faster,” said Jon Allen, Baylor’s assistant vice president and chief information security officer.

On the security front, “we know what is happening on all of our networks and can identify advanced threats and anomalies in real time,” Allen said. “These are the kinds of insights that revolutionize efficiency.

Enterprise security

Splunk also introduced version 3.0 of its enterprise security app, which provides a way of visualizing data associated with network threats. The visualizations can help reduce the time it takes network security administrations to detect a security “event,” the company said. 

The speed of threat detection can make a big difference in whether a network breach becomes a “massive breach or a success story for security teams,” according to the firm.

Splunk Enterprise 6, together with Splunk App for Enterprise Security 3.0, form a “security intelligence platform,” that helps users to “monitor all data and see potentially malicious activity patterns.

IDT Corp., a payment services provider that has deployed the enterprise and app combination, said the software helped its security teams cut incident response, “from minutes to seconds.”

"One of the biggest improvements in this new version is the new visualizations which make it easier for our security investigators who aren't Splunk experts to get their hands on all of the data,” said Golan Ben-Oni of IDT.

App for NetApp storage

Splunk also announced an app that minds the operational affairs of the enterprise, including the ability to correlate storage data with data from all other physical and virtual technology tiers across the enterprise.

Version 2.0 of Splunk’s App for NetApp Data ONTAP provides admins a real-time view of performance indicators across the IT infrastructure, including NetApp enterprise storage systems. By monitoring NetApp Data ONTAP storage systems, the new app also helps optimize storage resources and manage service-level agreements.

Leena Joshi, senior director of solutions marketing for Splunk, said the app delivers, “operational analytics on NetApp data,” providing “an essential building block in data center infrastructure monitoring.”

“The real value for us is all the NetApp logs, configuration data and performance metrics the app exposes to Splunk software,” said Lee Melvin, a technical architect for Mentor Graphics, a developer of electronic design automation software. “We are creating customized reports and dashboards for operations, management and engineering much more easily than anything we could develop in-house."

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