Splunk announces Version 4 of its IT search software
Splunk lets users search applications, log, events, or any machine-generated data
Splunk, the information technology search software company, gets a lot
of letters, said Erik Swan, Splunk’s chief technology officer and
co-founder. “Dear Splunk,” the letters would start. “I want to index 10
terabytes a day. How do I do this?” Or “I’ve got three hours to get
something up and running and I don’t have time to buy an appliance.
What should I do?”
The latest release of the software, Splunk 4.0, is a reaction to those “Dear Splunk” letters, Swan said.
Before co-founding Splunk, Swan found few means of recourse when an
IT infrastructure was slow or broken, or there was a security breach.
“You would have to grub through the data and log into boxes you
shouldn’t have access to,” Swan said. The whole process would usually
involve three or four people and a lot of finger-pointing, he said.
The systems administrators and other IT staff members Swan talked
with said that they hated the existing system monitoring and reporting
tools available. Swan asked them what sort of products they did
like. “Everybody would come back to the Google search engine,” he said.
They liked the idea of using a search engine to look for problems
inside the data center.
Splunk lets users search applications, log, events, any machine
generated data, said Steve Sommer, Splunk’s vice president of worldwide
marketing. It can be used by a single person rather than teams of
people, he said.
Browser-based Splunk monitors systems for performance issues and
violations, Sommer said. It’s used by 1,100 customers for application
management, infrastructure and virtualization management, Web analytics
and security and compliance. Federal users include NASA, the Bureau of
Land Management and Defense and State departments. Government agencies
use Splunk 4 to search massive databases and handle terabytes of data,
Sommer said. The latest release boasts 10 times faster search speeds
and twice as fast indexing speeds, the company said.
Because Splunk is software, at $7500 it’s less expensive than a lot
of other IT management tools, Sommer said. And customers can develop
their own apps and dashboards running on Splunk, he said.
“Splunk 4 unleashes the massive potential of IT search,” Swan said.
“As more and more users came aboard we learned about the power of IT
search over ‘IT dark matter’ [the world of unintelligible, unstructured
IT data],” Swan said.
Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.