Mark Smith's Analyst Perspectives

Splunk Provides Operational Intelligence in the Cloud

Posted by Mark Smith on Feb 8, 2013 3:37:11 PM

Splunk’s innovated ability to access and use machine data for targeted operational insights can help improve IT and enhance business operational efficiency. Its work to capitalize on big data was part of my last analysis, while my colleague Tony Cosentino looked at its focus on search and operational analytics. Splunk also was a recipient of the 2012 Ventana Research Technology Innovation Award for IT Performance for Splunk Enterprise.VR_2012_TechAward_Winner_Logo

The latest Splunk release, version 5, advances its ability to provide operational intelligence to organizations by using data both from existing IT systems and in Hadoop. A new SDK offering supports Java, JavaScript, PHP and Python as part of its API. It can help developers get at data from social media and online applications and combine it with machine-generated data, which our research found to be the top data source according to 62 percent of organizations, followed by application data (53%) and historical data warehouse sources (43%).

Splunk also now provides a cloud computing offering called Splunk Storm that helps companies take advantage of machine data in the cloud or on-premises. It lets users quickly create projects and analyze machine data with charts that can be shared with others. I had a chance to go through the new offering and found it to be simple and quick to analyze data and present analytics based on events, IP addresses and other machine data. Our latest benchmark research into operational intelligence found that activity or event monitoring is a top need in 62 percent of organizations; Splunk Storm can address this through its search and analyze approach.

Splunk has made the pricing of the new offering simple. You select the storage volume you need in the cloud and get the pricing quickly. You can sign up for free and work with the product on data up to 1GB. Organizations can also analyze cloud data with the on-premises version of the product, but for many who need to quickly assess data without the hassle of using internal resources and systems, the software-as-a-service version is an easy way to get started. This is important, as the top barriers for operational intelligence are lack of resources (41%) and no budget (40%), and the on-demand approach is now preferred in 21 percent of organizations, which allows Splunk to address an expanding opportunity.

With its on-premises product and its latest cloud computing offering, Splunk provides customers a good array of options. The company is moving quickly to add alerting and APIs that can be used to integrate to other offerings to upcoming Splunk Storm releases. Splunk has little competition when it comes to combining machine data with other data from business and IT to help organizations in cloud and enterprise approaches. It lets businesses harvest existing sources without having to establish a specialized data store first. Organizations should take a look at what Splunk is providing and how it can help address a class of operational and analytic needs across IT and business data.


Mark Smith
CEO & Chief Research Officer

Topics: Big Data, Splunk, Business Analytics, Business Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Machine data, Operational Intelligence, Information Applications (IA), Information Management (IM)

Mark Smith

Written by Mark Smith

Mark is responsible for the overall direction of Ventana Research and drives the global research agenda covering both business and technology areas. He defined the blueprint for Information Management and Performance Management as the linking together of people, processes, information and technology across organizations to drive effective results. Mark is an expert in technology for business from Performance Management, Business Intelligence, Analytics to Information Management across finance, operations and IT. Mark has held CMO, product development and research roles at companies such as SAP, META Group, Oracle and IRI Software. He has experience across major industries including banking, consumer products, food and beverage, insurance, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and retail and consumer services.