How Splunk Aims to Tame Flood of Internet of Things Data

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2014-10-09
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    How Splunk Aims to Tame Flood of Internet of Things Data
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    How Splunk Aims to Tame Flood of Internet of Things Data

    By Chris Preimesberger
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    The Boss Man Holds Court
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    The Boss Man Holds Court

    Splunk Chairman and CEO Godfrey Sullivan brought humor and a positive stage presence to his opening keynote as he introduced key Splunk customers Coca-Cola, GE Capital and Red Hat. Each of them explained why they chose Splunk, what it does for them and why it's so important to the long-term strategy of each company. Splunk, which has an open platform but is not an open-source product, is the only non-open source software Red Hat uses.
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    He'll Drink to That
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    He'll Drink to That

    Coca-Cola Co. is a rather significant Splunk customer. Michael Connor, senior platform architect at the world's largest soft drink maker, had a couple of memorable lines during his Splunk testimony. "Welcome, all, to Las Vegas. I suppose the sight of 3,000 data scientists coming into a casino would be frightening to the gambling supervisors." And another gem: "Always remember: Without data, you're just another person with an opinion."
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    Taking Stock of the IoT
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    Taking Stock of the IoT

    Splunk is already among the IT front-runners in indexing, monitoring and generally taking stock of machine data in the Internet of things, which is substantial now but only stands to become more and more difficult to manage with the extreme proliferation of unstructured data that is on the way into the world's IT systems.
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    Splunk's Four Product Areas
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    Splunk's Four Product Areas

    Besides the front-line Splunk Enterprise, which is now GA in version 6.2, the company also has three other versions for specific purposes: Splunk Cloud, which is everything Enterprise is but delivered via a subscription service; Hunk, which is a specialized version for use atop other types of analytics, such as Hadoop; and Spunk Mint, its platform for managing mobile data.
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    Red Hat Puts Strategy on the Board
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    Red Hat Puts Strategy on the Board

    Red Hat, the world's largest open-source products company, isn't timid about telling people what it wants to do. The data points in the slide describe a forthcoming 24/7 Splunk dashboard to assess continuously the business value of its own Website, collect product download logs for analysis, do predictive anaylses on those logs and continue to grow its partnership with Splunk.
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    What Splunk Does for Companies
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    What Splunk Does for Companies

    Red Hat CIO Lee Congdon explained in his presentation that Splunk provides a true integrated view of all security-related events in all the company's systems; that is very important in day-to-day work. Splunk captures and manages system status, both inside and outside all of its data centers; it also shows performance of RedHat.com in real time. RedHat.com is far and away the company's chief access point for users.
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    It's All About Making Big Data Usable
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    It's All About Making Big Data Usable

    That's pretty much the mantra at Splunk. Most companies have piles of data stored up in siloes located across the company and/or different geographies, and it costs money to store it, secure it and yet make it accessible. Splunk has found a way to tap into all those siloes, bring them into a data lake for analysis and then classify everything so as to remain accessible for years to come.
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    Data Adventures Made Simple
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    Data Adventures Made Simple

    That sounds easy, and to most users, it is because Splunk's interface is intuitive to use. But it is really hard to make a breakdown of siloes of data easily accessible, yet Splunk—which has a freemium model with a free-of-charge community edition—has accomplished this.
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    Attendance More than Doubles in 2014
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    Attendance More than Doubles in 2014

    More than 3,500 users and partners of Splunk attended dozens of seminars, chalk talks, keynotes and informal around-the-table discussions about charting data flows, storage and the IoT—among many other topics.
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    Where Will Your Data Take You?
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    Where Will Your Data Take You?

    Good control and understanding of a company's data can take an enterprise more directly toward increased profits because this kind of control offers insight and advice based on facts, not intuition or guessing. Company thought leaders then can use this insight to make better-informed decisions about stock, personnel, partnerships, spikes in sales and so on.
 

LAS VEGAS—Splunk, a young data platform that stands to become a hugely important factor in gauging the Internet of things, held its fifth annual users and partners conference here Oct. 6 to 9. There must be something to this unusually-named company; more than 3,500 people packed the MGM Grand for a chance to hear the company's messages and learn more about new-generation big data analytics solutions. The San Francisco-based company ostensibly will become a kingpin player in indexing, monitoring and making usable the scads of data that the IoT will foist upon us in the coming years because it knows how to classify data, and do it fast. At this year's .conf2014 event, Splunk introduced a new version of its software Oct. 7 that's aimed at attracting a wider, non-IT user base. Up to now, the job of analyzing machine and human-created data, determining patterns that can help steer a company's business strategy and then coming up with understandable reports has been a daunting task for most people. But that's quickly changing. Here's a look at some key takeaways from the Splunk conference.

 
 
 
 
 
Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz
 
 
 
 
 
 

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