Enterprise Software

Review: Splunk IT data analysis application

Splunk, a modular Web-based tool, allows you to index, search, alert, and report on both live and archived IT data in one, centralized, location.

In the business and enterprise world, Data is key. Whether you are analyzing data in order to improve the performance of your system or to improve the flow of your data, your company has a need to know. And there are plenty of tools available to make this task a reality. One of those tools is Splunk, which allows you to index, search, alert, and report on both live and archived IT data. Splunk is a modular Web-based tool that allows you to add or subtract apps to perfectly match your needs. With Splunk, you will gather all of the data you need in order to make your IT life much easier.

Specifications

  • Available for the following platforms: Windows, Linux, Mac, AIX, Solaris, and BSD
  • Free and Enterprise versions are available:
    • Free: Best suited for developers, sysadmins, and security analysts - you are allowed to analyze 500MB data per day
    • Enterprise: Index higher data volumes, with distributed deployment, role-based access controls, monitoring/alerting across infrastructure, and unlimited data analysis per day
  • Additional vendor information
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Who's it for?

Splunk is perfectly suited for just about any IT-based purpose: Development, statistical analysis, security auditing, system administrators. If you (or your department) are in need of serious data analysis, Splunk is a tool that allows you to collect data (from multiple sources on your network) and analyze that data in one, centralized, Web-based location.

What problem does it solve?

Splunk takes that often overwhelming task of data analysis and makes it simple. Not only is the Web-based interface a breeze to use, it also keeps all of your data analysis in one location. No more will you need multiple tools to collect all of the necessary data. Splunk can do all of this for you. And since Splunk is modular, you can install numerous data-mining apps to perfectly suit your network topography.

Standout features

  • Simple installation
  • Easy to use interface
  • Quick module installation
  • Scalable
  • Real-time monitoring of data
  • Highly flexible
  • Select from numerous pre-designed apps
  • Create your own apps

What's wrong?

In some instances the amount of data Splunk offers is overwhelming. Because of this, getting up to speed on how to make the best use of Splunk can be challenging. This is certainly one of those cases where getting to know the tool before it is deployed is key to understanding how its data is presented and how best to maximize that data. If you don't have a firm grasp on the software, before you use it, you might find yourself lost in a deluge of data.

Competitive products

Bottom line for business

If you are looking for a tool that can monitor, in real time, just about any type of IT infrastructure data, you need look no further than Splunk. Splunk is a tool that wants to monitor everything on your network - and then report it back to you in easy to read graphs and charts. But be prepared for the onslaught, because Splunk will hand over as much, if not more, data than you may need.

User rating

Have you encountered or used Splunk? If so, what do you think? Rate your experience and compare the results to what other TechRepublic members think. Give your own personal review in the TechRepublic Community Forums or let us know if you think we left anything out in our review.

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About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

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