Splunking the data centre market

Published: July 16th, 2007

When’s the last time you Splunk’d? Splunk, a San Francisco-based developer of IT management products, has released a new version of its flagship IT search engine for the data centre.Promising to do for the data centre what search engines did for the Internet, the Splunk search engine indexes and lets IT managers search, navigate, alert and report on IT data from any application, server or network device, accessing everything from access logs and scripts to activity reports and metrics.

Patrick McGovern, vice-president of marketing at Splunk, says Splunk differs from other search engines because of its features.

“Unlike more traditional search applications, ours is extremely sensitive to time,” McGovern said. “We index all of the data in the IT data system in real-time. We’re also able to use timestamps that allow users to see a segment of time and analyze it by moving back and forth with time.”

Boasting over 300 enterprise customers worldwide, the company said Splunk 3.0 can also identify the cause of server problems and will log them for future reference. This helps reduce future risk since administrators have access to previous problem reports. The software can also trace inbound and outbound e-mail messages as well as can pull up customer transactions using a Web browser.

Pricing starts at US$5,000 for a 500Mb licensed version and goes up according to business size and the amount of data that gets put into the software.

Pervaiz Choudhry, Splunk’s director of OEM sales, added pricing is based on the amount of data a business wants to index in their company per day.

A free trial version of the software can be downloaded from Splunk’s Web site.

“This is a free version that people can try out,” McGovern said. “They can use it forever, but the only limit on the free download is the amount of data that can be input.”

Ryk Edelstein, director of operations at Converge ­Net Inc., a technology solutions provider based in Montreal and also a recent partner of Splunk, said he strongly believes in this software.

“We found Splunk was much more flexible [than its competitors],” Edelstein said. “What our users (like) most is just how easy it is to track problems, since there’s better visibility than with their traditional logging practices.”

Choudhry expects Splunk’s channel partner and end-user communities to both expand over the course of the year.

“We will maintain our effort to continue to build a larger partner network,” Choudhry said. “We expect revenue from our partners and network to grow and the interaction between all of us will grow as well.”