Splunk: Answering business questions through IT data

December 28, 2010 | Robert Scoble

Above is the three-minute highlight version of the Splunk interview. If you like this, and we think you will, you’ll want to watch the full-length version posted just below.

How do you see the dark matter inside your business? There are tons of data that your servers are kicking out that you probably haven’t been able get a good look at. Splunk lets you see that data, and discover new facts about your business.

“When we started the company, one of the things we did is we decided to take some time—a year or more—to figure out what to do,” says Rob Das, co-founder and chief architect of Splunk. “So instead of starting with a concept, we went out and explored ideas with people. … The first thing we wanted to do is talk to the people in IT we know, and find a problem they universally had. … The second thing was building something they were willing to pay for. We built some really cool things in the past, and people weren’t willing to pay for it. It was really hard to monetize and build a big company on it. Lastly, [we wanted to find] a place where there wasn’t a lot of competition.”

What they came up with is a way to search and find answers in the vast data produced in IT. The amount of data being produced was growing at a rapid pace, but no one had given the same attention to searching back-end systems that Google had given to web search. Enter Splunk.  “We started out as Google for IT data,” says Erik Swan, co-founder and CTO. “That was a big hit back in 2005-2007, and we got tons of traction there. Now we have over 2,000 enterprise customers—it’s just about everybody. It’s people in the local social internet space, it’s the government agencies, telcos, financial services. It’s not any one vertical. It’s moved on from IT people asking questions about IT data for themselves, and it went through the revolution of security people using it as a security tool, to customer support. Now it’s on its way to the business side. People are realizing that with Splunk they can answer all these amazing questions about their business.”

Splunk is so effective that it’s changing the way some companies do business. “We’re seeing people that are actually bringing in Splunk to start with on a project, and then doing things with Splunk on purpose, rather than saying, okay, I have all this existing infrastructure, let’s bring in Splunk to help troubleshoot,” explains Das. “They’re actually bringing Splunk in to satisfy much higher level use cases to begin with, and writing the data in such a way that makes Splunk really really happy.” It’s making CIOs happy, too.

More info:
Splunk web site: http://www.splunk.com/
Splunk blog: http://blogs.splunk.com/
Splunk profile on CrunchBase: http://www.crunchbase.com/company/splunk
Splunk on Twitter: http://twitter.com/splunk

Watch the full interview with Rob Das and Erik Swan:

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{ 1 comment }

Joe Hackman January 1, 2011 at 10:39 am

I’ve been playing around with Splunk for the past week and I love it, really looking forward to dialing in more data (from NUMEROUS) streams I already work with. The Google of IT Data, well said.

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