Why should enterprises use Splunk?

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Splunk is a multinational software company that offers its core platform, Splunk Enterprise,
as well as many related offerings built on the Splunk platform. The platform helps a wide variety of organizational personas, such as analysts, operators, developers, testers, managers, and executives. They get analytical insights from machine-created data. It collects, stores, and provides powerful analytical capabilities, enabling organizations to act on often powerful insights derived from this data.

The Splunk Enterprise platform was built with IT operations in mind. When companies had IT infrastructure problems, troubleshooting and solving problems was immensely difficult, complicated, and manual. It was built to collect and make log files from IT systems searchable and accessible. It is commonly used for information security and development operations, as well as more advanced use cases for custom machines, Internet of Things, and mobile devices.

Most organizations will start using Splunk in one of three areas: IT operations management, information security, or development operations (DevOps).

In today’s post, we will understand the thoughts, concepts, and ideas to apply Splunk to an organization level.


This article is an excerpt from a book written by J-P Contreras, Erickson Delgado and Betsy Page Sigman titled Splunk 7 Essentials, Third Edition.

IT operations

IT operations have moved from predominantly being a cost center to also being a revenue center. Today, many of the world’s oldest companies also make money based on IT services and/or systems. As a result, the delivery of these IT services must be monitored and, ideally, proactively remedied before failures occur. Ensuring that hardware such as servers, storage, and network devices are functioning properly via their log data is important. Organizations can also log and monitor mobile and browser-based software applications for any issues from software.

Ultimately, organizations will want to correlate these sets of data together to get a complete picture of IT Health. In this regard, Splunk takes the expertise accumulated over the years and offers a paid-for application known as IT Server Intelligence (ITSI) to help give companies a framework for tackling large IT environments.

Complicating matters for many traditional organizations is the use of Cloud computing technologies, which now drive log captured from both internally and externally hosted systems.

Cybersecurity

With the relentless focus in today’s world on cybersecurity, there is a good chance your organization will need a tool such as Splunk to address a wide variety of Information Security needs as well. It acts as a log data consolidation and reporting engine, capturing essential security-related log data from devices and software, such as vulnerability scanners, phishing prevention, firewalls, and user management and behavior, just to name a few. Companies need to ensure they are protected from external as well as internal threats, and as a result offer the paid-for applications enterprise security and User behavior analytics (UBA). Similar to ITSI, these applications deliver frameworks to help companies meet their specific requirements in these areas.

In addition to cyber-security to protect the business, often companies will have to comply with, and audit against, specific security standards, which can be industry-related, such as PCI compliance of financial transactions; customer-related, such as National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST) requirements in working with the the US government; or data privacy-related, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GPDR).

Software development and support operations

Commonly referred to as DevOps, Splunk’s ability to ingest and correlate data from many sources solves many challenges faced in software development, testing, and release cycles. Using Splunk will help teams provide higher quality software more efficiently. Then, with the controls into the software in place, it will provide visibility into released software, its use and user behavior changes, intended or not. This set of use cases is particularly applicable to organizations that develop their own software.

Internet of Things

Many organizations today are looking to build upon the converging trends in computing, mobility and wireless communications and data to capture data from more and more devices. Examples can include data captured from sensors placed on machinery such as wind turbines, trains, sensors, heating, and cooling systems. These sensors provide access to the data they capture in standard formats such as JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) through application programming interfaces (APIs).

To summarize, we saw how Splunk can be used at an organizational level for IT operations, cybersecurity, software development and support and the IoTs.

To know more about how Splunk can be used to make informed decisions in areas such as IT operations, information security, and the Internet of Things., do checkout this book Splunk 7 Essentials, Third Edition.

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