Is Splunk good?

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Currently, Splunk is a huge force in the log mining market. The platform is proving to be efficacious not only in collecting data and analyzing it, but also in data visualization. The tool has exceptional abilities in collecting as well as monitoring different kinds of data effectively. Additionally, you can customize the software to suit various needs.
Splunk can deal with data from networks, transactions, security, and customer data. Again, it comes with easy-to-understand language and advanced technology. Most users hail Splunk for its scalability, innovative way of working, and high performance.
However, implementing Splunk in your IT infrastructure can be a little hard. Besides, determining data integrity can be hectic with Splunk as it most often monitors hardware and servers but not data.

Is Splunk good
Is Splunk good

10 Factors That Make Splunk Good

A well-known log analysis tool, Splunk is proprietary in its class; despite the massive competition in data infrastructure, it still serves millions of companies worldwide. Typically, Splunk is admirable for its completeness. However, its popularity is partly due to industry inertia. 

Remember, this software still remains relevant despite the numerous open-source data infrastructures. Splunk is simply good because:

  1. Machine learning (ML) abilities: machine learning is vital in helping computers learn from past experiences and, thus, improving the performance of a specific task. Basically, you can analyze data and use statistical methods to learn from a data set to improve the ability to perform a particular task.
  2. Splunk can collect a wide range of data: you can deploy Splunk in the collection of a variety of data in multiple sectors, including transactional, network, security, customer, and 
  3. Good customer support: Splunk has a community of experts, where you can get help if you are experiencing issues. Nevertheless, you can reach out to customer support any time via telephone (+1 902 722 3504) – it’s free to call. 
  4. Allows customization: Splunk offers a variety of customization options – behavior, text, and styling customization. These are available for multiple Splunk components. However, before you customize, you need to clear the server and client cache. 
  5. Good security: Splunk features a security information & event management (SIEM) solution for quick detection of threats. 
  6. Log mining and monitoring: Splunk has the best-in-class observation solution. 
  7. Ad-hoc query and analytic support: it lets you explore data and build incremental searches. 
  8. Easy to use: Splunk dashboard is pretty straightforward. 
  9. Powerful ecosystem: Splunk has a lot of powerful apps, which are not only engineered to monitor performances but also ensure uptime as well as provide actionable security insights.
  10. Partners: Splunk has partners who bring together the industry’s finest professionals to create an efficient team to deliver functional work across the network. 

10 Factors That Make Splunk Bad

Though a powerful and pretty effective tool, Splunk has its downside. Actually, Splunk is the most mature and advanced software anyone can use for log analytics.

 Here are some of its downsides:

  1. Pretty expensive for large data sets: compared to other SaaS applications, Splunk costs higher, especially if you are dealing with larger data sets. Precisely, Splunk will cost you $1,150 per GB for the yearly 15 GB license. This includes maintenance. So, for 1000 users, it’ll cost each one $17.25 per year. 
  2. Hardware costs: there are also accompanying hardware costs, especially if you are using on-premise. 
  3. The Splunk dashboard is not as effective as alternative monitoring tools: using the dashboard requires thorough training as it has many facets. 
  4. Stiff learning curve: a thorough understanding of Splunk requires going over the tutorials, training, and certification. Typically, Splunk features multi-tier architecture, which demands a lot of time. 
  5. Difficult to comprehend searches: Splunk allows the performing of lots of kinds of searches, which is incredible. However, understanding search syntaxes and even the regular expressions can be a little challenging. 
  6. Complex architecture: Splunk is designed into a multi-tier architecture. This is meant to solve many problems, but it may be a disadvantage to many users as they need additional training. 
  7. Splunk gets slow when you search large volumes of data or when you do searches over a long-range: in fact, in some instances, the system may become totally unresponsive. This is frustrating since it will slow down your work speed.
  8. Implementing Splunk into an IT infrastructure can be pretty hard: Splunk requires experts to install it and probably run it. Therefore, people with moderate to none IT experience might not implement Splunk correctly. 
  9. Monitoring data integrity and quality in minor transactions is hard with Splunk as it mostly deals with server and hardware monitoring. 
  10. If you choose to use Splunk in an organization, then implement it in all departments and all systems. Half implementation of Splunk won’t give good results. 

Splunk disadvantages

Splunk is one of the particular software for data collection and analysis. Like other tools, it comes with its limitations, which include:

Debugging Splunk is quite tricky because you have to keep track as well as remember the syntax functions and how they are used. This is a difficult thing. If the system had a drag and drop, it could be a bit easier. 

Splunk isn’t user-friendly, especially if you are new to the platform. The Splunk query is very complicated. Additionally, the query error also very generic for troubleshooting. 

Splunk requires lots of creative thinking, even for experienced users, due to its decentralized working model. While using Splunk in a central place can be easy to maintain best practices, opening it up to a whole department to on-board their logs or utilize the system makes it more difficult. The best way out is following the whole entire process stepwise. 

Splunk enterprise set up is accomplished via a command line. This proves a challenge to some users, who would prefer that the system could have had cluster configuration as part of the user interface (UI). 

To use Splunk effectively, you have to get training. Though there is free documentation to help you through learning, paid training is most essential, especially for beginners. Now, Splunk utilizes its own SPL, and that’s why you should learn its details. 

The cost of Splunk is too high. Though it comes with lots of functionalities, they do not match up to its cost. Look, there are complex queries, which may require large CPUs. Otherwise, the software may freeze or completely slow down the software.

It’s worth noting that the search query builder is fully technical. Therefore, if you are not a tech-visualize savvy one looking up logs can be really challenging. Furthermore, query builder error is burdensome to grasp To produce data, users need deep learning, while large applications require much more knowledge. 

What is Splunk?

Splunk is software that can monitor, analyze, search, and visualize machine data as it happens -live. Typically, this software captures, indexes, and correlates the data in searchable containers to produce alerts, graphs, and dashboards. 

Both large and medium-sized organizations can deploy Splunk. In large organizations, Splunk provides easy and flawless access to data for an easy solution and diagnostics to different problems.  

Using Splunk comes with lots of benefits such as:

  • Offering enhanced real-time visibility and GUI in dashboard 
  • It offers instant results; thus, minimizing the time for resolving and troubleshooting. 
  • It’s a suitable tool to perform root cause analysis.
  • You can gather lost operational intelligence from machine data.
  • With Splunk, you can generate alerts, graphs, and dashboards.
  • Splunk lets you to search for and investigate results. 
  • You can troubleshoot virtually any type of failure to improve its performance. 
  • Allows the monitoring of business metrics as well as any informed decision 
  • With Splunk, you can incorporate AI into your data strategy. 

Splunk features 

Splunk is rich in features. However, its essential features include:

  • Faster generation of ROI
  • Accelerates development and testing 
  • Allows the building of real-time data applications 
  • Agile statistical reporting plus Real-time architecture
  • It comes with analysis, search, and visualization potential, which makes it easier for all types of users. 

Splunk Products 

Currently, there are three Splunk products:

  • Splunk Enterprise: this is the latest version, used mostly by IT businesses. 
  • Splunk Cloud: a hosted platform having similar features to the enterprise version. You can use it via AWS or Splunk.
  • Splunk Light: this is a free version that allows searching, reporting, and altering log data. However, it has limited functionalities. 

Splunk Architecture

  • Universal Forward (UF):
  • Load Balancer (LB)
  • Deployment Server(DS)
  • Heavy forward (HF)
  • License Manager (LM)
  • Indexer (LB)
  • Search head (SH)

Splunk Data

Machines generate big data, which may prove a little difficult to analyze using normal tools. However, with Splunk, you can unmask the hidden value and meaning behind data. Additionally, Splunk allows you to bring insights from other software tools, which is a commendable thing. Ideally, it confers the ability to obtain value from a whole spectrum of data but not just a section.

One of the strongest points is that Splunk offers a unified manner of data organization and extraction in real-time. The real-time insights are handy in offering insights from a huge amount of machine data from multiple sources. 

Applications – systems, sensors, or web serves generates massive data per second. Machine data is the most sophisticated areas in big data but an invaluable sector – it comes with definitive solutions for multiple sectors.  

The principal reason why dealing with machine data is challenging is because it originates from multiple sources but in an unstructured format. So, fitting it in a pre-defined schema may not be feasible. 

It’s easy to deploy machine data into Splunk. 

As it is both Splunk Cloud and Splunk enterprise are integrated real-time end to end-user solutions for machine-generated data. Whether it is just a universal collection or indexing of massive machine data, Splunk can deal with data from any source to offer comprehensive analysis and reporting. 

Splunk Competitors

Splunk is ideal for multiple types of machine-generated data. However, there are some other solutions that perform equally well. 

They include:

Datadog: this is a monitoring platform for DevOps and IT teams that develop and run apps at scale. It helps them turn massive data amounts that their apps produce into actionable insights. Keep in mind; Datadog is a cloud networking service. 

Dynatrace: this is a fully automated, full-stack, and AI powered software system that offers deep insights into multiple types of analyses across various applications. The strongest point of Dynatrace is its ability to produce observability that exceeds just metrics, traces, and logs. Besides, it supports commonly used technologies while offering precise solutions. Whether it is cross-team collaborations, analytics, or continuous automation, Dynatrace is the real deal. 

IBM QRadar: this is an analytics and security platform providing a consolidated but flexible architecture for security teams so that they can quickly adapt SIEM, log management, user incident forensics, behavior analytics, etc. Ideally, it streamlines the crucial potentials into a single workflow. Installation of IBM QRadar guarantees you comprehensive insights into for quick detection, investigation, and response to threats.  

Zabbix: this falls under the enterprise level category software designed for real-time monitoring of thousands of metrics from numerous different sources. 

Splunk Pros and Cons

The fundamental reason why Splunk was built is to make machine data more accessible and valuable to users. There are lots of products within the company that allows the turn of machine data into worthy information via monitoring and analysis of all activities – Operational Intelligence. 

Users love Splunk for its exceptional Log Management alongside Security Information & Event Management solutions. 

Splunk pros 

  • With Splunk, you can easily write or tweak small glue code pieces in preparation for creating a new dashboard for business units. This offer clear insights for making real-time decisions. 
  • Splunk offers extensive usability – it makes it easy for developers and other users to operate whenever they want to search for specific logs. 
  • It has a feature-packed dashboard – it allows you to go deeper, which means you can view queries within the dashboard, edit them, see reports as well as build new visualizations. Besides,
  • Splunk is a versatile platform – it can extract virtually all data types. Essentially, there is no limitation to data type – structured and unstructured, and machine-generated data.  
  • Excellent technical support team – they quickly respond to any technical issues that you raise. 
  • Splunk allows you to run reports against numerous devices at the same time – you troubleshoot one application on multiple servers with just one query, and the process is easy. 

Easy to modify or evolve your implementations 

  • – Splunk has multiple integrations that allow you to build almost anything.
  • The initial setup isn’t complicated – it can take you 15 minutes to set up. 

Splunk cons 

  • It is not the best platform when it comes to analytics – some of its competitors do better.
  • Data retrieval is a bit slower due to its heavy byte data scale. However, with better sharding, it can be a little faster.
  • Splunk is too expensive when supporting real-world applications. 
  • It’s on-premise; thus, it comes with lots of complexities.  

Splunk Features

Splunk is a feature-packed software. But what’s more impressive is that there is a continual addition of new features into the platform to ensure that it serves its purpose well. There are different versions of Splunk. Splunk Enterprise and Splunk Cloud offer the most advanced features, while Splunk light offers only basic features. 

Nonetheless, these are important features you can get at Splunk:

  1. Indexing

Splunk can index data within your IT infrastructure – a fundamental component of Splunk enterprise. There is a varied volume of indexing – it typically varies depending on the license you hold. More indexing capabilities means paying more. 

  1. Alerts

Alerts are vital in notifying you when results are ready. Essentially, search results are from both real-time and historical searches, are as a result of certain configured conditions. There are different ways to configure alerts. For instance, you can prompt the software to send an alert to a specific email, RSS feed, or running custom scripts. 

  1. Search

The major way to navigate Splunk is via search. you can get into the depths of all aspects of the system effortlessly. You can save all searches you make as reports and then use them to power your dashboard panels. With proper searches, you get data insights like calculating indexes, search for specific conditions, pattern identification in data, retrieving an event from indexes, or predicting future trends. 

  1. Pivot

These are simply chart, tables, and visualizations you build using the Pivot Editor. You can map data defined attributes using data model objects in the SPL – Search Processing Language (SPL) for an easy generation.

  1. Dashboards

Dashboards have panels of modules, e.g., search boxes, charts, fields, etc. The panels are normally connected to saved pivots. 

Other important features include a high-resolution display, reports, and data model. 

Splunk Review

It’s clear; Splunk is a tool whose main agenda is to convert data and offer communication between artificial intelligence and machine data. Besides, it helps users to become more proactive with IT issues.

Remember, Splunk is not an open-source platform, but it still dominates the data analytics markets despite the availability of multiple open-source software. 

Open-source platforms normally offer decent services, but they come as parts rather than the whole system. Splunk is a complete package. Apart from enabling AI and ML, Splunk can work with a variety of open-source software where it can identify patterns, metric data analysis, and offer a diagnosis of the problem, and finally offer some actionable insights. 

Amazingly, you can deploy Splunk on a number of open-source projects to create custom APIs. Additionally, you can use original open-source APIs to make system securities stronger in terms of storage and data analysis. 

Any organization that needs software that is fully packaged should consider getting Splunk. With Splunk, you don’t need to create a DIY alternative. However, when you opt to use Splunk, it means you accept to part with a good amount of money concerning its usage. But it is worth it because it comes with powerful features that normal open-source software does not offer. 

Advantages of Splunk

Splunk comes with lots of advantages to the users. They include:

  • The ability to analyze aggregates of logs from a huge service cluster – this is very beneficial for solving problems from insights. 
  • Splunk works at demon speeds to locate real-time logs. 
  • Accurate configuration of searchers usually results in clear reports and timely alerts.
  • It has a feature-rich dashboard that offers an enhanced graphical user interface as well as real-time visibility.
  • Setting up Splunk is relatively easy. Besides, its maintenance is low cost. 
  • Splunk accepts all data types, which makes it applicable in many fields. 
  • It can monitor the AWS infrastructure.
  • Uploading ad indexing data from local PERSONAL computer Splunk can be done directly. 
  • Generates results quickly as it reduces the issue resolution and troubleshooting time. 
  • It works efficiently with minimal HW resources. 
  • It doesn’t require dependent services such as a database. 
  • Splunk is an all-in-one tool that provides in-depth insights from thorough monitoring, analysis, and reporting. 

In the IT industry, longs are incredibly important as you can put them into various uses, including IT system operations, business analytics, IT application monitoring, and security and compliance. 

Log analysis simply is the transformation of raw log data into actionable information. There is numerous software that you can put to these roles, but not all of them give satisfactory results. More and more businesses need insights, which are obtained from logs. 

With proper log analysis, you can automate tasks, streamline workflows, identify inefficiencies, and spot outstanding challenges. 

Splunk offers a centralized log system, and it exceptionally easy for developers to accomplish their tasks. Look, detecting issues, securing applications when an unexpected hit occurs, or troubleshooting an application requires an efficient logging system like Splunk. 

Any centralized log system doesn’t require many resources to maintain. Besides, it offers easy searching of logs. 

The Reasons Why Splunk Is Good

Reasons Why Splunk Is Bad

Splunk comes with lots of handy features that help in efficient log analysis.

Though Splunk comes with lots of features, it’s expensive compared to simply SaaS applications. Besides, there are additional hardware costs – CPU.

Splunk can monitor different types of data and offers the flexibility of customization to come up with helpful insights.

The dashboard, though, has multiple features; it is not as effective as that of similar SaaS applications, especially when it comes to data analysis.

A powerful ecosystem is what characterizes Splunk. This is as a result of a collaboration between different highly trained partners who ensure only efficient apps reach the market.

There is a rich ecosystem of applications on Splunk; however, the learning curve is very steep. It requires training from a professional to understand how to use this software.

There is a continuous addition of resources and documentation on Splunk to make it more efficient. This is to meet the industry demand for generating high-quality visual presentation – best-in-class observations.

In instances where users deal with large volumes of data, the Splunk software gets really slow. While this is common in most log analysis tools, it can be annoying.

Great customer supports and security. There is a community of experts as well as a direct phone number, which you can contact the company in incases of issues.

For efficient operations, you need to implement Splunk in all departments of an organization. Virtually, it should be in all systems. Otherwise, the results might not be good.

Luis Gillman
Luis Gillman

Hi, I Am Luis Gillman CA (SA), ACMA
I am a Chartered Accountant (SA) and CIMA (SA) and author of Due Diligence: A strategic and Financial Approach.

The book was published by Lexis Nexis on 2001. In 2010, I wrote the second edition. Much of this website is derived from these two books.

In addition I have published an article entitled the Link Between Due Diligence and Valautions.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information published on this website is accurate, the author and owners of this website take no responsibility  for any loss or damage suffered as a result of relience upon the information contained therein.  Furthermore the bulk of the information is derived from information in 2018 and use therefore is at your on risk. In addition you should consult professional advice if required.