Organizations run on data. This is a justifiable, verifiable and perhaps welcome truth that underpins the fabric of every modern business. But despite its essentially digital nature, not all data is equal in size, shape, form, function or state. With the reality of hybrid cloud now splintering complex data workloads out across on-premises and public cloud services, managing observability to achieve business insights in this new vortex is a tough play.
As a data platform company focused on technologies dedicated to security and observability, Splunk spends most of its time working to address this (above) challenge.
In what is possibly its biggest product launch of the year, the company has explained how the next generation of the Splunk Platform now features enhancements to Splunk Cloud Platform and the general availability of Splunk Enterprise in its 9.0 version.
The company says it is aiming to enable organizations to make business decisions on full-fidelity data, act faster on data insights and customize how those insights are operationalized across their organization in the hybrid cloud. In the context of this discussion, we can take full-fidelity data to mean any stream of raw unformatted, unstructured, un-schema’d and unprocessed data in whatever format any given system generates.
Often first ingested to a data lake where all forms of data can swim and slosh around in an early primordial mass, full-fidelity data represents the widest spectrum of an enterprise data universe – and it is this black hole that Splunk aims to spelunk its way through for business insight.
Among its newest and most prolifically updates tools is Data Manager for Splunk Cloud Platform. This technology is designed to delivers a scalable data onboarding experience across Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure today (Google Cloud Platform support is coming summer 2022) to provide a manageable hybrid cloud control plane of data flowing into Splunk.
Data without function is zero
There’s not much point in having data in these clouds unless there’s a functional way to get that data into the services an organization needs it to do a job in, so this is part of what Splunk says it is improving. The company’s Ingest Actions technology helps customers get data to the right places, in the right shape and at the right time with granular controls to take action on data through filtering, masking and routing of data in motion within the Splunk Platform, or to external AWS S3 storage.
“Forward-thinking organizations demand full stack integration across business processes to unlock innovation, improve security and drive business resilience despite the complexity of technology environments,” said Garth Fort, chief product officer, Splunk. “The latest innovations in the Splunk Platform enable customers to address the complexities of multi-cloud and hybrid environments, rapidly identify signals from noise and turn data insights into business outcomes.”
With the expansion of its Federated Search functionality, Splunk says that it is now able to enhance and simplify investigation and search across hybrid cloud environments by providing users and administrators of the Splunk Platform with a unified, single-pane view of their entire Splunk ecosystem to enable quicker actionable insights.
There’s also Splunk Assist, a new fully managed cloud service within Splunk Enterprise 9.0 that provides customers with insights into their security environment, using insights from cloud deployments for a richer administrative experience.
With the enhanced Splunkbase experience (a site where users can post and share apps and add-ons and share it with the entire Splunk user community)offering curated collections of over 2,500 purpose-built apps and integrations, customers can tap into the wider Splunk portfolio and work on a variety of data-centric use cases.
Data into doing
The company says that organizations can integrate third-party data sources to discover, deploy and manage apps built to help customers turn what it calls ‘data into doing’, which admittedly sounds like a marketing slogan and a t-shirt tagline.
“Today, organizations need end-to-end visibility in real-time combined with quick actionable insights to ensure their digital environments are consistent, performant and resilient,” said Archana Venkatraman, analyst, IDC. “A growing number of organizations will adopt intelligent data platforms that deliver full-stack observability, auto-remediation and extensibility to include newer sources in their digital environments. Without end-to-end visibility, flexibility and extensibility, organizations’ modern CloudOps strategies can’t be executed.”
There’s also a new preview of the Splunk Cloud Developer Edition for software application developers to create and test their applications, all of which is hoped to reduce time-to-value for enterprises building on, for, and with the Splunk Cloud Platform.
Beefier bread & butter
If this whole story sounds like a company working with data mechanics tools, then it should. This is really core bread and butter stuff for Splunk (although this is arguably rather more artisan sourdough and organic olive oil, to be honest) i.e. the company’s platform has always been all about full-stack full-lifecyle full-form-factor and full-fidelity data and the ability to perform elaborate, extensive and exhaustive observability analysis processes upon it.
When it comes to data observability and control, we need a view through ‘a single-pane without a single-pain’… and that’s what Splunk is aiming for. That’ll be a promo t-shirt slogan by 2023, you can count on it.