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Splunk
Splunk's Storm: A Cloud Service To Track Cloud Services

By Barry Levine
August 28, 2012 1:40PM

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Key features of Splunk Storm include the ability to index and store machine data from any source, format, platform, or cloud provider. Splunk's search language enables the ability to search machine data, filter events, correlate information across data types, link transactions across multiple application components, or trend critical parameters.
 




Watch the clouds with Splunk Storm. On Tuesday, systems monitoring provider Splunk announced that its Splunk Storm service is now open to the public.

The service is designed to enable monitoring of applications running in public clouds. It currently is designed to run on Amazon Web Services (AWS), but can also be used to keep track of apps staged on a variety of cloud platforms, such as Microsoft Azure, Google App Engine, Heroku, or Rackspace.

'Extremely Positive'

Splunk Storm allows users to diagnose and troubleshoot application problems quickly, monitor their performance, and analyze business-related metrics.

Chairman and CEO Godfrey Sullivan said in a statement that Storm "provides developers with an easy-to-use, subscription version of our software." He added that the general release follows a public beta program, during which there was "extremely positive" feedback, with "hundreds of active projects."

Storm runs as a multi-tenant service on AWS, dynamically provisioning the resources it needs to analyze data. Subscribers can use it on a monthly, pay-as-you-go basis. As a cloud-based service, no hardware or software installation or maintenance is needed, and storage can be scaled up or down, as needed, via a slider.

Key features include the ability to index and store machine data from any source, format, platform, or cloud provider, without having to use custom parsers or connectors. Splunk's search language enables the ability to search real-time and historical machine data, filter events, correlate information across data types, link transactions across multiple application components, or trend critical operational parameters.

Splunk said that users can extract the information they need from the machine data and dynamically generate reports. Projects and data can also be shared across an organization.

'Operational Intelligence'

Terry Wise, AWS director of business development, told news media that Splunk can provide "operational intelligence" about cloud applications.

In its announcement, Splunk cited the testimony of Chris Moyer, vice president of technology for Newstex LLC, a provider of real-time news and commentary from authoritative sources. Moyer, author of Building Applications in the Cloud, had been a Splunk Storm beta tester, and he said that Splunk Storm allowed his app team to "precisely extract the valuable information we needed and report on it," such as a "way to map what our logs said into meaningful segments."

Splunk provides solutions to take machine data and make it usable. The company noted that machine data is one of the fastest growing segments of Big Data, and that it is continually generated in huge volumes not only by applications, but by Web sites, servers, networks, mobile devices and sensors, such as RFID.

Most of that data is unstructured, which its main product, Splunk Enterprise, is designed to collect, monitor, index and analyze. Splunk Storm provides the Enterprise product's capabilities for the cloud. Based in San Francisco and with 600 employees, the company said it currently has more than 4,000 customers in over 80 countries.
 

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