Shining a light on dark data

You can collect all the data you want, but if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you may as well be stumbling around in a cave.

19 October 2021

One of the most vexing challenges facing technology professionals is getting proper insights from their data. There’s also more data available than ever before, and more connected devices, but it’s still quite hard to get real visibility into your IT estate, and that’s if your applications and environments are all functioning optimally.

Splunk, which has the tagline of the ‘data-to-anything platform’ has made a name for itself in this murky world of monitoring and analysing data, and is in fact coming up for its 20th birthday. It all started back in the early 2000s in San Francisco when technology entrepreneurs Michael Baum, Rob Das and Erik Swan all identified how hard it was to troubleshoot IT environments because of the need to sift manually through machine logs. No one seemed to know how to identify problems, and there was plenty of hacking around with Perl scripts; that, and asking the last person who had managed to solve the problem. After many conversations with IT professionals, all of whom seemed to be grappling with this problem of visibility, they built a search tool, and as Swan told the Silicon Angle publication, it was this capability that really got prospective customers excited. He remembers them saying, ‘That Google thing for IT machine data, that’s hot!’

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