Introduction to Splunk
Imagine you wanted to know about a particular user’s activity on all the servers. Without a search tool, this process can take hours. You simply wish there is a search bar where you enter the username of the user and hit enter to view the results. Under any other circumstances, this would have been an impossible task, but with Splunk, it is a piece of cake. Splunk will simply collect and display all the activities performed by the user on all machines in a few seconds.
With Splunk, all you need to do is type in the name of your employee and it will display all the applications used by the user in a certain period of time. It will also give you all the activities they have performed within your IT infrastructure.
Want to know more about this Google-like search engine for all your machine logs and data? Read on to find everything from what is Splunk to its advantages and practical application.
Table of Contents
What is Splunk?
Benefits of Splunk
Architecture of Splunk
A real-life case study of Splunk
What is Splunk?
Splunk is a platform that allows you to search and analyze all your machine-generated data in real-time. It allows you to track all types of data from your applications, sensors, and websites in your organization.
It typically helps you to search for important data from your entire IT infrastructure. This search function will allow you to spot errors and search for data in your organization efficiently. It will gather all the required data and present it in the form of charts and graphs. It can also get you real-time insights, and provide you with valuable reports.
With Splunk, you can even go a step further and monitor the social media feeds of your employees like Twitter. Or even view the e-mail activity of that employee.
Benefits of Splunk
Here are some key benefits of using Splunk in your organization-
- It offers you real-time visibility of machine data in a dashboard.
- You can search and analyze an individual’s data in an organization with Splunk.
- Splunk allows you to create present data in the form of graphs and charts in real-time.
- It allows you to make important business decisions, by monitoring all important metrics in a single dashboard.
- It offers one of the most powerful search analysis tools for your IT infrastructure.
- It allows you to take a look at your IT infrastructure’s flaws from a bird’s eye view.
- It is one of the best tools to perform root-cause analysis.
- With Splunk, you can search, collect, and summarize data from different logs.
- You can modify it to give alerts/ notifications for different machine states.
Architecture of Splunk
Splunk’s Architecture is divided into three major parts -
- Search Head
The forwarder is the machine component that collects data from all logs in real-time. Once it has been collected, it sends all the data to the indexer.
Indexer processes all the incoming data and indexes it on Splunk. Once indexed, it can display your search results much quicker.
We will be interacting with Splunk through the search head. All users will be interacting with Splunk through the search head. It will allow you to type in your search queries and visualize the data.
Real-life case study of Splunk
Let us understand how Splunk helped one of the largest food chains in the world - Domino’s Pizza. The business leaders behind Domino’s understood the importance of data in digital transformation and decided to invest in it. So they started to use Splunk to drive their business decisions.
Here’s how they used Splunk to become the number 1 pizza chain in the world -
- Gather data from customer interactions
- Analyze it
- View results and make informed business decisions from it
The idea was quite simple - bring a data-first approach to all parts of the business from IT infrastructure to customer support and all the way to delivery.
The three core pillars behind the amalgamation of Domino’s and Splunk are:
The executives at Domino’s found that “the hardest part of ordering a pizza for most customers is identifying what toppings they want”.
So their decision was to simplify their ordering process into a minimal number of steps. Moreover, they found out that not everyone wanted to order from the website. They used data to find that consumers preferred to order from voice-activated channels such as Amazon’s Echo and Google Home.
So they created an additional 15 channels for customers to order food. A few of them include-
- Smartphone applications
- Google Home
- Social Media
- Slack channels
They used Splunk’s integration to tie it all together under one roof, thereby reducing the complexity of the system. They also used Splunk to monitor all the incoming data from different channels. This shift gave them a 65% boost in Annual Sales in the USA alone.
One of the best things about a business is the customer experience. With millions of pizzas flying off their ovens every single day, the executives at Domino’s understood the importance of their system’s reliability. A small error could derail the whole system and cause stacking of order. So they decided to use Splunk to set up alerts for different machine states. Whenever an error occurred, they used Splunk to analyze and solve it immediately. The quicker they were able to identify errors, the quicker they could analyze and resolve them.
Finally, Domino’s uses Splunk to increase the safety of their IT infrastructure. They have used Splunk’s phantom to automate repetitive workflows. This allows the developer to work on important decisions that move the business in the right direction.
They are also using Splunk to identify and mitigate critical issues in minutes. Solving these issues quickly has given them the opportunity to improve their customer experience. Splunk also helps them protect customer data from external threats. This allows them to maintain their brand reputation and establish themselves as the biggest pizza making company on the planet.
Splunk offers you more than data insights; it offers operational intelligence. When used right, you can translate it to make better decisions in your business. If you’re looking for a platform to solve all your data monitoring and management problems, Splunk might just be the solution for you.