By Doug Henschen, InformationWeek, January 11, 2012
Splunk started out as a tool designed to help IT spot and solve problems with servers, messaging queues, websites, and other systems that generate machine data. But IT soon figured out this real-time tool could also answer all sorts of urgent business questions.
With Splunk Enterprise 4.3, an upgrade announced Tuesday, Splunk has added iPhone/iPad-friendly mobile clients, dashboards, and performance upgrades that the vendor says will make the system that much more valuable to business users.
At its core, Splunk is an IT-oriented monitoring system that captures and indexes machine data from server logs, clickstreams, message queues, and so on, and then supports querying and basic business intelligence (BI) and analytics.
Splunk uses a data manipulation language derived from Unix rather than SQL. The approach is more like text-based search, and that gives Splunk flexibility akin to a NoSQL product in that it requires no predefined schema.