Splunk Debuts IT Infrastructure Insights Software, Pitches Partner Opportunities To Recruit New Customers


Machine data analytics company Splunk unveiled new analytics-driven IT monitoring software Tuesday that will help businesses reduce costly IT system downtime.

The general availability of Splunk Insights for Infrastructure is the latest in a wave of new and updated products from the company. Last week it debuted new editions of Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Cloud and other software across its product portfolio – all with new artificial intelligence capabilities.

The latest announcements follow close behind Splunk's recent launch of Splunk Industrial Asset Intelligence software, a stand-alone product that targets applications in the industrial IoT space.

[Related: Splunk To Acquire Security Orchestration And Automation Response Software Provider Phantom Cyber]

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The new Splunk Insights for Infrastructure, also a stand-alone product, uses system metrics and log data to monitor complex IT environments, spot trends and prevent IT outages, according to the company. By providing visibility into system performance, the software helps IT organizations observe problems, identify root causes and respond within on-premise, cloud and hybrid environments.

In the announcement Splunk pitched Splunk Insights for Infrastructure as a low-cost alternative to more complex, more costly IT monitoring products. The company is even offering the product for free to small companies with fewer than 50 servers and less than 200GB of data storage.

"Splunk is credited with inventing log monitoring, and Splunk Insights for Infrastructure reinvents the entire market by making it faster, easier and more affordable than ever for systems administrators and site reliability engineers to identify and correct infrastructure problems," said Rick Fitz, Splunk senior vice president and general manager, IT Markets, in a statement.

Splunk is also positioning the product as a boon for solution providers. In addition to expanding the Splunk product portfolio, Splunk Insights for Infrastructure creates an opportunity to recruit new customers.

"It's an awesome foot in the door," said Judd Robins, executive vice president at TekStream Solutions, an Atlanta-based Splunk reseller, professional services provider and MSP. He sees Splunk Insights for Infrastructure as an opportunity to introduce Splunk technology to prospective customers, especially smaller businesses.

"It also makes for a short sales cycle," Robins said. "I think the big game-changer is how you can turn it on pretty quickly."

The release of Splunk Enterprise 7.1 and Splunk Cloud 7.1 include significantly expanded use of artificial intelligence across the product line, delivered through machine learning capabilities. The new editions also include an updated metrics engine that monitors and issues alerts on numerical data points.

Aplura, a Towson, Md.-based solution provider and Splunk partner, has seen an increase in the use of AI and machine learning by customers for a range of security and IT management analysis cases, said David Shpritz, a senior consultant and Splunk practice lead at the solution provider, in an interview with CRN.

Aplura provides consulting, operations management and application development services around Splunk software.

"There's a tremendous amount of machine data being generated by firewalls and intrusion detection systems, scanners and other network devices," said Sean Wilkerson, a principal at Aplura. "This data is virtually impossible to go through without an incredibly efficient product like Splunk," he said in an interview with CRN.

The new release of the Splunk IT Service Intelligence (ITSI 3.1)) leverages AI to predict imminent system outage and how services may be impacted before they occur. ITSI also applies machine learning to identify events that are the most business critical.

The new release of Splunk User Behavior Analytics (4.0.2) also uses new machine learning models and enhancements to existing models to better identify and address time-sensitive security issues and insider threats.

And the new release of the Splunk Machine Learning Toolkit (3.2) adds an "experiment management interface" that the company says makes it easier to view, control, evaluate and monitor the status of machine learning experiments. The toolkit also provides new algorithms for identifying patterns and determining the best predictors for machine learning models.

The new software lineup includes new data integrations with open source software including Spunk Connect for Docker, Splunk Connect for Kubernetes and Splunk Connect for Kafka – the latter a link to the Apache Kafka system for handling real-time streaming data.

"We have customers who have tons of data, creating data lakes with terabytes and terabytes of data every day," Shpritz said, noting that getting data out of Kafka can be a challenge.

The new Connect for Kafka provides customers with more options, Shpritz said, and Aplura has already implemented the Kafka connector at one customer site.