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May 25, 2015

Q&A: Does Splunk really care about cloud?

Splunk wants you to know it has a cloud, but isn't pushing it.

By

CBR spoke to Marc Olesen, SVP & GM at Splunk Cloud about what the data analytics company is doing with cloud.

The company launched its cloud solution a year and a half ago with the goal of making sure it was enterprise ready and that it would have 100% uptime.

Assuring that uptime is a big ask but with its partnership with AWS, Olesen is confident that it provides this, Olesen said: "We figured that if Splunk is a critical solution that’s monitoring many other critical systems then our cloud just can’t go down."

Splunk appears to have a slightly novel approach to cloud, while offering it as a solution it is certainly not trying to push it at customers.

"We really made it about choice, we’re not pushing cloud on any customer it’s just a choice. We base it on where the company is in their evolution or journey to the cloud."

Olesen wants customers to be aware of its cloud offering, but only if they really need it: "We want our customers to be aware of Splunk cloud as an option for their workloads, and their log and machine data."

Olesen says that its use cases are when customers have capacity constraints or: "Customers who have tapped out on data centre space or resource capacity but want more Splunk capacity, so it’s a nice compliment."

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Although he believes that every organisation has a cloud strategy, the company just isn’t pushing it at customers.

The cloud which the company offers is a hybrid model, although this is again more of an option as Olesen states that over half remain with an on-premise solution.

This he believes is likely to change: "We are seeing more demand for hybrid, that is coming as customers get a broader understanding of that and what hybrid really means."

Splunk has a close link with AWS, although it doesn’t limit where data sources can originate from, as it accepts data from customers which have data in Azure, Google and workloads on premise.

Looking forward, Olesen wants from cloud is more automation, particularly with SaaS data sources such as Salesforce, where the ingestion of data is increasingly automated.

While its main focus is the U.S, Splunk is fully aware of the sensitivity of data issues in Europe which is one of the reasons why it uses multiple European data centres with AWS in Europe.

"Our partnership with AWS has enabled us to be on top of privacy issues, and the great thing about AWS is that every data centre is the same. So once you know how to effectively operate in one it is easier to expand to the other data centres."

Olesen said: "Cloud a huge enabler to data, because more and more data is originating in the cloud, more of its going to it, and because cloud is elastic by nature it becomes a very economic way for enterprises to store data."

Despite this comment, cloud for Splunk comes across as more of a backup choice. The company would like the business to know it has cloud, but it won’t really be pushed.

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