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January 10, 2012updated 22 Aug 2016 11:04am

Splunk dumps Flash in effort to boost ubiquity

New version of machine data analytics from former Hyperion CEO's firm is faster, too

By Jason Stamper

Godfrey Sullivan, Splunk
Godfrey Sullivan, chair and CEO of Splunk

Machine data analytics firm Splunk announced version 4.3 of its flagship software, turning its back on Flash in its mobile version so it now works on iOS devices, as well as announcing performance and ease-of-use improvements.

The firm, whose chair and CEO is former Hyperion CEO Godfrey Sullivan, said a new non-Flash user interface allows more mobile users to analyse their machine data while on the move – iOS’ lack of Flash support in a mobile context precluded iPad and iPhone users from accessing their Splunk dashboards.

The firm argues that machine data analysis is the next frontier in business intelligence – all sorts of IT equipment from routers to web servers generate machine data that can be valuable for everything from system diagnostics to following a user’s path through a website.

The unusual company name is derived from the word spelunk – meaning to explore natural caves – because as the firm puts it, "Our customers told us that finding their IT problems was like ‘digging through caves with headlamps and helmets, crawling through the muck’."

"All kinds of companies are using Splunk to harness the value in their machine data," said Erik Swan, Splunk CTO and co-founder. " With their needs in mind, we’ve made Splunk 4.3 more powerful and usable for any situation and on any device."

As well as the abandonment of Flash at the mobile interface layer the firm also said version 4.3 supports up to 10 times more concurrent users and offers 10 times faster search. Dashboards are said to be easier to use as they are now editable by business users and executives.

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"Almost everything I do using Splunk’s user interface takes half the time in 4.3," said Splunk customer Eddie Satterly, senior director of architecture & engineering at Expedia. "The new features mean that I am able to do so much more, and in a more intuitive way. At Expedia, we have over 2,700 users of Splunk, and being able to provide dashboards on iPads means we can get more data to more people when they want it."

"Splunk is at the forefront of helping organizations harness their big data," said Rachel Chalmers, research director of infrastructure management at The 451 Group. "Splunk 4.3 is an exciting, logical and evolutionary step that embraces mobility and increased ease of use. Splunk 4.3 is especially important for business users, with dashboards that provide insights – integrating real-time and historical data for analysis, and which are easy for business users to personalise on the fly."

Splunk 4.3 is available immediately as a free download – there’s a full 60 day trial and various free or enterprise options after that.

Read our recent interview with Splunk chair and CEO Godfrey Sullivan, Splunk chief says machine data is ‘next frontier’ here.




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