Splunk Storm brings log management to the cloud

Splunk Storm equips developers and system admins with tools to monitor the health of their cloud-based apps

Splunk announced today the general availability of Splunk Storm, a cloud-based version of the company's log-management software aimed at helping companies more easily monitor, diagnose, and troubleshoot complex cloud-based applications running an array of platforms, including Amazon Web Services, Heroku, Google App Engine, Rackspace, and others, according to the company.

Splunk Storm isn't the only cloud-based log-management service out there, as demand for this type of service has swelled with more organizations and developers migrating to the cloud. Rivals include upstarts like Loggly, which recently secured $5.7 million in funding, as well as Seven Scale. Splunk's clearest advantage is name recognition. The company has been around since 2003 and has gained something of a following among developers. What's more, it had a successful IPO earlier this year.

"With a fully managed, pay-as-you-go service, Splunk has extended its delivery model to the cloud to target a new generation of developers and organizations who require on-demand services," said Dennis Callaghan, senior analyst, enterprise software at 451 Research.

In many respects, Splunk Storm is identical to the software version of the product. It gathers up machine data generated by websites, applications, servers, networks, and the like: customer clickstreams, transactions, network activity, and call records. That sort of data can help IT detect and resolve all manner of application hiccups.

Users can perform searches of both current and historical machine data, filter events, correlate information across carious data types, link transactions across multiple application components, and get trend information about various operational parameters. From there, they can generate reports based on that data to assist in finding and solving problems. What's more, they can share projects with peers.

Storm certainly has its uses for developers: They can, for example, build statistical analysis in application, hunt and squash bugs and performance problems, as well as record and analyze events using semantic logging.

But the service also might hold appeal for application support staff, say, for monitoring application performance and availability, for system admins for investigating server problems and monitoring user activity, or for security analysts for investigating suspect users or discovering risk patterns for such threats as brute-force attacks and data leaks.

In terms of data privacy and security, Storm makes use of both AWS's EBS (Elastic Block Storage) and the S3 (Simple Storage Service). All instances of EBS are configured as RAID10, according to the company, and all have a hot standby spare.

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