August 8, 2005 4:39 PM PDT

Splunk delves into log-search automation

A Silicon Valley start-up called Splunk believes it will ease overtaxed system administrators by automating a frequent and important but mundane task: retrieving information from the numerous log files kept by a computer's software.

Splunk's software is a specialized data-mining and search tool that digests log files and organizes information so administrators can see how a particular event affects different programs. For instance, an administrator could find out when an e-mail from a particular address arrived and how e-mail routing, virus-checking and spam-filtering software handled it, said Chief Executive and co-founder Michael Baum, who has been vice president of e-commerce services at Yahoo and Infoseek.

Splunk is one of a host of companies hoping to capitalize on the profusion of servers across corporate computer networks. This sprawl, dented only temporarily by the dot-com bubble burst, has meant headaches for administrators trying to keep machines running smoothly and troubleshoot problems.

"This isn't some pie-in-the-sky enterprise software contraption. This is a tool we want to get in the hands of sysadmins and developers who are in the trenches fighting this fight every day," Baum said. The software can process log files from many different servers, he added.

The company is announcing its plans and showing its product at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo this week, though its software isn't due until the fourth quarter. It runs on Red Hat Enterprise Linux or Fedora, or on Sun Microsystems' Solaris.

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The company will give a lower-end version of its product away for free. A premium product will be able to span several servers and therefore handle a greater volume of data collection and processing, Baum said. It also will let administrators convert a customized search into a routine monitoring tool.

The company is named after spelunking, the act of exploring caves.

4 comments

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Too late to market
There are a million log analysis tools, I remember writing one, when there was no money. Just some Perl and nice graphs in HTML.

After doing that for a few years, there came about a nicer program called log analyzer 123 or something like that. It sounds simple, but it's quite impressive.
Posted by sanenazok (3449 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Too late to market
There are a million log analysis tools, I remember writing one, when there was no money. Just some Perl and nice graphs in HTML.

After doing that for a few years, there came about a nicer program called log analyzer 123 or something like that. It sounds simple, but it's quite impressive.
Posted by sanenazok (3449 comments )
Reply Link Flag
what an awful name choice
splunk + logs = bad mental imagery

whoever came up with that idea, don't quit your day job. unless you can find work for a toilet manufacturer
Posted by Sam Papelbon (242 comments )
Reply Link Flag
what an awful name choice
splunk + logs = bad mental imagery

whoever came up with that idea, don't quit your day job. unless you can find work for a toilet manufacturer
Posted by Sam Papelbon (242 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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