OI.pngOperational Intelligence

There is little debate these days over whether business decisions should be informed with insights driven by data analytics.  Try to find one article at CIO.com , Forbes.com or the Harvard Business Review encouraging business leaders to eschew all the promise of machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data in favor of making decisions from the gut. However the journey from wanting to be more data driven to realizing success is still a big challenge for many organization.  As many as 3 in 4 big data and analytics projects produce little or no tangible benefits.  Success requires the ability to execute on several levels simultaneously. In the diagram to the right I have highlighted the need to bring together the right people, the right data and the right analysis approach in a way that recognizes the strengths and limitations of each component .  In the table below I discuss how each of the three components can be brought together to produce a successful operation intelligence project outcome that leads to better decision making.


ChallengesWhy Splunk on Dell EMC
PeopleEvery business and organization has unique characteristics that are known most intimately by the people that work there. That is a key competitive advantage.  For most organizations the time your people spend designing, testing and maintaining IT infrastructure is not going to help build value.  The same can be said about developing data analytics capability.  Every person hour spent wiring hardware and software together to enable your analytics capability is not being spent improving data quality, reviewing results or changing how the business operates.Dell EMC hyper-converged infrastructure running Splunk Enterprise analytics maximizes the time your people spend understanding data, interpreting results and implementing money making changes for the business.  Dell EMC is the #1 market leader in easy to procure, easy to implement and easy to maintain data center infrastructure. Splunk Enterprise is a complete end-to-end analytics solution that handles all aspects of processing data, from input through indexing to search and reporting.  Let your people focus on their strengths by leveraging our strengths.
DataThe three V's of data, 1) velocity, 2) volume and 3) variety, are driving organizations to get more disciplined in their approach to implementing analytic based decision making.  Research shows that data identification, cleaning and merging typically consumes 80% of the time and money spent on data analytic projects.  A lot of that cost and complexity are related to the use of different platforms and analytic techniques for each silo of data.  Organizations that can consolidate data processing for many silos of data onto a single integrated framework drive down the cost of analytics projects and achieve results more expeditiously.  One of the most cost effective ways to deal with the 3 Vs is to standardize the tools and platforms to the greatest extent possible.

Dell EMC hyper-converged platforms deal with the velocity and volume of modern data analytics by allowing fine grained expansion of both compute and storage resources.  No more forklift upgrades or stranded assets when the need arises for increased analytic sophistication with larger volumes of data.

Splunk will turn silos of data into integrated operational insights and provide end-to-end visibility across your IT infrastructure producing faster problem solving and informed, data-driven decisions.  Splunk Enterprise works by first ingesting data from files, the network, or other sources. The data then gets parsed and processed into searchable indexes.  Finally, Splunk allows users to run searches on the indexed data regardless of source.

AnalysisWhen a data analytics project fails to deliver on the initial expectations,  one common reaction is to purchase new analysis tools.  Over time the organization accumulates 6 or more isolated "teams" organized around various tools and business problems.  In my experience this never produces good results and creates an organizational dynamic that is difficult to fix. Another typically ineffective strategy that I see organizations adopt is splitting analytic resources between 1) big data teams with lots of resources and long development times and 2) groups of "power users" with tools like Excel and other desktop scale applications that can generate small wins quickly but lack the ability to scale those solutions to solve big data problems.  Finding tools that scale across broad ranges of data sizes and problem domains is an effective way to minimize these challenges.Splunk Enterprise handles small and large analytic jobs with one framework and one set of tools.  One instance of Splunk Enterprise running on a single server can handle all aspects of processing small to medium data flows, from input through indexing to search. To support larger environments where data originates from many sources and where many users need to execute more sophisticated searches, you can scale your deployment by distributing Splunk Enterprise functions across multiple machines. Dell EMC hyper-converged infrastructure can also start as small as one machine and scale both computing resources and storage to match the design of your Splunk distributed environment including highly available configurations.  One tool set and one platform for any size of data analytics means the whole team is working together.


Jointly Validated Hyper-Converged Solutions for Splunk Enterprise

Hyper-converged infrastructure integrates IT components in a scalable rack or appliance allowing you to modernize your data center with simplified management, improved performance, and elastic scalability.  Dell EMC hyper-converged systems simplify all aspects of IT by seamlessly integrating compute, network, storage, and virtualization technologies into one system.  Dell EMC and Splunk have jointly validated two hyper-converged system options for Splunk Enterprise solutions - VxRail and VxRack FLEX.

VxRail for Splunk Enterprise

VxRail Appliances allow you to build your software defined data-center with the only fully integrated, pre-configured, and pre-tested VMware hyper-converged infrastructure appliance on the market.

“VxRail is the simplest, most powerful, most integrated HCI appliance for customers standardized on VMware” - Chad Sakac , The Virtual Geek Blog


Download the Solution Guide  Using Splunk Enterprise with VxRail Appliances and Isilon for Analysis of Machine Data


VxRack FLEX for Splunk Enterprise

VxRack FLEX powers your data center with rack-scale engineered systems that achieve the scalability and management requirements for traditional and cloud-native workloads.

“If you want an insanely scalable and flexible HCI Rack-Scale system, with hypervisor of choice or bare metal… one that can start small and scale out - VxRack FLEX is for you.” - Chad Sakac , The Virtual Geek Blog

Download the Solution Guide  Splunk Enterprise on VxRack FLEX for Machine Data Analytics


Both solutions are the result of hundreds of engineering hours.  The Dell EMC engineering team along with Splunk worked together designing specific configurations based on a variety of different deployment scenarios and rigorously tested them to ensure performance. The solutions guides (links above) give you the configurations tested along with implementation guidelines and deployment best practices.  Starting your journey toward more data driven decision making is shorter with less inherent risk when you start with Dell EMC/Splunk jointly validated solutions. 

Thanks for reading,

Phil Hummel @GotDisk


Share via emailShare on Linked InShare on Twitter