Why Not Splunk as a Platform

I get it. Every time the company hack day comes around, my first thought is to use Splunk for some sort of hacky solution to work around a problem that we are experiencing inthe office. When I mention Splunk, the eyes role back, as the collective drone is released as once again, I have turned to Splunk.

But why not? I know that the reason behind doing a hack day is to get some exposure to new technology or work on something that you have really wanted to but never had the chance. Using Splunk as a platform gives you a head start on the competition providing you with all you need to get started, as well as allowing you to further your hack dream.

For rapid prototyping, hack days and even longer term solutions, I turn to Splunk as a platform, not just because I have been using it for a while. If you already have an environment set up and ready to be used, your half way there. The following are some of the other reasons, I turn to Splunk as a platform.

Control

Even if you are installing directly onto a server or new development environment for your specific purposes, it’s a pretty easy process which includes your user administration, easy ways to start indexing your data and gets you working quickly with searches, dashboards and alerts.

Better Security than Some

I know not always the best, but you’re provided from the word go with ways to secure your data and include ways to lock down the way that users interact with that data. You have clear access controls and your out going report can be sent directly as a PDF document directly to stake holders, without the need for end users to interact at all with the web interface.

You Probably Have the Hardware and Application Set Up

The thing about hack days and prototyping, is that the last thing you want to be doing is worrying about installing applications and getting hardware, even virtualised hardware, up and running. If you already have Splunk running, you have an environment ready to go. Splunk also provides a cloud based environment to be utilized for free as a trial solution.

Splunk will Most Likely Have Your Data Available

There is a good chance that you already have the data you want to use available in Splunk. If not, its pretty easy to at least get a small sample to start working with for a proof of concept. Even if you are not keen to be using Splunk directly as your platform, it may be the perfect option to be providing data to your application in the form of API calls to the environment.

It can Easily Connect to Other Data

So if your data is not already in Splunk and you don’t want to index it, there are other options you can use. Splunk provides connectors to allow you to integrate structured data from relational databases that may already have the data you need for your project. By connecting to these databases, you can explore and analyze your data within Splunk, using the same query language that you are used to and start creating feature rich applications directly in the web interface.

It Has an Existing Web Framework

The Splunk Web Framework provides an existing web development framework that can take you from the basics, using a drag and drop web interface to coding directly with HTML, CSS and JavaScript. This means that users with limited programming experience can create feature rich applications with Splunk. At the same time experienced developers who have limited knowledge of Splunk, can still be productive as they are able to use familiar tools and implement their code in languages that they are already proficient in.

Building rich applications on the Web using Splunk is now simpler than ever before. Splunk empowers developers to build their own web applications with custom dashboards, tables, charts, form searches, and other functionalities in the data sets at their disposal.

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About The Author

Vince has worked with Splunk for over 4 years, developing apps and reporting applications around Splunk, and now works hard to advocate its success. He has worked as a system engineer in big data companies and development departments, where he has regularly supported, built, and developed with Splunk. He has now published his first book via Packt Publishing — Learning Splunk Web Framework.