September 28, 2016

Splunk Doubles Down on Machine Learning Analytics

George Leopold

The application of machine learning to predictive analytics continues apace as a way to improve IT operations, data security and business intelligence. Among those offering frequent platform upgrades is real-time “operational intelligence” specialist Splunk Inc., which this week rolled out the latest versions of its IT, security and analytics packages that seek to “operationalize” machine data.

San Francisco-based Splunk (NASDAQ: SPLK) said machine learning is integrated as a core capability in its latest package of IT, security and analytics offerings in the form of packaged or custom algorithms intended to leverage growing volumes of machine data.

Use cases for its enterprise, IT services, security and user behavior analytics products include: “focused investigation” of IT and security incidents to detect data patterns and anomalies; reducing “alert fatigue” by identifying normal patterns for specific use cases; proactive maintenance; demand forecasting, managing inventory; and adjusting to changing business conditions by analyzing historical data.

“The enterprise machine data fabric is the foundation for managing and deriving insights from that data at scale,” Splunk President and CEO Doug Merritt asserted in a statement.

Among the goals of Splunk’s rapid release cycle is making machine-learning based analytics more widely available as enterprises struggle to harness and extract insights from huge volumes of diverse machine data. Hence, the company’s enterprise package emphasizes custom machine learning for data preparation and analysis. For example, a new interface and table data views target both data specialists and “occasional users,” the company noted.

Along with machine data, the new platforms also allow tighter integration with Hadoop in order to shift historical data to existing Hadoop platforms for applications such as hybrid searches to analyze machine and historical data on the Splunk machine- learning platform. That, the company asserts, would lower on-premises total cost of ownership.

The operational intelligence platform is available on-premises of via the cloud. The latest versions of the enterprise and user behavior analytics packages will be available by Oct. 31, the company said. Splunk Cloud and Enterprise 6.5 are available now.

Meanwhile, the IT operations tool applies machine-learning based monitoring and “event analytics” to spot and resolve root causes while scanning systems to detect emerging problems involving operations and workflows. Splunk also is pitching an improved threat detection tool based on machine-learning anomaly detection.

The company has previously noted that the new security capabilities are intended to combine the best features of machine learning and anomaly detection to sift through and prioritized data breaches and other threats.

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