Guaranteed Google Acquisition of the Year: Splunk

You read it first: Google is going to acquire Splunk in the next 18 months, and it’s going to cost them. They’ll ship it as an appliance for enterprise customers as well as give no-nag freebies to (geek) consumers. Well, I don’t know that they will, but they should. Splunk 3.2 just got released and looks quite promising. We started using 3.1 about a week ago and we’re just noobies so far, but it’s already obvious this is essential software for system administration, security and QA purposes.

I can see ahead the same kind of learning journey I started with Google Analytics last year. GA by the way still resists me stubbornly in some areas, with campaign tracking and site overlay only partly working. OK we have some sites with three different GA profiles, goals, filters, transactions and whatnot, but we have relatively small sites and this shouldn’t be rocket science. The problem is, web analytics implementations are tedious and slow to debug, especially Google because it lags by several hours (last year it took 24 hours for anything to show in reports).

This type of software can be frustrating to master, but the level of visibility and understanding they bring is a key component to running an online business. I know you’re not supposed to build lasting competitive advantage on operational efficiency alone, but I do believe there are going to be winners and losers in this race. How well do you know what’s going on with your online business? How fast and how decisively can you act?

Ourselves, we’re just getting started, but I’m sure it’s an effort that will be well worth sustaining. Right now I’m mainly assessing our level of non-quality, and it’s not a pretty picture. But at least I know what’s not running properly with a tool that scales (though from my limited experience, be careful with data exports with Splunk running on a production server).

PS for the Splunk team: please redirect the old Splunkbase links to their new URL.

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