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InfoQ Homepage News Introducing Splunk IT Service Intelligence

Introducing Splunk IT Service Intelligence


One of the key roles for any operations team is application and service monitoring. Yet even today, most shops have trouble understanding what’s happening in their infrastructure. There are plenty of tools for looking at the data, but each tool and the data it exposes is isolated from all of the other tools. And without the ability to correlate data across tiers, it is hard to understand why something is happening.

Splunk itself is good for pulling in arbitrary data sources, allowing analysts to correlate data such as real-time sales data with web server traffic and database health. But that alone isn’t enough. The ad hoc queries written by the analysts are, by their nature, non-repeatable. And with the application developers being pulled in multiple directions, it can be hard to find one to build and maintain custom dashboards.

Splunk’s new product called IT Service Intelligence (ITSI) is designed to allow analysts create their own dashboards. From installation, Splunk expects most companies to start seeing useful days in a few days.

Service Analyzer

A goal of Splunk ITSI is to move people away from thinking about individual KPI scores. Most of the time, the fact that a web server spiked to 95% CPU utilization for a few seconds isn’t interesting. But if that same sever stays at 95% for 20 minutes, it means something important is happening to that server. Or if all of the servers are running at 80% then there could be a systemic problem, even though 80% for a single server is considered normal.

The Service Analyzer feature exposes a way to creating health formulas based on multiple KPIs. Users can set the weighting for the health scores so that it can prioritize KPIs that are more indicative of issues without ignoring the other.

Glass Tables

We mentioned the Glass Tables feature in our coverage of the keynote. What we didn’t mention is that they are interactive. Not only can they be overlaid with numeric and graphical data displays, they can be linked to other glass tables and custom actions. In this way operations personnel can spot problems in the high level view and quickly drill down into detailed views that show what’s really happening.

Deep Dives

Glass Tables also act as gateway to the Deep Dives feature. Deep Dives displays the historic data that is behind the KPIs being monitored in correlated bar charts. By this we mean that as you examine one KPI at a given point in time, the UI automatically shows you what was happening with the other KPIs at the same time.

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