iTWire. I'm assuming you're not hugely technical. So most of my questions are going to focus more on leadership and management and your role in the company. With that in mind, what do you bring to the role of CEO at Splunk?
Steele. I joined Splunk after 19 years in a company that I co founded that ultimately reached a billion and a half in revenue. So I come with a lot of cyber experience and enterprise experience and understanding of how to run public companies. So I think that the experience capability that I bring is, a helpful responses out of maturity.
iTWire. So with that in mind, what's your leadership style?
Steele. I'm direct, transparent, and I think I'm a good communicator.
It's interesting, one of the things that I've implemented in the company when I joined is, because the company got through a bunch of change, we do a weekly town hall with people every week. My goal is simply make sure that people feel they are connected to what's happening, the decisions that are being made, that there's a level of understanding for why we're doing what we're doing and how they can play part of that. And so in a time of a lot of change, which we have a lot of change prior to me joining the company, it was really important to deliver people a sense of stability and understanding where it didn't feel that way. So my style is just super-transparent and I'm really clear about priorities. I put the customer first I think the one thing that I observed when I joined was that we had an amazing culture, the company's culture was amazing, but the customer wasn't at the centre of the culture. I think we've made that transition. And I don't think that was hard actually, that feels very natural for the average employee to pick this up. But I think this kind of makes sense.
iTWire. This kind of loops back to my question from the meet-the-press session yesterday of looking for the company's 'true north'. I probably expected something a bit more philosophical but your whole 'the customer....'
Steele. It helps drive the decisions I make.
iTWire. Can we dig a bit deeper into your background.
Steele. Prior to Splunk, I spent 19 years at Proofpoint so I was part of that that founding team basically grew from zero from concept all the way through to ultimately the sale of the company. We were public since 2012, so I had lots of opportunity running a public company. Prior to that, I had run another private startup company called Forterra. And I did that from basically 98 to 2001. And then we ultimately sold the company to another private company. And then prior to that I was a general manager at a software company, Sybase which is now part of SAP. So that was my first general manager job at Sybase when I was running their data warehousing and middleware teams. Prior to that I had a range of marketing roles at Sun Microsystems in the era where Sun was really relevant and prior to that I started my career at HP primarily in a technical role as a developer.
iTWire. Yeah, I started programming as well. But I realised very quickly I'm a competent programmer, but not a good one.
Steele. Yeah, I made the decision very early on that I didn't want to grow up in R&D, and I felt like [inaudible] there are opportunities to be in other places where you shape product and strategy. I felt like being on the product management / product marketing side was a more strategic spot to be.
iTWire. So having resolved the core of the company onto the customer, what's you major challenge at the moment.
Steele. I think we've made a tremendous amount of progress in the last year but there's still more work to be done. I think our pace of innovation has improved. We still have more work to do there. I think we can continue to strive to do a better job for our customers, but there's still more work to do there. And we're in a markets that's fast moving we need to continue to stay out in front of where the markets headed to be and really meet the market where we can take it.
iTWire. Moving on to the company, what attributes do you admire most in or value highest in a Splunker?
Steele. In hiring a Splunker?
iTWire. Current, or hiring, either, I don't mind.
Steele. I think, the one thing that has been amazing here is just the passion for the product and the technology. We have that inside the company. We see it here at the user conference. Really unique and really amazing... and finding that in future employees as well. And then we obviously need employees that can help us on that journey of continued innovation; people who are super thoughtful and creative. They see things in a unique way that ultimately gives us opportunity to deliver more value for our customers.
iTWire. I see that Splunk is the kind of company that would attract those people. And that's obviously something you need to keep doing. You do attract those people.
So you're not particularly hands on at the product levels. I'm assuming your main focus is more road-map.
Steele. Yeah, I mean, we have 8000 employees, approximately. So we have a little leeway. I spend more of my time thinking about what should we be investing in? Where should the company be headed? How do we ensure that we're delivering our commitments for our shareholders? Thinking about what the financial picture of the company should look like. As we mentioned earlier, really pushing for this balance of growth and profitability, which isn't always easy to achieve, that is not something that company has been focused on prior to me joining. So we're having that opportunity to really shape what the financial should look like over a period of time.
iTWire. Yes, because once you start thinking about a new product line, then that means dollars pouring into it... and eventually, it'll come good but for a little while, it hurts to...
Steele. Yes, you have to figure out to deal with the things that you want to go to.
iTWire. To change direction a little, who do you admire in the business world?
Steele. I think I just take examples from companies that have delivered great innovation over a long period of time. You know, you can see it all over the place where you look at the leadership that Salesforce established for example, and what Benioff did with a great run in the cloud. What Microsoft has done under Satya's leadership, and the focus on the cloud and how they deliver for the customers I think is there's lots to be learned there. And then I admire people that drive innovation, and so CEOs of younger companies that are doing cool things. All that's interesting.
iTWire. So is there anybody in particularly that you derive inspiration from?
Steele. I don't think there's any single person that factors into that. I just look at a broad range of people and how they inspire me to do different things.
iTWire. so you're not an avid reader all the latest business publications.
Steele. I read some of it I don't read all of it. I'm much more of a 'read current news,' what's happening from a tech perspective... stay current that way, versus going back in time memorizing lots of nonfiction books about people.
iTWire. So you're very internally driven.
Steele. Actually, I wouldn’t say that.
iTWire. That's where I got to in regard to with what you were saying.
Steele. No, I spend tons of my time with customers, with our sales organization, with our investors. So when I joined I meant to meet 100 Customers in my first one hundred days, which is a really big number but that pace is intense, I spend a lot of time... because I think it's really important not to have all that information filtered to you. You look directly at the customer and understand how they're feeling about what you're delivering and how you can improve. So I spend a lot of my time on this.
iTWire. No, I'm thinking more about the motivation rather than the source of information.
Steele. I kinda get motivated by customers too with how they're using the product.
iTWire. So, where do you see Splunk the next five years, 10 years 20 years?
Steele. I think the destination around helping our customers build digital resilience is a long journey. There's lots of work to be done there. I believe we're incredibly well positioned, given our strengths across security and observability to help customers achieve great outcomes. I believe that there's a whole innovation cycle here to help make it simpler to achieve all that - it shouldn't be as hard as it is today. And many of the things that we talked about here [at .conf23], play a role in that, whether it be our AI announcements, because we're going to see the world get a lot more efficient and how they do their jobs, to things like HR where we're giving people visibility into areas they never have visibility into. Those are all factors in how do we ultimately help in this digital resilience journey. The great thing about Splunk is we have an amazing volume customers who want to do more with us. I think there's this opportunity for long term global growth to get us beyond where we are revenue wise to 5 billion to 10 billion and beyond in terms of recurring revenue.
iTWire. So, out of those 5, 10, 20 years, how many of those will you be at Splunk?
Steele. I'm a guy that has long tenure in the companies that I've been at. So you know, I see myself being here for a very long time.
iTWire. At some point, the board will say “we've had enough!”
Steele. Yeah, I think at some point you need to also be self critical. When is the right time to turn the reins over to someone else? Not that age is a big issue, but I'm not the youngest person in the room - maybe that matters at some level.
iTWire. So what do you enjoy most about the role?
Steele. For me, I love all of our customer interaction and the opportunity to match that with innovation. And I love leadership and management, a lot of people don't like; I actually love it.
iTWire. We've seen the bones of that whole simplification process in the keynotes. So I'm guessing there's still a long way to go, because we still have very disparate tools various control panels bringing it together. So I'm assuming you're expecting that to coalesce a lot better.
Steele. Mission Control really that single work surface. There's always more work to be done. Because we gotten into the durability world through a set of acquisitions. We've made tremendous progress really, really great deals. Getting named as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant all abounds with validation of that.
iTWire. But watching the keynote it looked to me as though there were some joining gaps. It didn't seem as seamless as I would like.
Steele. But I think it really comes down to does the workflow work well? I think that's the critical thing. I think we've really focused on how do we Excellerate that user experience, which I think we've done a really good job of.
iTWire. So, why did you get into hardware? [referring to the Edge device]
Steele. I think it's actually simple. It's really driving a software opportunity for us. So how do we bridge this gap where OT has been its own world of itself? So for a long time it's just a separate thing. And in reality, in this digital resilience world, all these things have to be interconnected. We can't live in a world where all of that separated. There's been a bunch of trends, I think one is Chief Information Security Officer is now responsible for OT and they have to do something and they have to be able to draw that connectivity, but to see the entire environment because you have a threat actor - that that's the way they enter. Separate from that I just think there's there's been so much data that people haven't been able to see that can ultimately Excellerate the economics of businesses or can you field fundamental business outcomes that are different because of that disability? Well, hardware was a vehicle to fix a problem that was complicated, the value that we're deriving from the software.
iTWire. When I was here at .conf19 I did see the beginnings of that. A little tiny stand, off in the corner.
Steele. Know that we did test it for a long time.
iTWire. Yeah, because the OT guys are terrified of IT, when they say, “oh, you've got Windows [whatever version], we need to update it.
Steele. The rate of updates such as this is a problem.
iTWire. And the worst thing is a lot of the configurations are type-approved. You cannot change it and that's particularly true in health.
Steele. Oh, ‘Health’ is a whole [inaudible]. Just walk around an operating room and see the amount of windows [there]. Scary!
iTWire. Some of the applications have to run 10, 20 30 years and they can't be changed. “...and we need to shut your Windows PC down for a patch and that will stop the plant.
So that's that's the whole challenge. And then it's a major reason why OT are terrified of IT. Of course, IT starts coming in with the attitude, “It's got lights, it must be ours.”
Steele. Right. There've been territorial boundaries for a long time.
iTWire. OT has approached IT to a certain extent moving into things like MES and Historians and that kind of software. So there has been a certain egress of data from from the plant floor, but it's been like pulling teeth.
Steele. Yes, it’s pretty limited and the protocols are different, and there's a whole bunch of things that make it hard.
iTWire. The protocol differences are to a certain extent, quite deliberate.
The guys down on the exhibition floor were telling me that the box is slowly going to support more and more factory protocols. The problem is, there’s lots of them.
iTWire. Let’s go to ‘buildings,’ you need BACnet, let’s go to the plant floor, you need Profinet or Modbus.
Steele. Of course.
iTWire. That’s all I’d planned to talk about. So unless you had anything else to say, I’d like to thank you for your time.
Steele. Thank you. It's a pleasure.
The author attended .conf23 as a guest of Splunk.
Logs and event data are becoming too labor intensive to analyze manually due to the growing cyber threat landscape. As a result, organizations now rely on Security Information and Event Management tools to collect and analyze these data types to gain actionable security insights. LogRhythm and Splunk are two prominent players in the SIEM market, and many organizations deploy them to monitor and manage security events, detect threats and ensure a robust security posture. But what distincts one from the other? This article provides a comprehensive comparison between LogRhythm and Splunk, examining their features, pricing, pros, and cons.
SEE: 6 SIEM myths (TechRepublic Premium)
LogRhythm is a software platform offering comprehensive security information and event management solutions to help organizations detect, respond, and remediate security incidents effectively. The platform combines advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to provide real-time monitoring, analysis, and correlation of security data from various sources. LogRhythm centralizes logs and event data management, enabling security teams to identify suspicious activities, investigate incidents, and mitigate potential risks on time.
Splunk is a unified security and observability platform designed to help organizations Excellerate data accessibility, access to data insights, and remove data silos for better response to operational and security risks. Powered by artificial intelligence and designed with enterprise-level analytics and visualization capabilities, Splunk helps users automate investigations and respond faster to security events across their systems in real-time. Splunk’s applications span across various domains, including IT operations, security, compliance and business analytics.
The following table outlines the key features found in LogRhythm and Splunk.
|Advanced threat detection||
|Centralized management dashboards||
|Easy of deployment||
Easier to deploy
Has more customizable features
|Threat remediation features||
|User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA)||
LogRhythm operates a flexible pricing and licensing structure that comes with unlimited log resources and users. Prices are also offered on perpetual, subscription and unlimited data basis.
For more details on LogRhythm’s pricing, contact the sales team.
Similar to LogRhythm, Splunk operates a flexible pricing model, which is captured under the following.
Apart from the above pricing options, Splunk users also have the option to get an estimate of what they will be charged if they use Splunk.
Below is a head-to-head comparison between LogRhythm and Splunk.
LogRythm users have flexible deployment options to match varying needs and goals. The deployment choices available to customers include self-hosting, infrastructure as a service (IaaS), or engagement with a managed security service provider. There is also a cloud deployment option with LogRhythm Cloud, which presents a software-as-a-service (SaaS) choice.
On the other hand, Splunk users can deploy the solution in a distributed search or single instance deployment. In addition, the software is also available as cloud, on-premise or multi-cloud.
When it comes to data analysis, LogRhythm’s Machine Data Intelligence (MDI) functionality helps users to make sense of their data. This functionality contextualizes and enriches data at the time of ingestion. It also helps to translate complex data into digestible chunks of information to enhance the accuracy of data analysis.
Splunk also has a data analytic engine designed to gather, index and manage large volumes of data, regardless of its format. Splunk’s data analytics can analyze data in real-time and dynamically generate schemas. This eliminates the need for users to have a deep understanding of the underlying data structure, as they can easily query and explore the data without any prior knowledge.
LogRhythm allows users to customize their dashboards in ways that suit them. For instance, users can decide to customize the report template, create custom log detail reports, restore the default logo to a report, schedule and manage scheduled reports, rename a custom dashboard and decide which dashboard to make public or private.
Figure A: LogRhythm dashboard
Splunk also offers a highly customizable dashboard. Users can choose from a range of charts and other virtualizations to act on their data. For instance, users can integrate reports, charts and re-usable panels to derive more insight from their data. In addition, there is also the option to tailor data for different use cases and users, such as business, security analysts, auditors, developers and operations teams, to facilitate their operations.
Figure B: Splunk data virtualization dashboard
LogRhythm offers centralized log and incident management that helps users to collect, store and analyze logs/events from various sources for auditing, compliance, and forensic purposes. There are also case management and playbooks, which offer incident management functionalities to facilitate log and incident management processes.
Similarly, Splunk also provides a central log management feature that allows users to collect and store logs from various sources in centralized storage. Users can also encrypt the logs collected to prevent unauthorized access.
Both LogRhythm and Splunk provide users with advanced threat detection capabilities. LogRythm does this by combining machine analytics and search analytics. These functionalities offer users a risk-based monitoring strategy that can automatically identify and prioritize attacks and threats.
Splunk also rides on the power of machine learning to detect advanced threats and other 1300+ out-of-the-box detections for frameworks such as MITRE ATT&CK, NIST, CIS 20 and Kill Chain.
Figure C: Splunk executed playbook & actions
Below are the key takeaways from the LogRythm SIEM solution.
Figure D: LogRhythm UEBA
Highlighted below are the pros and cons of Splunk.
SEE: Using Splunk in the financial services industry (TechRepublic Premium)
This comparison is based on a comprehensive analysis of the features, capabilities, and pricing information provided by LogRhythm and Splunk, as well as insights from user reviews. It is important to note that the suitability of each SIEM tool may vary depending on your organization’s specific needs and requirements. Therefore, you should evaluate both solutions to determine their compatibility with your organization’s security strategy.
The choice between LogRhythm and Splunk depends on various factors, such as the organization’s size, budget, specific security needs, and expertise. LogRhythm’s comprehensive platform, UEBA capabilities, user-friendly interface and easy deployment makes it a suitable choice for organizations looking for an all-in-one SIEM solution with advanced threat detection capabilities.
On the other hand, Splunk’s powerful log management and analysis features, scalability, and customization options make it attractive for organizations seeking highly customizable and scalable log analytics capabilities. In addition, Splunk is more suitable for advanced technical users.
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SEE: Checklist: Network and systems security (TechRepublic Premium)
At the Black Hat kickoff keynote on Wednesday, Jeff Moss (AKA Dark Tangent), the founder of Black Hat, focused on the security implications of AI before introducing the main speaker, Maria Markstedter, CEO and founder of Azeria Labs. Moss said that a highlight of the other Sin City hacker event — DEF CON 31 — right on the heels of Black Hat, is a challenge sponsored by the White House in which hackers attempt to break top AI models … in order to find ways to keep them secure.
Securing AI was also a key theme during a panel at Black Hat a day earlier: Cybersecurity in the Age of AI, hosted by security firm Barracuda. The event detailed several other pressing topics, including how generative AI is reshaping the world and the cyber landscape, the potential benefits and risks associated with the democratization of AI, how the relentless pace of AI development will affect our ability to navigate and regulate tech, and how security players can evolve with generative AI to the advantage of defenders.
One thing all of the panelists agreed upon is that AI is a major tech disruption, but it is also important to remember that there is a long history of AI, not just the last six months. “One of the first and easy wins will be improved user interfaces for tools,” said Mark Ryland, director, Office of the CISO at AWS.
From the perspective of policy, it’s about understanding the future of the market, according to Dr. Amit Elazari, co-founder and CEO of OpenPolicy and cybersecurity professor at UC Berkeley.
SEE: CrowdStrike at Black Hat: Speed, Interaction, Sophistication of Threat Actors Rising in 2023 (TechRepublic)
“Very soon you will see a large executive order from the [Biden] administration that is as comprehensive as the cybersecurity executive order,” said Elazari. “It is really going to bring forth what we in the policy space have been predicting: a convergence of requirements in risk and high risk, specifically between AI privacy and security.”
She added that AI risk management will converge with privacy security requirements. “That presents an interesting opportunity for security companies to embrace holistic risk management posture cutting across these domains.”
While the jury is still out on whether attackers will benefit from generative AI more than defenders, the endemic shortage of cybersecurity personnel presents an opportunity for AI to close that gap and automate tasks that might provide an advantage to the defender, noted Michael Daniel, president and CEO of Cyber Threat Alliance and former cyber czar for the Obama administration.
SEE: Conversational AI to Fuel Contact Center Market to 16% Growth (TechRepublic)
“We have a huge shortage of cybersecurity personnel,” Daniel said. “… To the extent that you can use AI to close the gap by automating more tasks. AI will make it easier to focus on work that might provide an advantage,” he added.
Daniel speculated that, because of the adoption of AI, developers could drive the exploitable error rate in code down so far that, in 10 years, it will be very difficult to find vulnerabilities in computer code.
Elazari argued that the generative AI development pipeline — the sheer amount of code creation involved — constitutes a new attack surface.
“We are producing a lot more code all the time, and if we don’t get a lot smarter in terms of how we really push secure lifecycle development practices, AI will just duplicate current practices that are suboptimal. So that’s where we have an opportunity for experts doubling down on lifecycle development,” she said.
The panelists also mulled over how security teams practice cybersecurity for the AI itself — how do you do security for a large language model?
Daniel suggested that we don’t necessarily know how to discern, for example, whether an AI model is hallucinating, whether it has been hacked or whether bad output means deliberate compromise. “We don’t actually have the tools to detect if someone has poisoned the training data. So where the industry will have to put time and effort into defending the AI itself, we will have to see how it works out,” he said.
Elazari said in an environment of uncertainty, such as is the case with AI, embracing an adversarial mindset will be critical, and using existing concepts like red teaming, pen testing, and even bug bounties will be necessary.
“Six years ago, I envisioned a future where algorithmic auditors would engage in bug bounties to find AI issues, just as we do in the security field, and here we are seeing this happen at DEF CON, so I think that will be an opportunity to scale the AI profession while leveraging concepts and learnings from security,” Elazari said.
Elazari also said that she is concerned about the potential for generative AI to remove entry-level positions in cybersecurity.
“A lot of this work of writing textual and language work has also been an entry point for analysts. I’m a bit concerned that with the scale and automation of generative AI entry, even the few level positions in cyber will get removed. We need to maintain those positions,” she said.
Patrick Coughlin, GVP of Security Markets, at Splunk, suggested thinking of tech disruption, whether AI or any other new tech, as an amplifier of capability — new technology amplifies what people can do.
“And this is typically symmetric: There are lots of advantages for both positive and negative uses,” he said. “Our job is to make sure they at least balance out.”
Coughlin pointed out that the cost and effort to develop foundation models may limit their proliferation, which could make security less of a daunting challenge. “Foundation models are very expensive to develop, so there is a kind of natural concentration and a high barrier to entry,” he said. “Therefore, not many companies will invest in them.”
He added that, as a consequence, a lot of companies will put their own training data on top of other peoples’ foundation models, getting strong results by putting a small amount of custom training data on a generic model.
“That will be the typical use case,” Coughlin said. “That also means that it will be easier to have safety and regulatory frameworks in place because there won’t be countless companies with foundation models of their own to regulate.”
The panelists delved into the difficulty of discussing the threat landscape because of the speed at which AI is developing, given how AI has disrupted an innovation roadmap that has involved years, not weeks and months.
“The first step is … don’t freak out,” said Coughlin. “There are things we can use from the past. One of the challenges is we have to recognize there is a lot of heat on enterprise security leaders right now to produce definitive and deterministic solutions around an incredibly rapidly changing innovation landscape. It’s hard to talk about a threat landscape because of the speed at which the technology is progressing,” he said.
He also stated that inevitably, in order to protect AI systems from exploitation and misconfiguration, we will need security, IT and engineering teams to work better together: we’ll need to break down silos. “As AI systems move into production, as they are powering more and more customer-facing apps, it will be increasingly critical that we break down silos to drive visibility, process controls and clarity for the C suite,” Coughlin said.
Another of the panelists pointed to three consequences of the introduction of AI into enterprises from the perspective of a security practitioner: First, it typically introduces a new attack surface area and a new concept of critical assets, such as training data sets; second, it introduces a new way to lose and leak data, as well as new issues around privacy; and third it has implications for regulation and compliance.
When the panelists were queried about the benefits of generative AI and the positive outcomes it can generate, Fleming Shi, CTO of Barracuda, said AI models have the potential to make just-in-time training viable using generative AI.
“And with the right prompts, the right type of data to make sure you can make it personalized, training can be more easily implemented and more interactive,” Shi said, rhetorically asking whether anyone enjoys cybersecurity training. “If you make it more personable [using large language models as natural language engagement tools], people — especially kids — can learn from it. When people walk into their first job, they will be better prepared, ready to go,” he added.
Daniel said that he’s optimistic, “which may sound strange coming from the former cybersecurity coordinator of the U.S.,” he quipped. “I was not known as the Bluebird of Happiness. Overall, I think the tools we are talking about have the enormous potential to make the practice of cybersecurity more satisfying for a lot of people. It can take alert fatigue out of the equation and actually make it much easier for humans to focus on the stuff that’s actually interesting.”
He said he has hope that these tools can make the practice of cybersecurity a more engaging discipline. “We could go down the stupid path and let it block entry to the cybersecurity field, but if we use it right — by thinking of it as a ‘copilot’ rather than a replacement — we could actually expand the pool of [people entering the field],” Daniel added.
Read next: ChatGPT vs Google Bard (2023): An In-Depth Comparison (TechRepublic)
Disclaimer: Barracuda Networks paid for my airfare and accommodations for Black Hat 2023.
bitsIO Named 2023 Social Impact Partner of the Year Award Winner for Outstanding Partnership
— Kalpana Krishnamurthi
SPRINGFIELD, IL, USA, July 23, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ -- bitsIO, a Cybersecurity & Observability Solutions Company, announced today it has received the 2023 Social Impact Partner of the Year Award for exceptional performance and commitment to their Splunk partnership. 2023 Social Impact Partner of the Year Award recognizes a global Splunk Partner that is helping nonprofits leverage Splunk to create positive social impact – by unlocking innovation, enhancing security, or improving resilience by customizing Splunk solutions to support nonprofits’ specific needs. For more information on Splunk’s partnerships, visit the Splunk website.
“We are thrilled to receive the Splunk Partner of the Year award for the third time. This year we are being recognized for our exceptional services and commitment to social impact. At bitsIO, we passionately believe in leveraging Splunk technology to help non-profits and make a positive difference in society. This award inspires us to continue leading the way and encouraging other partners to join us in creating meaningful change for non-profit organizations,” said Suman Gajavelly, Co-Founder & CTO, bitsIO, Inc.
“Receiving the Splunk’s Social Impact Partner of the Year Award is a great honor for us. We are sincerely grateful for the chance to contribute in a small capacity to the substantial impact non-profit organizations are making on a global scale,” said Kalpana Krishnamurthi, Co-Founder & CEO, bitsIO, Inc.
“Congratulations to bitsIO for being named the 2023 Social Impact Partner of the Year,” said Gretchen O’Hara, Vice President, Worldwide Partners and Alliances, Splunk. “The 2023 Splunk Partner Awards recognize partners like bitsIO for outstanding performance and innovation and celebrate the joint success that helps customers build resilience and solve day-to-day challenges. Together, we are focused on delivering continuous value to our joint customers.”
The Splunk Partner Awards recognize dedicated global and regional partners who demonstrate a steadfast commitment to collaboration and innovation in their Splunk partnership to help customers achieve positive business outcomes and accelerate their mission to better the world. All award recipients were selected by a group of the Splunk executives, theater leaders and the global partner organization.
About bitsIO, Inc.
With a track record spanning over 20 years, bitsIO has been delivering dependable and cost-effective Cyber Security and Observability solutions using Splunk to enhance client productivity and safeguard data. Since 2018, as an esteemed Splunk Elite Partner, bitsIO has been at the forefront of providing specialized Splunk Implementation Services, focusing on Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Cloud, Splunk Enterprise Security, ITSI, SOAR, Observability, and Custom App Development. The company's reputation as a trusted name in the United States, Costa Rica, and India is built on its effective and economical offerings in Splunk Professional Services and Splunk Managed Services.
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Departments across campus treat Enterprise differently. It is strongly suggested that you contact your department’s advisor if you are interested in an Enterprise experience. Depending on your major, Enterprise may already be built into the curriculum. However, if it is not, Enterprise can be accomplished through the Interdisciplinary Enterprise Minor.
The Enterprise minor complements students' project experience in their enterprise with additional coursework that fosters interpersonal and professional development, helping to develop the well-rounded skillset sought by employers of our graduates. For more information, contact Briana Tucker.
Once again, please visit your department’s advisor to learn how Enterprise fits into your Michigan Tech education.
Many Michigan Tech departments and programs offer a 12-credit Enterprise Concentration option. If you are interested in the Enterprise Concentration, please contact your academic advisor to determine applicability to your major.
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Pure Storage seems to be everywhere in its market, and it is continuously pushing boundaries—in a good way. At this week’s VMware Explore event (still known as VMWorld to me) in Las Vegas, the company has leveraged its strong partnerships to deliver what should be a high-value solution to enterprise IT. Working with VMware and Microsoft Azure, the company announced Cloud Block Store for Azure VMware Solution (AVS). Initially available in Preview in 16 Azure regions, this solution will eventually be generally available across all Azure regions. It’s another strong move from Pure Storage that complements the announcements from its Accelerate conference several weeks ago, which I covered here.
What exactly is Cloud Block Store for AVS, and why should enterprise IT care? Read on, and I'll explain.
VMware in the cloud: Good, but it could be better
Pardon the pun in advance: VMware is used virtually everywhere. Every enterprise IT executive I speak with not only talks about maintaining their current VMware environment, but also views VMware as a strategic piece of the puzzle for the future of their IT deployments. Because of this, VMware spans the enterprise environment, from the datacenter to the edge and the cloud(s).
Expanding the VMware estate from the on-premises datacenter to the cloud has been happening for some time. VMware delivered its first solution for driving a hybrid environment back in 2013. AWS partnered with VMware to launch VMware Cloud on AWS in 2017, and Azure followed suit with AVS in 2020.
The use cases for expanding the VMware environment to the Azure cloud via AVS should be no surprise. Because VMware is so often regarded as strategic to the enterprise, it serves as a foundational part of all enterprise IT operations. As such, the expansion to AVS mirrors what sits on the premises. To put it another way, AVS customers want to span all operations seamlessly from the datacenter to Azure in a cost-effective manner.
AVS has a proven track record for delivering seamless integration of environments. Microsoft has done an excellent job of enabling the on-prem-to-cloud movement of most apps and data. However, I do hear a few challenges from customers, especially around cost and complexity. Specifically, migrating database environments can be challenging, and costs can escalate due to the inability to scale storage separately from compute. Some of the challenges on the database side can prevent users from deploying their dev/test environments to AVS.
If only a storage software solution could enable more seamless integration. Especially if it were a solution that decoupled storage from compute. If only.
Pure Cloud Block Store for AVS: Good becomes great
Cloud Block Store for AVS is designed to drive greater balance for hybrid VMware environments while reducing costs. According to Pure Storage, the design goals of the solution are to:
One of the keys to the success of Pure's AVS approach is all the work the company did with Microsoft to optimize Pure’s data management solution for Azure. This has meant much more than simply deploying Pure's data management software in the Azure cloud; it has required years of understanding how AVS supports VMware and which areas can be improved, along with a sustained joint development effort to achieve the design goals mentioned above.
For example, the work between Pure and Azure to enable Pure's software to fully exploit the recently launched Premium SSDv2 storage environment delivers both performance gains and considerable cost savings. So, not only can customers decouple this storage-compute relationship that leads to wasted cost (and wasted compute cycles), but they can do so on high-performing storage.
The above graphic highlights just how big the savings are that Pure can deliver. If I'm an IT executive facing increased demand to drive digital transformation projects—while also seeing my budgets slashed—deploying Pure should be one of my top priorities.
The other area I find compelling is how Pure’s Cloud Block Store has enabled database migration. "Data drives the enterprise" is a line I've written too many times to count. But this statement has become a truism because it’s actually true, and in practical terms it is rooted in an organization's database environment. The challenges around managing database environments prevent many IT organizations from fully leveraging the cloud.
With Pure, a couple of specific functions remove the challenges IT organizations face. First, the company's solution for copy data management (CDM) takes the existing process of database snapshots, which typically takes hours in a VMware environment, and delivers it . . . instantaneously. It’s not often that any vendor is able to completely remove a headache like this.
Second, Pure’s software enables the real-time cloning and restoration of a database environment—a task that typically takes somewhere between hours and days. Even better, Pure offers this with dedicated database professionals working to support the process. Think about what this means for dev/test environments in organizations that are looking to iterate quickly. DBAs and database pros are freed up, and dev/test cycles are shortened to minutes versus days.
What this means for enterprise IT
When considering the challenges enterprise IT faces, I see Cloud Block Store for AVS as enabling IT to further drive the cloud operating model organization-wide. Pure delivers the final mile of the Microsoft-VMware partnership that led to the creation of AVS in the first place. Every IT executive I speak with talks about the challenge of fully realizing the promise of the cloud while controlling costs. This includes direct costs tied to instances, data, and so on as well as indirect costs arising from operational inefficiencies around people and processes.
If I were still managing enterprise IT operations and saw a solution that promised to drive down costs considerably while improving my ability to deliver better-performing services, I’d be tempted to think it was too good to be true. But Pure has been telling this story—and delivering on the promise—for as long as it’s been around.
If my views on Pure’s announcement weren’t clear before, let me be clear now: I think it has a clear winner with Cloud Block Store for AVS. Like all storage companies, the company is moving from a pure (pardon the pun) storage play to more of a data management solution. And this makes sense—the lines between storage, data and compute are blurred, and collective IT thinking is shifting to account for focusing on data first.
The benefits for Pure customers are both evident and significant. Beyond that, advances like this make Pure more compelling for non-customers, too. In an ever-competitive market for storage and data management, I’m optimistic about adoption of Pure Block Store for AVS—and beyond.
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