Splunk Review

Good at log collection and log management; not ideal for monitoring

What is our primary use case?

I'm the CSSP manager and we are customers of Splunk. 

What is most valuable?

Splunk is good at log collection and log management.

What needs improvement?

I'm a security manager and Splunk is not a good solution for my needs and not as good as other products I've used. I really think they just overreached and are marketing the solution as something that it really isn't. It's really not an SIEM product. It's really not a monitoring solution. If Splunk wants to get into SIEM, they need to make a totally new product. They should just leave SIEM, it's not their thing, not what they do. They're good at log collection and indexing. Stick to it. There are some things with log collection and log retention capabilities that they could actually improve instead of trying to create products for all these other different areas. I don't want their next release, I would rather just kind of scale back on some of the extras, and just really focus on log collection and log retention. I'd like to have more options on how I can perform those features with their products. I'd like to see a lot more integration with other products.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for three years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Once you set up the solution, you don't really have to worry about it. It's very stable. I like the fact that you can pretty much just patch the OS, and it doesn't really affect how Splunk runs. With a lot of products, you almost have to wait for that company to implement a new patch or version of the product before you can upgrade the server it's on, or anything like that. Or you can't upgrade, you just have to go with whatever they give you, because they're giving you an appliance or something. I like the fact that Splunk allows you to integrate and still run as Splunk and still be compliant with most vulnerabilities out there without affecting functionality.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is extremely scalable. We probably have about five or six users, so all our system administrators use it, they're the ones that implement it. Right now, just the CIO, the CTO, and there's a ISSM who has access. There are plans to add more people once we fully implement the Enterprise Security solution. We have admins responsible for maintenance.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is kind of complex but I think it's an issue we have and not connected to the solution. We're still deploying. The company didn't have an implementation strategy, they're kind of just flying by the seat of their pants which wasn't a great plan. We're doing it ourselves, we didn't use an integrator. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We have a 100 gig annual license. I'm not sure of the cost. Their licensing is based on the amount of data you collect. There is an additional cost for Enterprise Security. If there are any other kind of applications, the APIs that we created that we want to add, there are costs for most of those as well. Their pricing structure really could use a revamp. They really need to review and look at that and see if there's a better way that they can do it. Elasticsearch is a little cheaper and a better product in my view. 

What other advice do I have?

It's important to prepare. You can't just get a solution and start to implement it. A big part of that needs to be preparation, and in IT, we're not great at that. I would go with Elastic, a similar product but better. The licensing is a little different but it gives you a little more freedom to do things. It's really flexible with what you can do and versatile in how you can use it. Splunk is still top when it comes to log collection. If you wanted anything more than that, you should probably look into using several different products. There isn't really one product that you're going to find that's going to give you that coverage and I just like the versatility of using several different products. There are some other things you can use that actually do a better job at the correlation part. 

I would rate this solution a seven out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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