Splunk Review

Pros and Cons of Splunk, Sumo Logic, LogStash and Others

Splunk, Sumo Logic, LogStash, GrayLog, Loggly, PaperTrails – did I miss someone? I’m pretty sure I did. Logs are like fossil fuels – we’ve been wanting to get rid of them for the past 20 years, but we’re not quite there yet. Well, if that’s the case I want a BMW!

To deal with the growth of log data a host of log management & analysis tools have been built over the last few years to help developers and operations make sense of the growing data. I thought it’d be interesting to look at our options and what are each tools’ selling point, from a developer’s standpoint.


As the biggest tool in this space, I decided to put Splunk in a category of its own. That’s not to say it’s the best tool for what you need, but more to give credit to a product who essentially created a new category.


Splunk is probably the most feature rich solution in the space. It’s got hundreds of apps (I counted 537) to make sense of almost every format of log data, from security to business analytics to infrastructure monitoring. Splunk’s search and charting tools are feature rich to the point that there’s probably no set of data you can’t get to through its UI or APIs.


Splunk has two major cons. The first, that is more subjective, is that it’s an on-premise solution which means that setup costs in terms of money and complexity are high. To deploy in a high-scale environment you will need to install and configure a dedicated cluster. As a developer, it’s usually something you can’t or don’t want to do as your first choice.

Splunk’s second con is that it’s expensive. To support a real-world application you’re looking at tens of thousands of dollars, which most likely means you’ll need sign offs from high-ups in your organization, and the process is going to be slow. If you’ve got a new app and you want something fast that you can quickly spin up and ramp as things progress – keep reading.

Read the rest of this post here.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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author avatarit_user202311 (Senior Application Developer at a tech company with 51-200 employees)
Real User

Being an on-premise solution I think that it is hard to compare to Sumologic, Loggly, Stackify and the likes. If you are talking on these companies in the same breath then pricing is another factor worth considering

author avatarit_user159375 (Principal Program Manager at a consumer goods company with 1,001-5,000 employees)
Real User

I don't want to oversimplify things but I am a 0 and 1 guy. Either you Splunk or you don't Splunk. Yes, Splunk has it's cost. Then again, if you try to go with a cheaper solution, OpenSource solution, or totally home grown, I can almost guarantee that the true cost will be much higher than Splunk. Think of it as meeting half-way. Splunk does half the work, and you need to do the other half, including the committing finances. A good trick is to leverage the free version or trial version for real-life solutions. Once you provide a solution to someone that they can't live without, then you got them hooked. Create a hunger first, then you got them hooked in (the people who will approve the cost).