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GCN : December 2012
14 GCN DECEMBER 2012 • GCN.COM [BrieFing] Government IT managers are looking for tools that make it easier to identify meaningful patterns and statistical trends in far- ung data sets. At the same time, these tools must work well with other technologies in order to help analysts make decisions in real-time. Splunk, a rm that offers tools for col- lecting and analyzing machine data gen- erated by back-end IT systems, is looking to address these concerns by bringing real-time operational intelligence to big data storage and batch processing. Enter Splunk Enterprise, software which collects, indexes and harnesses fast moving machine data generated by organizations' applications, servers and devices, whether they are physical, virtual or in the cloud. Splunk also troubleshoots application problems and investigates security incidents rapidly. Splunk's Hadoop Connect helps integrate and move data easily between Splunk Enterprise and Hadoop, software that has become a mainstay of big data analytics. Splunk lets users send events from Splunk to Hadoop for long-term archival and data science batch analyt- ics. Conversely, data already in Hadoop can be sent to Splunk for analysis without users having to write code. Additionally, the company unveiled The Splunk App for HadoopOps, an applica- tion that provides real-time monitoring and analysis of the health and perfor- mance of the entire Hadoop environment all from one interface. While existing Hadoop monitoring tools focus just on the Hadoop layer, the Splunk App for HadoopOps encompasses all layers of the infrastructure, Splunk of cials said. So how might this work in a real world situation in a government agency? A security administrator who needs real-time visibility across the whole enter- prise and every device can use Splunk to immediately detect anomalies because the software collects data as it is being generated, according to Sanjay Mehta, Splunk's VP of product marketing. Both Splunk Connect and Splunk App for HadoopOps are available for free to users of Splunk Enterprise via the company's app store. Splunk runs on all major platforms including Linux, Unix and Microsoft, Mehta said. The software is built on a distributed architecture, which allows users to share workloads across machines via parallel processing. It runs in virtualized and cloud environments and can even manage multi-tenant cloud environments, Mehta said. • How to make big data useful, reliable -- and fast [datapoint] Nearly all federal departments are engaged in the $1.02 billion electronic data storage market, but not all of them use the same storage approach, accord- ing to a recent GovWin study of data storage needs. Departmental strategies for elec- tronic data storage technology are often determined by the sensitivity of their data. For example, defense and civilian organizations with sensitive personal or national security data generally prefer to keep their data in-house. At the same time, agencies like the IRS and Census Bureau use contractor-hosted data storage because their cyclical operations make it more cost effective to pay for actual use rather than to maintain the infrastructure for a full year. The Defense Department is by far the largest spender on a per-agency basis for electronic data storage. The three commands -- Army, Navy and Air Force -- and DOD headquarters accounted for 58.4 percent of all federal spending on electronic data storage. Not surprisingly, the largest com- mercial data storage vendors also are present in the federal market with the top five representing 86 percent of the federal market, according to the report. NetApp the top storage vendor in FY 2011, has a strong presence in Army, Navy, State Department and the SEC. EMC, the second largest storage vendor, has a strong presence in the Air Force, HHS, Social Security and DHS. Together they captured 2/3 of the federal market in fiscal 2011. --- Rutrell Yasin Top 5 federal storage tech consumers What kind of storage consumer is your agency? Army Navy Air Force Defense Department Health and Human Services