service Splunk, which provides big-data
solutions for "operational intelligence
," has announced a 33 percent price cut and a new 100 percent uptime guarantee.
Other changes include the addition of a free online sandbox for customers who want to test Splunk's cloud services, and new plans that cover up to 5 terabytes of data per day.
Splunk's enterprise services monitor and analyze data flowing through its customers' IT systems. These can include everything from network activity to customer clickstreams and online transaction records. Such real-time insights into machine data are increasingly being used by organizations to better understand customer needs, wants and behaviors.
"Organizations cannot afford downtime on data platforms that monitor their applications, infrastructure and services," said Guido Schroeder, senior vice president of products for Splunk.
Aiming at Concerns about the Cloud
MindTouch CEO Aaron Fulkerson told us by e-mail that Splunk's uptime guarantee was the primary reason his company went with Splunk.
"Our customer success hinges on uptime, and this new guarantee enables us to meet their expectations," Fulkerson said. "It's non-negotiable."
Dennis Callaghan, a senior analyst with 451 Research in New York, told us the companies that will benefit most from the uptime guarantee are the ones at the leading edge of cloud adoption.
By guaranteeing 100-percent uptime -- something that is inherently difficult to deliver in the cloud -- Splunk is taking aim at later-adopters who might still be reluctant to move business-critical applications to the cloud.
"One-hundred percent is a pain point when you're talking about the cloud in general," Callaghan said. By making that guarantee, he added, "They're kind of removing a barrier to adoption."
In essence, Callaghan said, Splunk is saying with its new service level agreement that "if they don't deliver that, they're going to be held accountable for that."
'Operational Efficiency' Enables Price Cuts
Founded in 2003, Splunk has more than 7,400 customers across a range of industries, from energy and financial services to nonprofit and the public sector. Its client list includes Domino's Pizza, Etsy, the Home Depot, SurveyMonkey, Symantec and the University of Texas at Austin.
Splunk began offering its software platform as a cloud-based option, using Amazon Web Services, in October 2013.
The company claims its new service level agreement guaranteeing an uptime of 100 percent is a first for the cloud-based machine data analytics industry. It added its price cuts were made possible by "increased operational efficiency." The reductions also come on the heels of Amazon Web Services' own double-digit price cuts, announced this past March.
Splunk's cloud services are available to customers in the U.S. and Canada at prices starting at $675 per month, which covers daily indexing for up to 5 gigabytes of data.
Splunk Cloud provides such services as real-time monitoring and alerting, anomaly detection, knowledge mapping, role-based access controls, pattern matching and report acceleration. Companies like MindTouch use the service to provide help to customers like Cisco, Autodesk and Paypal.