Splunk® at Cars.com

Splunk Helps Drive Revenue Generation and Cost Reduction at Cars.com

The Business

Cars.com (http://www.cars.com/) is an award-winning online destination for car shoppers that offers information from consumers and experts to help buyers formulate opinions on what to buy, where to buy and how much to pay for a car. Visited by approximately 12 million unique visitors each month, Cars.com also serves more than 17,000 car dealerships throughout North America.

Challenges

Car shoppers come to Cars.com to search for information, buying advice and price comparisons. Cars.com supports a technical IT environment that serves up a variety of research and comparison resources, pricing tools, expert automotive content, dealership reviews and profiles pages and locations.

The Cars.com application management team maintains this highly distributed environment and are responsible for the application data collection, monitoring and analysis. The team sought to simplify their data acquisition task, a complicated process of obtaining, compressing and moving data from the production application environment to a common environment. Since developers are not permitted access to production environments, requests for data and logs tended to be ad hoc in nature. Complicating matters is the fact that restoring archived server log data for analysis and troubleshooting was a time-consuming process.

Enter Splunk

In the fall of 2011, Cars.com began looking for a solution to enhance data acquisition and reporting capabilities. The volume of ad hoc requests and challenges in collecting Cars.com application logs consumed a great deal of resources of the Application Management team. According to the team, up to eight man-hours per week were spent on manual data acquisition, diverting staff from their core focus.

To begin the evaluation process, Cars.com acquired a Splunk Enterprise 1GB daily license. This was placed on a RHEL 5.5, dual core 1.5 GHz, and 2 GB of RAM VM server, which is managed as part of the overall Cars.com application environment. It took less than one day to fully deploy Splunk from the start of the initial implementation... Read the Complete ROI Story

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