What Is Splunk & What Does It Do? An Introduction To Splunk

Hi! We’re Splunk, and we’re glad you’re visiting us today.

Honestly, we hear from people far and wide about “What does Splunk do?”, “Does the name Splunk mean something?” And of course, “How can I learn Splunk?”

I wrote this article to help answer all these questions and point you in the right direction. First things first — Splunk formally refers to our company. Less formally, though, you might hear about Splunk in reference to our products, services and other offerings. Employees at Splunk are known as Splunkers. Importantly, the coolest part about our company is probably the global community of people who use and rely on Splunk offerings in their own workplaces. 

We’ll get into all this and more in the following article. Thanks for reading!

What does Splunk do?

So, let’s start with the first question. Splunk is the key to enterprise resilience. As our formal introduction explains,

Our purpose is to build a safer and more resilient digital world. Every day, we live this purpose by helping security, IT and DevOps teams keep their organizations securely up and running. When organizations have resilient digital systems, they can adapt, innovate and deliver for their customers.

To that end, Splunk offers a whole suite of various software, apps and APIs, plus a whole lot of flexibility. Our solutions help organizations mature your digital resilience, so you can adapt to anything. The most-well known Splunk products include:

Now let’s zoom out.

What does Splunk mean?

Spelunking is the hobby of exploring caves and mines. Splunking, then, is the exploration of information caves and the mining of data. Splunk helps you explore things that aren’t easy to get to otherwise, like computer and machine data.

Removing these data barriers uncovers tons of meaning and actionable steps organizations. That’s why you’ll hear us talk about Splunkers (our employees and community) or the idea of Splunking around. Importantly, it’s not only the capabilities that we offer — the real exciting stuff is all the things you can do with those capabilities.

(Image source)

So, the short answer to what Splunk can do might just be: all kinds of stuff! Here’s a few starting points:

  • Monitor, search through, index and correlate big data from a variety of sources.
  • Easily search big data and set up relevant alerts, reports and visualizations.
  • Power all sorts of efforts, from cybersecurity to compliance, data pipelines to IT monitoring and observability and overall IT and business management. Essentially, any area where you’ve got lots and lots of data.

Splunk can offer a single place to get a sense of how your organization is working – and not working. Ultimately Splunk is only limited by your creativity! Check out some unique ways people have used Splunk:

  • Finding the perfect surf spot
  • Brewing better beer
  • Helping puppies grow into healthy dogs
  • Caring for bees and their harvests

Brief history of Splunk

And here’s some more of our story: Splunk was founded in the early 2000s by Eric Swan, Rob Das and Michael Baum. Inspired by cave spelunking, they sought a way to better see into all the siloed information caves typical of most organizations.

Seeing that “everything” makes data, the team sought a way to extract value from that. The technology centered around a powerful search engine that scanned and stored log files within system infrastructure. We’ve grown a lot since those early days:

Founded in 2003, Splunk is a global company  — with over 7,500 employees, Splunkers have received over 1,020 patents to date and availability in 21 regions around the world.

Today, we know that building resilience is a team effort. That’s why, over the years, we have acquired a few companies and merged their technologies into our solutions, providing more teams a way to get everything they need in one place.

Most recently, in November 2022, we acquired TwinWave, a threat analysis startup with sophisticated technology for detecting and analzying complex, multi-step phishing and malware attempts. We also support ongoing innovation around data with Splunk Ventures. We are dedicating $150 million to invest in early-stage orgs that aim to have a positive impact on society while expanding and enhancing digital resilience.

Quick facts about Splunk

How to learn Splunk

The first thing to know about using Splunk is that we have our own query language, Search Processing Language — SPL for short. In fact, we recently announced SPL2, a newer version. See the differences between SPL and SPL2.

Learning Splunk does take some time and effort, but once you know it, the possibilities are endless. To help you in this, you can…

What Splunk can help you do

Hopefully this article gives you a little sense of all the things Splunk — and the Splunk community — can help you achieve. And, as the saying goes, happy Splunking!

What is Splunk?

Last updated: Monday, May 1, 2023

This posting does not necessarily represent Splunk's position, strategies or opinion.

Chrissy Kidd
Posted by

Chrissy Kidd

Chrissy Kidd is a technology writer, editor and speaker. Part of Splunk’s growth marketing team, Chrissy translates technical concepts to a broad audience. She’s particularly interested in the ways technology intersects with our daily lives.