Benefits

Instant analysis

Log data from IT operations is viewable in real time, for instant analysis.

Quality gains

Splunk enables resolution of more difficult issues compared with manual log analysis.

Saves time

Troubleshooting is much quicker with automated log management, and this translates to more time to spend on development

The challenge

The challenge

Under a DevOps regime, following up and reviewing each new software release is an essential undertaking. The review procedure gives developers relevant feedback, e.g. regarding response times prior to and following the release, and if bugs targeted for correction in the new release are decidedly gone.
Application log files is the most important source for these insights, and these contain large volumes of often impenetrable data. To extract the desired feedback, SkiStar’s developers have been relegated to manually scanning the log files. But as the data centre operating environment grows increasingly complex, this task becomes more difficult and time consuming. For instance, SkiStar runs a cluster of web servers which are connected and load balanced to allow traffic to be redirected between servers. This presents developers not with a single but perhaps ten different devices which require individual troubleshooting.
The mere difficulty to overview and identify patterns in the vast volumes of log data could render it practically impossible to obtain the desired answers. SkiStar therefore went searching for tools to help them automate log management and make troubleshooting and software release reviews more efficient.

The Solution

The Solution

SkiStar decided to use Splunk, which has emerged as one of the premier tools for log data analysis – operational data generated by applications and systems. Splunk enables real-time decision support and automated analysis of sprawling, and many times arcane log files.
“We have designed custom dashboards with graphs displaying our key performance metrics in real time, allowing us to track instances of errors as well as application performance,” says Peter Larsson.
SkiStar’s struggles to compile and analyse log files from multiple systems is now history, as all relevant operational data associated with each application is compiled into a single interface.
The deployment of log analysis was made together with Proact, and their Splunk expert team. SkiStar has a long-lasting working relation with Proact, including delivery of servers, storage, tech support, and as advisors on data centre matters.

Generic tool with many use cases

Generic tool with many use cases

Peter Larsson describes the many use cases for Splunk as a “both fascinating and terrifying” prospect. For despite that SkiStar has chosen a limited approach where Splunk is only used within IT, it is fundamentally a generic tool which can collect, index and analyse all kinds of machine data. This may involve business operations, security monitoring or customer activity.
“I can hardly see any limitations with Splunk as a platform. We can use any kind of data and make any type of queries on selected data, which is tremendously powerful.

“I can hardly see any limitations with Splunk as a platform. We can use any kind of data and make any type of queries on selected data, which is tremendously powerful.”

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