With Exchange Email in a Private Cloud, Splunk customizes security and control

The Background

Machine data is one of the largest categories of big data. It refers to the mountains of unstructured data generated by websites, applications, servers, networks and mobile devices. Splunk provides the leading software platform for real-time collection and analysis of machine data—from clickstreams and network activity to transactions and security threats. Splunk’s patented technology generates valuable insights into reducing costs, improving services, guarding against security risks and complying with regulations.

The company is growing quickly. Since first shipping its software in 2006, Splunk now has more than 1,400 employees and over 10,000 customers worldwide. Headquartered in San Francisco, Splunk is a publicly held company trading on NASDAQ (SPLK).

In its early years, Splunk managed a basic email system on-premises. As the company expanded, they recognized the need for enterprise-grade email like Microsoft® Exchange. They started exploring the cloud when a roadblock emerged: most cloud Exchange providers offered “one-size-fits-all” Exchange deployments. How could Splunk move to the hosted model while retaining the freedom to customize?

splunk intermedia private cloud

Company Profile:
Splunk provides the leading platform for real-time Operational Intelligence. They were named a Leader in the 2015 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Security Information and Event Management.

Industry: Computer Software

Headquarters: San Francisco

Intermedia’s customer since: 2010

Company size: 1,400 employees

The Challenge

Splunk was eager for enterprise-grade email functionality. They were attracted to the scalability, reliability and performance a cloud provider could offer. They definitely wanted to redirect their engineering talent away from managing on-premises deployments.

But at the same time, they wanted to integrate their proprietary software to analyze and monitor the Exchange environment, which meant they needed control over their system’s configuration and hardware platform.

So, here was Splunk’s conundrum: they needed the expertise of Exchange Email combined with the flexibility of an on-premises deployment.

Splunk wanted the cloud, but they wanted the cloud their way. And they found what they needed with Intermedia’s Private Cloud.

The Solution

The IT staff at Splunk evaluated other cloud solutions, including Microsoft Office 365™, but the features and support weren’t as mature as Intermedia’s, particularly for Mac® environments. They looked at continuing with an updated on-premises system, but didn’t want to take on the administrative overhead and support burden.

For Splunk, the clincher was Intermedia’s ability to deliver Exchange Email in a Private Cloud environment. It gave them an environment that’s managed and maintained by Intermedia’s experts— but running in a separate, dedicated and fully customizable infrastructure.

The IT staff liked having a dedicated platform that they could configure exactly to their specifications. “We’re not sharing any of our resources with other customers,” said Peter Chan, Senior Manager of IT Operations. “Private Cloud mimics what we could get with on-premises solutions, with the convenience of having it managed by Intermedia.”

They specified a hardware platform that met Splunk’s performance and scalability requirements. Combined with Intermedia’s 99.999% uptime guarantee, Exchange Email in a Private Cloud satisfied the full spectrum of performance, scalability and reliability. What’s more, the dedicated environment gave them additional assurances for security.

Private Cloud is the way to go if an organization wants the flexibility to customize the environment.

Peter Chan, Senior Manager, IT Operations
Splunk

Products They Use

The Results

Since moving to Intermedia, Splunk has enjoyed five years of enterprise-grade email through a period of constant growth and global expansion.

Chan estimates that this switch saved the company overhead costs associated with hiring and training two IT administrators to support the email system. “Managing an Exchange environment is not as simple as one might think. Administration is a big deal from all perspectives,” he said.

Another benefit of Exchange Email is doing away with license management for a continuously expanding pool of users. The IT staff simply adds or modifies user accounts in the Intermedia HostPilot® interface. “With other services, it means going to a vendor’s procurement team. Sometimes the vendor can spin licenses around quickly and sometimes they can’t,” said Chan.

Splunk integrated its own data analytics software with Exchange Email. Already, this has proved to be beneficial for threat detection. In addition, Splunk is building automated scripts for conference room booking and self-service for users. This kind of customized integration would not be possible without the benefit of a Private Cloud environment.

Chan enthusiastically recommends Private Cloud for organizations that want the additional flexibility. “Private Cloud is the way to go if an organization wants the flexibility to customize the environment. If your business supports the demand, additional privacy and flexibility is what you are looking for, and performance and consistency are of utmost importance, then we would recommend that you move to a private cloud,” he said.

HostPilot is a trademark of Intermedia.net, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. Microsoft and Office 365 are registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Mac is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.

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