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 2,700 employees and over 14,000 customers worldwide, 85 of which are on the Fortune 100 list. Headquartered in San Francisco, Splunk is a publicly held company trading on NASDAQ (SPLK).

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

splunk intermedia private cloud

Company Profile:
Splunk Inc. turns machine data into answers. Organizations use market-leading Splunk solutions with machine learning to solve their toughest IT, Internet of Things and security challenges. The company has been named one of the San Francisco Bay Area's Best Places to Work for ten years in a row.

Industry: Computer Software/Big Data

Headquarters: San Francisco

Intermedia’s customer since: 2010

Company size: 2,700+ employees

The Challenge

Splunk was eager to leverage a service that delivered enterprise-grade email functionality. It was attracted to the scalability, reliability and performance a cloud provider could offer. It wanted to redirect its engineering and operational talent away from managing on-premises deployments and focus instead on driving Splunk innovation. This led Splunk to become an Intermedia public cloud customer in 2010. However, as the company grew, Splunk wanted to integrate its proprietary software to analyze and monitor the Exchange environment, which meant it needed control over its system’s configuration and hardware platform.

So, here was Splunk’s conundrum: it needed the expertise of managed Exchange Email combined with the flexibility of an on-premises deployment. Splunk wanted the cloud and found what it needed with Intermedia’s Private Cloud in 2015.

The Solution

The IT staff at Splunk evaluated other cloud offerings, including Microsoft® Office 365®, but determined that off-the-shelf solutions couldn’t offer the level of customization and personalized support Splunk absolutely needed to continue scaling the business. Splunk 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, a solution 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 it could configure exactly to their specifications. “We’re not sharing any of our resources with other customers,” says Declan Morris, CIO at Splunk. “Private Cloud mimics what we could get with an on-premises solution to Splunk, with the convenience of having it managed by Intermedia.”

Shortly after deployment, it became clear that Intermedia’s hardware platform met Splunk’s performance and scalability requirements. Combined with Intermedia’s 99.999% uptime SLA and J.D. Power-certified support, Private Cloud Exchange satisfied the full spectrum of performance, scalability and reliability the company needed. What’s more, the dedicated environment gave Splunk additional assurances of security.

Intermedia’s Private Cloud for Exchange Email is the way to go if an organization wants the flexibility to customize its environment.

Declan Morris,
CIO, Splunk

Products They Use

The Results

Since moving to Intermedia, Splunk has enjoyed enterprise-grade email through a period of constant hyper-growth and global expansion. Currently, Splunk utilizes 5,500 Exchange mailboxes and counting.

Morris estimates that the switch to Intermedia’s Private Cloud for Exchange Email saved the company overhead costs associated with hiring and training two IT administrators just to support the email system. “Managing an Exchange environment is not as simple as one might think. Administration is time- and resource-intensive from all perspectives,” he says.

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 it can’t,” shares Morris. Further, with HostPilot PowerShell, Intermedia enables special command prompts that mimic a PowerShell experience in Exchange. As a result, administrators get the control they’ve come to expect in their own environment, with the benefits of a managed single-tenant cloud deployment.

By moving to Intermedia’s custom-built dedicated cloud, Splunk has been able to integrate its own data analytics intelligence software with Exchange Email.

Morris explains the resulting benefits for threat detection: “Our security team is Splunking as much data as possible. With Intermedia’s single-tenant cloud, we have extended this threat intelligence to the Exchange platform to more accurately identify threats and intrusions. This kind of customized integration would not be possible without the benefit of a Private Cloud environment.”

Morris enthusiastically recommends Private Cloud for organizations that need the additional flexibility. “Exchange Email in a 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 are what you are looking for, and performance and consistency are of utmost importance, then we would recommend that you move to the private cloud solution from Intermedia,” he concludes.

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. J.D. Power Certified Assisted Technical Program, developed in conjunction with TSIA. Based on successful completion of an audit and exceeding a customer satisfaction benchmark for assisted support operations. For more information, visit www.jdpower.com or www.tsia.com.

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