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General Technology

The Rise and Fall of a Giant

How buzzwords kill efficiency

Data, data, data. Everybody bought or created IT systems to start understanding what is happening within your business. From small businesses to large corporations, they all did it.
Automation was the magic word. No more creating text files with specific formats, no more sending each other spreadsheets. The development of IT within companies taught them a lesson: you can automate it, but do you actually know what is happening? Backoffices became bigger than ever, trying to understand what happened. That’s when Business Intelligence (BI) became the new cool kid in town. Every person that knew how to open Excel, talked about it as if it was the second coming. You and I know that it is bullshit. If you need BI, you have built your IT wrong. It should have been a part of the IT you’ve built. I have seen this happen over and over. The system has done something and we don’t know why.


So finally, there were the reports. And the dashboards. Dashboard became the buzzword. Everyone needed a dashboard, and the business needed a dashboard, name a role or a department, and it needed a dashboard. And then came the data. We all needed data analysis. Data lakes. Again, a lot of buzzwords. One tool in particular that capitalized over the analysis of data, is Splunk. What is it? If you ask an IT director, business leader or salesperson, it’ll take forty minutes of your life. In short, Splunk collects and analyses data. You tell it how, and you then program what you want to see.

Splunk doesn’t care what you want to see, if it is there, it can show you. It was the new thing, the new cool tool to have, but what a price! An incredibly expensive tool, that does well what it is supposed to, thanks to a very open way of collecting and accepting data, using forwarders on your systems that simply read every single character in your logging and puts it in a searchable database. And that is what is leading to the rise, and subsequently, the fall of this, in essence, excellent tool. It is so incredibly expensive because it can collect it all, but there is a catch. It can’t handle the massive amount of data we have all started to want to collect, making the tool less interesting to the larger companies and corporations, seeing it’s servers crash, leaving you without your precious reports, search queries and dashboards. The latter is least interesting, while Splunk is very good in collecting and organizing data, presenting it is not a strong point, and often, another tool is used for dashboarding.
The problem can be solved by building even larger Splunk servers, but the price prevents companies from doing so. Oh, how a giant is falling.

But, as you may or may not know, there is a new cool kid in town. AI will come to the rescue. Everybody and his auntie has ‘an AI’ now. Even the internets scammers talk about it now, and how it will make us all rich, lazy, beach going numnuts.

A relevant post on The Next Platform is here: Cloudera Pivots To Data Management As Hadoop Fades (nextplatform.com)

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