Splunk touts partnership, module with CA

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Log file search and indexing specialist Splunk Inc. announced a partnership with CA Inc. Monday that will include an integration module between the startup's software and CA's Unicenter systems management product.

Announced at the Interop show in Las Vegas, the deal with CA is Splunk's first relationship with a major commercial systems management software player. In February, Splunk revealed plans to add in systems management host, network and service monitoring capabilities to its software via a tie-up with the Nagios open-source project.

Michael Baum, Splunk's co-founder and self-styled chief executive splunker, described the partnership with CA as "a wonderful validation" of Splunk's technology. "We plan on developing a much deeper relationship with CA," he said.

The startup's Splunk Server and Splunk Professional software index and link log files and other types of IT events to make it easier for systems administrators trying to search the massive amounts of information generated by a data center's applications, devices and services. Such searching and indexing helps administrators spot potential problem patterns early on before they escalate to larger IT issues such as system outages.

"IT problems are getting more complex as components have greater dependencies on each other," Baum said.

Called Splunk for Unicenter Network and Systems Management (NSM), the integration module will initially be sold and supported by Splunk, according to Baum. The software offers two levels of integration between Splunk Professional and CA's Unicenter NSM release 11. A Unicenter user will be able to directly launch the Splunk browser interface from their systems management console to search the information Unicenter has about a given system component. The module will also index all IT event data coming into the Unicenter software.

Baum wouldn't be drawn on whether Splunk plans to come out with similar tie-ups with the other leading systems management player like IBM Corp. and Hewlett-Packard Co. He would only say that the startup has "half a dozen other deals in the pipeline," but declined to provide any more details on those upcoming relationships.

The relationship between CA and Splunk dates back to Interop New York in December, according to Baum After giving Mel Estrada, business and product manager for CA a demonstration of Splunk's capabilities, the stage was set for the two companies to start working together. "They've been pursuing us," Baum quipped. The vendors worked on developing Splunk for Unicenter NSM over the past two months, he added.

Pricing for the Unicenter integration module starts from US$5,000 per year for an annual subscription, Baum said.

Last month, Splunk launched its Splunk Base community wiki at the LinuxWorld conference in Boston. The wiki enables systems administrators to access and share information to help troubleshoot technical problems.

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