12 Splunk Alternatives For Faster Observability In 2023
In this article, we'll dive deep into the best Splunk alternatives for modern-day tech stacks, what to look for in alternative solutions, and crucial factors like observability features, speed, ease of use, deployment, scalability, and cost.
WHAT DOES SPLUNK DO?
Splunk has evolved significantly since its inception in 2007. While initially known as a leading log management solution, it has broadened its horizons. Today, Splunk offers various observability features covering application performance, infrastructure monitoring, and digital experience monitoring. However, with the changing landscape of IT architecture, like the rise of microservices and hybrid clouds, organizations are exploring new, more optimized options for their observability needs.
Splunk has evolved from a logging platform to a comprehensive observability solution. Its capability to ingest, parse, index, and correlate data from various sources allows businesses to monitor infrastructure, spot trends, and trigger alerts. Beyond observability, Splunk is a big data analytics platform and SIEM solution.
Despite its comprehensive offerings, Splunk has challenges that make it a less preferred choice for some. Its cost, complex setup, slower search speeds for vast datasets, outdated UI, and the need for specialized training are notable drawbacks. Fortunately, with the observability industry flourishing, plenty of competitive alternatives exist.
8 OBSERVABILITY FEATURES TO LOOK FOR IN THE RIGHT ALTERNATIVE
- Ingest data from various sources in diverse formats.
- Parse and index data for effective searching and filtering
- Real-time monitoring with alerting capabilities
- Intuitive visualizations: dashboards, graphs, and charts
- Enterprise-scale capacity without compromising speed or usability
- Ease of setup, configuration, integration, and maintenance
- Flexible deployment options - cloud, on-premises, multi-cloud, or self-hosted
With these features in mind, here's our updated list of Splunk competitors:
TOP SPLUNK ALTERNATIVES
Crafted to address the nuances of log management challenges, Mezmo shines with its diversified deployment options: cloud, on-premise, private cloud, and hybrid/multi-cloud. Log collection and analysis is seamless, integrating effortlessly with platforms like AWS, Docker, Datadog, Grafana, and Kubernetes. Powered by an enhanced Elasticsearch, Mezmo ensures real-time indexing and filtering of logs. The intuitive web UI allows for rapid filtering and custom dashboard creation. With its usage-based pricing without data caps, especially with the tiered options from free community access to an all-encompassing Enterprise package, and its Welcome Pipeline, allowing users to derive business insights from Kubernetes logs in less than five minutes, newcomers can navigate Mezmo's extensive suite, finding a solution for all of their observability needs.
Better Stack is a tool that focuses on making observability efficient and developer-friendly. It offers cloud-native observability tailored for DevOps teams, ensuring continuous monitoring, tracing, and logging. Better Stack's integrative approach ensures compatibility with multiple platforms and services. It also prides itself on offering a cost-effective solution without compromising scalability or performance.
Its emphasis on developer-friendly environments is noteworthy. However, businesses reliant on specific legacy systems might need help with integration.
SigNoz offers an end-to-end observability platform designed for modern-day applications. Its features like distributed tracing, anomaly detection, and comprehensive analytics help businesses monitor and debug their applications effectively. SigNoz's open-source nature ensures constant updates and community-driven enhancements.
Signoz's open-source model offers flexibility for customization. However, organizations accustomed to dedicated enterprise-grade support might need more structured assistance.
ELASTIC ELK STACK
Originating as a potent trio in the observability realm, Elastic's ELK Stack encompasses Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana. Elasticsearch, at its core, is a full-text search and analytics engine known for its scalability. With Logstash's data processing capabilities and Kibana's visualization finesse, the ELK Stack offers a cohesive log analysis ecosystem. While its open-source nature grants flexibility, the platform shines when adopted with Elastic's premium offerings, which bring features like advanced security, alerting, and machine learning to the table. Organizations looking for a customizable and scalable solution may find ELK apt, but those seeking out-of-the-box enterprise features may need to consider Elastic's paid tiers.
Datadog merges key observability aspects like monitoring, detailed analytics, and Application Performance Management (APM). Its unified dashboard is a testament to its commitment to offering an integrated view of system health, pulling data from disparate sources for correlated insights. However, such extensive tooling can be a double-edged sword, as businesses, especially those with limited tech teams, might need help with the vastness of its suite.
Amazon CloudWatch, part of AWS's expansive service suite, focuses on monitoring and observability. It's tailored for AWS resources, capturing logs, metrics, and event data. CloudWatch's main advantage is its deep integration with other AWS services like EC2 and RDS, allowing for centralized monitoring from a single console. While it streamlines AWS environment monitoring, those looking for cross-platform observability might need supplementary tools. Also, the full array of CloudWatch features might be less impactful for businesses not heavily invested in AWS.
Dynatrace has carved a niche as an all-in-one software intelligence platform specializing in cloud infrastructure monitoring, application performance management, and digital experience tracking. Its unique selling proposition is its AI-powered, automated root cause analysis, which reduces the time IT teams spend on troubleshooting. Dynatrace's OneAgent technology ensures that deployment is straightforward, with the agent automatically discovering and mapping every component in your tech stack. This level of automation extends to its ability to adapt to changes in your environment, ensuring continuous and accurate monitoring. While it is a powerhouse in terms of capabilities, Dynatrace might be pricier, making it a consideration for businesses that need deep, automated insights and have the budget to match.
NEW RELIC ONE
New Relic One is a telemetry data platform with a core emphasis on real-time analytics. Its unified dashboard integrates logs, metrics, and traces, aiming for a consolidated monitoring experience. The platform provides AI-driven analytics, like the New Relic Lookout feature, to detect anomalies. However, the depth of its tooling can be both a strength and a challenge. Some users may find the myriad of features overwhelming, and the pricing model requires careful evaluation to ensure it aligns with specific business needs.
Emerging from its roots as a metric visualization tool, Grafana has adeptly expanded its scope to embrace logs and traces, defining itself as a holistic observability platform. Its strength is magnified by its plethora of plugins and third-party integrations, allowing businesses to craft a tailored observability experience. Grafana's dashboards are renowned for their customizability, giving teams granular control over data representation. While incredibly versatile, Grafana's maximal potential is often unlocked when paired with other dedicated data sources and tools.
Conceptualized and birthed at SoundCloud, Prometheus has become a paragon of open-source monitoring and alerting. Its architecture is tailored for reliability and scalability, making it a favored choice for monitoring Kubernetes ecosystems. With its multi-dimensional data model and flexible query language, Prometheus is adept at collecting metrics and generating alerts. It synergizes well with Grafana, often serving as a primary visualization data source. While its capabilities are robust, businesses might need additional tools to cover the entire observability spectrum.
Sumo Logic's cloud-based observability platform prides itself on its large-scale data handling. Its ability to scale automatically based on data volume and its integrations with multiple platforms make it a reliable choice for businesses of varying scales.
Its AI-assisted insights and prediction tools cater to businesses focused on proactive issue resolution. However, the depth of its offerings may come with a price point that challenges startups or small businesses to justify the ROI.
Logz.io builds upon the foundations set by the ELK Stack and Grafana, offering a cloud-native observability solution. The platform provides log analytics and metric visualization to deliver a comprehensive view of systems. Including AI-driven features, like Cognitive Insights, aids in automated event detection. Still, its reliance on the ELK Stack means that businesses unfamiliar with this architecture might face a learning curve. Also, while it offers robust logging, some might find it less comprehensive when compared to full-fledged observability platforms.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST OBSERVABILITY SOLUTION
Selecting the right observability solution is crucial in a rapidly evolving IT landscape. Beyond the broad features and cost considerations, ensuring speed, scalability, and ease of use is essential.
Understanding telemetry data is paramount to harnessing these platforms' power. Our white paper, The Telemetry Blueprint: Turning Vast Data into Business Insights, provides a unique perspective on maximizing observability data, offering proven strategies to enhance data analytics capabilities.
When choosing an observability solution, think beyond just features. Dive into our white paper to grasp how to transform telemetry data into actionable insights and optimize your investment.
Explore more in The Telemetry Blueprint.