Page 56 - GCN, May 2016
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case study
Mining IT data to boost
customer experience
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is using Splunk’s IT Service Intelligence to see operational problems at a glance
When Pacific Northwest National Laboratory CIO Brian Abrahamson asked his IT staff to put more emphasis on the customer experience, the team that handles monitoring and automation turned the spotlight on the lab’s data.
“We had the insight that we could use the data that we have to understand what our customers were experiencing,” said Daryl Anderson, chief infrastruc- ture architect at the lab. The IT team’s primary objectives were to “understand how our operations are impacting our customers and what can we do to pro-
actively make their experience better.” But that was difficult to do because of the glut of available information — about 400G of data from 30 to 40 sources and about 13,000 devices. To manage all that machine-generated data with one tool, the team deployed Splunk IT Service Intelligence, a scal- able monitoring and analytics solution that addressed the IT staff’s two main objectives: see any operational prob- lems at a glance and learn to predict
future issues.
Released in November 2015, Splunk
ITSI provides end-to-end visibility into
the operational health of IT systems via dashboards and visualizations that can be mapped to a user’s key perfor- mance indicators (KPIs). It collects and indexes terabytes of data and metrics across data centers and cloud-based infrastructures. If it doesn’t have a col- lection component for what an agency needs, the company can easily build a software development kit or application programming interface (API).
“We actually look at a collection of components, if you will, as they make up an entire end-to-end service,” said Andi Mann, Splunk’s chief technology
54 GCN MAY 2016 • GCN.COM
A new IT tool is helping Pacific Northwest National Laboratory go beyond identifying existing problems to predicting future ones.

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