This year’s Splunk show brought together visionaries from all areas of IT, including CIOs, end users, data scientists, and partners in Washington D.C. to discuss some of the most popular and transformative technologies available today. We had a chance to sit down with Stan Skelton, Chief Architect & Sr. Director, Product Management at NetApp, and Younes Ben Brahim, Product Manager at NetApp who attended the show to hear more about how the event provided attendees with the insights and intelligence needed to thrive in today’s digital world. Here’s what they had to say:

GovDataDownload (GDD): What were some of the biggest technologies and trends discussed at this year’s show?

Younes Ben Brahim (YB):  As expected, there were a lot of customers from the public sector either interested in learning how NetApp can help manage their environment, or existing customers that were eager to learn more about our newly launched E5700 hybrid-flash storage system. Customers were excited about the display we had of the E5700 on top of the 60 disk shelf and were interested in discussions about some of its capabilities, such as the ability to deploy all tiers within one box.

Stan Skelton (SS):  There were several discussions around machine learning and how users can create value from it through the use of customizable algorithms, automation, and threat detection. The move to DevOps was also a topic of conversation and Splunk’s platform was highlighted as a way to provide visibility across the DevOps lifecycle to better enable collaboration and data driven decisions.

GDD: What were some of the biggest highlights from the event?

YB: We had the opportunity to host a cocktail hour in partnership with Arista, ClearShark and Insight Engines, in addition to announcing our NetApp Validated Architecture (NVA) for deploying Splunk with E-Series and Cisco infrastructure (Servers and Switches). We also showcased a new video that summarizes why E-Series is the right storage solution for your Splunk deployment.


SS: The exhibit floor was very well laid out and I was impressed with all of the kiosk’s Splunk had in the middle of the tradeshow floor, giving attendees quick access to subject matter experts.

GDD: Were you able to attend any keynote sessions? If so, can you talk a little bit about the major takeaways from them?

YB: Hoseb Dermanilian, Business Development Manager at NetApp, EMEA, presented on a session titled “Building the Right Infrastructure with Splunk and NetApp E-Series,” which covered the importance of decoupling storage from compute on a Splunk environment and lowering your total cost of ownership.

SS: There were several valuable keynotes and breakout sessions at the show. Doug Merritt delivered an exciting speech about Splunk and how the company and its partners are empowering data driven business transformation at some of the world’s largest organizations. He emphasized the importance of data and its ability to provide the insights customers need to reimagine IT, security, the internet of things and business analytics. There were several breakout and educational sessions around machine learning and automation, and many conversations about trends within DevOps, and the importance of monitoring process health.

GDD: How was this year’s event different from past shows you’ve been to? (either Splunk or other industry events)

YB: Since this is Splunk’s only show, the attendees were from all over the world with a significant number from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). This is the third year NetApp has sponsored Splunk’s show and we can see the impressive increase in number of attendees year over year.

SS: This year’s Splunk show had a very diverse attendance – from infrastructure to subject matter experts, end customers, data scientists, and developers. There were multiple types of partners at the conference, including channel partners, development, and alliance partners. Having such a diverse audience together all in one place and being able to share and exchange ideas and best practices was incredibly powerful.

GDD: Anything final you’d like to add about the NetApp/ Splunk partnership?

YB: We had the opportunity to hold several valuable meetings with Splunk to discuss areas we can work on together and also further advance our partnership not only in the US but also in EMEA which we see as the fastest growing region for them.

SS: NetApp has an expansive portfolio that helps users to meet extreme requirements for Splunk workloads. All our products are instrumented for Splunk with apps available on the Splunk storefront, allowing for great synergies between our products. In addition, Splunk offers solutions that provide instant visibility into NetApp Data ONTAP, E-Series and StorageGRID system health. Being able to modernize storage through data management and data driven insights is essential today and we are able to do that with the power of our partnership.