All essential data infrastructure these days is open source. Or rather, nearly all — Splunk, the log analysis tool, remains stubbornly, happily proprietary. Despite a sea of competitors, the best of them open source, Splunk continues to generate mountains of cash.
The question is why. Why does Splunk exist given that “no dominant platform-level software infrastructure has emerged in the last 10 years in closed-source, proprietary form,” as Cloudera co-founder Mike Olson has said? True, Splunk was founded in 2003, 10 years before Olson’s declaration, but the real answer for Splunk’s continued relevance may come down to both product completeness and industry inertia.