Macy's Tries Scanning Servers In Search Of Hiccups

About three years ago, new IT strategy at Macy's pushed the number of servers they needed to manage from five to 60 and that forced IT to explore outsourcing and they chose a San Francisco company called Splunk, according to a Wall Street Journal story than ran Tuesday (Sept. 8). The story quoted Ratnakar Lavu, Macy's group vice president of technology, as saying the service was used to identify a Web problem last year involving a feature to help customers find product availability for a specific store.

"To figure out what was behind the glitch, his IT team could have gone through the time-consuming process of checking each server for the flaw. Instead, Mr. Lavu entered in a query to Splunk's software. Within minutes, the technology scanned the indexed information from all 60 servers and highlighted how there had been a pattern of errors across some servers. In two days, the problem was resolved, says Mr. Lavu," the story said. "'It would've taken us quite a while without Splunk because it was a very complex problem to solve,' said Lavu. 'It's Google-like and identifies patterns though search.'" He added that he had "some concerns that the technologies won't be as effective if the amount of data and machines they have to scan keeps growing." An interesting read.