November 25, 2015

Splunk engages in stupid lawyer tricks

Using legal threats as an extension of your marketing is a bad idea. At least, it’s a bad idea in the United States, where such tactics are unlikely to succeed, and are apt to backfire instead. Splunk seems to actually have had some limited success intimidating Sumo Logic. But it tried something similar against Rocana, and I was set up to potentially be collateral damage. I don’t think that’s working out very well for Splunk.

Specifically, Splunk sent a lawyer letter to Rocana, complaining about a couple of pieces of Rocana marketing collateral. Rocana responded publicly, and posted both the Splunk letter and Rocana’s lawyer response. The Rocana letter eviscerated Splunk’s lawyers on matters of law, clobbered them on the facts as well, exposed Splunk’s similar behavior in the past, and threw in a bit of snark at the end.

Now I’ll pile on too. In particular, I’ll note that, while Splunk wants to impose a duty of strict accuracy upon those it disagrees with, it has fewer compunctions about knowingly communicating falsehoods itself.

1. Splunk’s letter insinuates that Rocana might have paid me to say what I blogged about them. Those insinuations are of course false.

Splunk was my client for a lot longer, and at a higher level of annual retainer, than Rocana so far has been. Splunk never made similar claims about my posts about them. Indeed, Splunk complained that I did not write about them often or favorably enough, and on at least one occasion seemed to delay renewing my services for that reason.

2. Similarly, Splunk’s letter makes insinuations about quotes I gave Rocana. But I also gave at least one quote to Splunk when they were my client. As part of the process — and as is often needed — I had a frank and open discussion with them about my quote policies. So Splunk should know that their insinuations are incorrect.

3. Splunk’s letter actually included the sentences 

Splunk can store data in, and analyze data across, Splunk, SQL, NoSQL, and Hadoop data repositories. Accordingly, the implication that Splunk cannot scale like Hadoop is misleading and inaccurate.

I won’t waste the time of this blog’s readers by explaining how stupid that is, except to point out that I don’t think Splunk executes queries entirely in Hadoop. If you want to consider the matter further, you might consult my posts regarding Splunk HPAS and Splunk Hunk.

4. I and many other people have heard concerns about the cost of running Splunk for high volumes of data ingest. Splunk’s letter suggests we’re all making this up. This post suggests that Splunk’s lawyers can’t have been serious.

Related links


4 Responses to “Splunk engages in stupid lawyer tricks”

  1. David Gruzman on November 26th, 2015 2:26 pm

    Without getting into legal discussion, I want just to note,
    that big data is usually cheap. It is data with low value per byte. Sometimes very low. So all efforts should be made to decrease all kind of costs per byte, to efficiently play with big data

  2. clive boulton on November 30th, 2015 7:06 pm

    Getting lawyers involved over a fluffy marketing level blog post points back like a smoking gun.

    Counter fluffy posts with either humor or technical research analysis not lawyers. (pay a couple of Stanford research students to pick apart the fluff).

  3. Challenges in anomaly management | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on June 6th, 2016 3:51 am

    […] The most directly relevant companies I’ve written about are probably Rocana and Splunk. […]

  4. Rapid analytics | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services – Cloud Data Architect on October 22nd, 2016 1:25 am

    […] I’ve written about various specifics, especially in connection with the vendors Splunk and Rocana. […]

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