IT search engine provider Splunk is opening an office in Seattle, Wash., to try to acquire some of the talent in the area — and will be competing with a number of Web 2.0 titans and tech giants to do so.

Splunk provides IT professionals with ways to log any piece of information and quickly index it, find it and run a number of analytics functions on it. That can be GPS data, data from customer relationship management (CRM) software from Oracle or cell phone data — basically anything, as long as it has a time stamp. The service has a bit of a cult following among IT professionals and is a pretty strong candidate for an IPO this year.

Splunk is basically making a statement that it can compete with the likes of Google, Microsoft, Facebook and other Web 2.0 titans — all of which have offices in the Seattle area — for talented developers and engineers. The competition for talent in Silicon Valley is even more fierce, with basically every tech company in existence running a San Francisco- or Bay Area-based office.

It wasn’t a move to save money, either, said Splunk co-founder Erik Swan. The new office will serve as a home base for Brad Lovering, a Microsoft technical fellow that Splunk just hired, and as a recruiting central for the area. Splunk considered Los Angeles and Austin, Texas, as potential locations for new offices. Each spot has its own quirks and types of engineers and developers, and Seattle ended up being the best fit, Swan said.

Microsoft had a lot to do with that culture, said Swan. Founded in 1975, Microsoft has been based in Redmond, Wash., since its inception. Microsoft, along with Amazon, has attracted a large amount of system administrators and developers to the Seattle area, he said.

“Microsoft has done a brilliant job of building people who understand the developer ecosystem, what it means to support developers,” Swan said. “Much more so than the Valley.”

Splunk has raised $40 million in venture funding from Ignition PartnersAugust CapitalJK&B Capital, and Sevin Rosen Funds. The San Francisco, Calif.-based company brought in $66 million last year in revenue, up 96 percent from 2009, and signed on an extra five Fortune 100 companies as clients. Splunk currently has around half of the Fortune 100 companies as clients, and 2,500 customers overall.

The company has around 260 employees and also has an office in Hong Kong.