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Hadoop is hot. Whether it is Hadoop-focused startups attracting huge funding or titans like GE using it for “big data” initiatives, this open-source software with a cute elephant logo is grabbing lots of attention.

So it makes sense that big data and analytics business Splunk is getting on board with a new Hadoop-based application it cheekily calls “Hunk.”

Hunk, which launches in beta today, takes Splunk’s popular analytics platform and puts it to work on data stored in Hadoop. Businesses that use Hadoop can now use this for exploration and visualization of data.

“Hadoop is becoming the OS for where you store data,” Clint Sharp, Splunk’s senior product manager for big data, told VentureBeat. “I talk to a lot of customers who are not struggling to put data into Hadoop, but they are struggling to get value out of it.”

The Hunk software is relatively clean and easy to use. Sharp claims that getting a customer on Hunk usually takes less than an hour.

Hunk’s “key features” include:

• Splunk Virtual Index: Splunk virtual index technology enables the “seamless use” of the entire Splunk technology stack, including the Splunk Search Processing Language (SPL), for interactive exploration, analysis and visualization of data stored anywhere, as if it was stored in a Splunk software index. Hunk uses this foundational technology and is the first product to come from this innovation.

• Explore data in Hadoop from one place: Hunk is designed for interactive data exploration across large, diverse data sets. There is no requirement to “understand” data upfront, simply point Hunk at the Hadoop cluster and start exploring data immediately.

• Interactive analysis of data in Hadoop: Hunk enables users to drive deep analysis, detect patterns, and find anomalies across terabytes and petabytes of data. Users can correlate data to spot trends, identify patterns of interest,m and enrich insights even further by connecting data from external relational databases using Splunk DB Connect.

• Report on and Visualize Data in Hadoop: Users can build advanced graphs and charts on-the-fly to make their data more meaningful. Share these with other users on any device.

• Create custom dashboards: Hunk users can combine multiple charts, views and reports into role-specific dashboards which can be viewed and edited on laptops, tablets or mobile devices. Hunk also allows users to ensure secure access with role-based access controls.

The San Jose, Calif.-based Splunk has 5,600 customers, which includes half of the Fortune 100. It says the new Hunk product will target both new and existing customers, as long as they use Hadoop.

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