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Quzara LLCFeb 9, 20236 min read

Microsoft Sentinel vs Splunk: A Comparative Overview | Quzara

What is the difference between Splunk and Microsoft Sentinel?

Splunk vs Microsoft Sentinel: A comparative study will help you understand the key differences between these two tools.

In the world of security analytics, Splunk and Microsoft Sentinel have recently emerged to be two of the most popular SIEM platforms for companies to use. But which one is best suited for your organization? In this article, we will compare both Splunk and Microsoft Sentinel on various factors such as scalability, cost efficiency, deployment, and more. By the end of this blog post, you’ll have a better idea of which platform is better suited for your company’s needs. 

What is Splunk?

In simple terms, Splunk is a software platform that enables you to monitor, search, analyze, and visualize machine-generated data. In more detail, Splunk takes all the machine data generated by your IT infrastructure and applications—both structured and unstructured—and makes it accessible.

What is Microsoft Sentinel?

Microsoft Sentinel is a cloud-based platform for managing security incidents and threats. It uses machine learning to identify and investigate potential threats and provides a centralized view of an organization's security posture. Sentinel is also integrated with Microsoft Azure Active Directory, which allows for single sign-on and easy management of user accounts.

Microsoft Sentinel is a cloud-native security information event management (SIEM) platform. It leverages big data analytics and machine learning to detect anomalous activity, investigate incidents and hunt for threats across an organization’s entire digital estate.

A comparative study of Splunk and Microsoft Sentinel

Splunk and Microsoft Sentinel are both powerful tools for log management and analysis. However, there are some key differences between the two platforms.

Microsoft Sentinel is a cloud-native platform that offers a scalable and cost-effective solution for collecting, storing, and analyzing log data. Sentinel also offers built-in machine learning capabilities that can be used to detect malicious or anomalous activity.

Splunk is an on-premises platform that offers more flexibility and control over data collection, storage, and analysis. Splunk also has a robust set of features for report generation and dashboarding. However, Splunk is typically more expensive than Sentinel due to its licensing model.

In terms of log management capabilities, both Splunk and Sentinel offer similar features. Both platforms allow users to collect data from a variety of sources, including Windows event logs, Syslogs, application logs, and network traffic data. Both platforms also offer the ability to perform real-time searches and generate reports on log data.

However, there are some key differences in the way that Splunk and Sentinel handle log data. For example, Splunk typically stores log data in files on disk while Sentinel stores log data in Azure blob storage. This can impact performance when searching through large volumes of log data. Additionally, Sentinel's built-in machine-learning algorithms can automatically flag suspicious activity without any manual intervention whereas Splunk requires users to configure rules to detect anomalies.

Overall, both Splunk and Microsoft Sentinel are powerful log management and analysis platforms. The best platform for a given organization will depend on the specific requirements and budget.

Pros and Cons of each

There are several benefits to using Splunk over Microsoft Sentinel. One advantage is that Splunk can be used for a wider variety of data sources due to its flexible data ingestion system. Additionally, Splunk's search language is more powerful than the query language used by Microsoft Sentinel, meaning that users can find the information they need more easily and quickly.

There are some drawbacks to using Splunk as well, however. One drawback is that it can be difficult to set up and manage, especially for users who are not familiar with Linux systems. Additionally, Splunk's licensing costs can be high, particularly for enterprise users.

Microsoft Sentinel has some advantages over Splunk as well. One advantage is that it integrates natively with other Microsoft products, such as Defender for Identity, Cloud and Office 365 Security & Compliance Center. Additionally, Microsoft Sentinel offers a lower cost of ownership than Splunk, making it a more attractive option for many organizations. Native threat hunting capabilities are another advantage of Microsoft Sentinel, making it easier for users to identify and respond to potential threats.

However, there are some drawbacks to using Microsoft Sentinel over Splunk. One drawback is that the query language used by Microsoft Sentinel is not as powerful as Splunk’s, making it harder to find the information needed. Additionally, Microsoft Sentinel does not offer the same level of scalability or flexibility as Splunk does over native marketplace app support and data sources, limiting its usefulness in very large enterprise deployments.

Which one should you choose?

There are many factors to consider when choosing a SIEM solution for your business, including budget, features, licensing, and more. In this blog post, we'll compare two of the most popular SIEM solutions on the market today: Splunk and Microsoft Sentinel.

We'll start by looking at the features each solution offers. Splunk has a wide range of features designed to help businesses collect, monitor, and analyze data. Some of its key features include:

  • Data collection from a variety of sources
  • Real-time monitoring and alerting
  • Analytics and reporting tools
  • A flexible licensing model

Microsoft Sentinel, on the other hand, offers many of the same features as Splunk but with a few key differences. These include:

  • Machine learning algorithms for detecting anomalies
  • Built-in Azure Active Directory integration
  • A per user per month pricing model

So, which one should you choose? The answer depends on your specific needs and budget. If you're looking for a comprehensive SIEM solution with a wide range of features, Splunk is a good option. However, if you're looking for a SIEM solution with built-in Azure Active Directory integration or machine learning algorithms for detecting anomalies, Microsoft Sentinel may be a better fit.

Splunk is a powerful tool that can collect and analyze data from a variety of sources. It's easy to use and offers a variety of features, making it a good choice for businesses of all sizes. However, it can be expensive, and it doesn't offer as many advanced features as Microsoft Sentinel.

Microsoft Sentinel is a newer Cloud-native SIEM option that includes many of the same features as Splunk. It's less expensive than Splunk. It's a good choice for businesses that want SIEM software with a lower price tag.


In conclusion, Splunk and Microsoft Sentinel are both powerful security solutions that can help organizations protect their data. While Splunk is more suitable for larger enterprise organizations that may already have invested in Spunk Core, it provides a wide range of features necessary to monitor events in real-time. On the other hand, Microsoft Sentinel is better suited for businesses that have integrations with Microsoft and are looking for a true Extended Detection & Response (XDR) focus on threat detection through AI-driven analytics. No matter which option you choose, these two solutions can help your organization stay secure and compliant with industry standards.

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