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Microsoft Sentinel vs Splunk

Both Microsoft Sentinel and Splunk offer robust SIEM solutions. Find out how their approaches differ, and which one might be right for your business. 

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In the ever evolving world of SIEM platforms, two names consistently rise to the forefront: Microsoft Sentinel and Splunk Enterprise Security.

Both are formidable, but when placed head to head, certain advantages and disadvantages become clear. This comparison aims to shed light on these differences, helping you to make an informed decision.

What is Microsoft Sentinel?

Microsoft Sentinel, previously known as Azure Sentinel, is Microsoft’s cloud native Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solution.  

It represents a major shift in the way security challenges are addressed, moving away from the traditional reactive models to a more proactive, agile framework. 

Origin and Design: Sentinel is a product of Microsoft’s experience in handling vast amounts of data across its enterprise services.  

The platform is built on Azure, benefitting from its resilience and scalability.  

This design allows Sentinel to seamlessly integrate with many other cloud services, providing organisations with a unified view of their security landscape. 

Key Features

What is Splunk Enterprise Security?

Splunk Enterprise Security is a flagship offering from Splunk, known for its expertise in data analytics and operational intelligence.  

While it boasts a rich set of features designed to provide a comprehensive security overview, its intricate nature can sometimes be a double edged sword, offering depth at the expense of simplicity. 

Origin and Design: Splunk began as a tool for searching, monitoring, and analysing machine generated big data.  

More recently, Splunk has expanded its capabilities to cater to security information and event management (SIEM) features.  

Splunk Enterprise Security aims to provide businesses with a unified platform to monitor, detect, and respond to security threats. 

Key Features

Benefits of MS Sentinel

There are many Microsoft Sentinel benefits – the platform stands out for its innovation and efficiency.  

Its modern approach to SIEM, rooted in Microsoft’s vast experience in cloud computing and data analytics, offers organisations multiple advantages: 

Sentinel’s strength lies in its deep integration with Azure services. This ensures a seamless and unified security approach, making it especially beneficial for organisations already invested in the Microsoft ecosystem. This integration extends beyond just Azure, encompassing a wide range of Microsoft services. 

In today’s digital landscape, threats evolve at a breakneck pace. Sentinel’s cloud native design ensures real time monitoring, generates instant alerts. Where mean time to detection (MTTD) is key in protecting against cyberattacks, this is a differentiating feature of the platform. The scalability of alert management also ensures that organisations are always a step ahead of cybercriminals, ready to counteract threats as they emerge. 

Sentinel’s user activity monitoring provides granular insights into every action taken within an organisation’s network. This ensures that any suspicious activity, whether it’s a potential insider threat or a compromised account, is immediately flagged and investigated by the security team. 

Using AI, Sentinel can analyse vast amounts of information, proactively identifying potential threats. This not only ensures faster detection but also more accurate threat neutralisation, reducing false positives and ensuring that security teams focus on genuine threats. 

The platform’s cloud storage is designed to scale seamlessly, ensuring that as an organisation’s data grows, the platform scales alongside. This avoids infrastructure limitations, allowing businesses to focus on their core objectives. 

One of the challenges of traditional SIEMs is their complexity. Sentinel’s interface ensures that security teams can easily configure and manage the platform. Its reporting tools ensure that organisations not only understand their security landscape but also have the tools to improve it. 

Microsoft has been recognised as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Security Information and Event Management. 

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Drawbacks of Splunk

While Splunk remains a powerful tool in the industry, it’s essential for organisations to weigh its benefits against its challenges.  

The complexities and costs associated with Splunk might make alternative solutions more appealing. This is especially true for businesses looking for a more streamlined and cost effective approach to security.  

Organisations considering Splunk should be aware of the following drawbacks: 

One of the most frequently cited challenges with Splunk is its complexity. Its extensive feature set often means a steep learning curve or the need for specialised skills to manage it. Organisations need to invest significant time and resources in training their teams. This can be particularly challenging for businesses without a dedicated security or IT team or any organisation migrating from a simpler SIEM.

While Splunk’s capabilities are vast, they come at a premium. As data volumes grow, costs can escalate rapidly. This pricing structure can make Splunk a less viable option for organisations operating on tight budgets or those experiencing rapid growth. 

Businesses often find themselves needing a dedicated team of developers and IT professionals to manage Splunk. This team is not just for initial setup but also needed for ongoing configuration, maintenance, and troubleshooting. This adds to the operational costs and can mean slower response times during critical incidents, with the need to navigate through layers of technical difficulty. 

Integrating Splunk with other enterprise applications can demand additional configurations and custom solutions. This not only adds to the initial setup time but can also introduce potential points of failure, making the overall security infrastructure more fragile. 

While Splunk is designed to handle large volumes of data, being on premise can sometimes introduce scalability challenges. Scaling might require additional infrastructure investments, adding to the total cost of ownership. 


found Microsoft Sentinel to be more cost effective in the long run


faster deployment time with Microsoft Sentinel vs Splunk


using multicloud reported smoother deployment with Microsoft Sentinel

MS Sentinel vs Splunk: A Detailed Comparison Guide

In the realm of SIEMs, both Microsoft Sentinel and Splunk stand out as industry leaders. However, when looking at their features and capabilities, some distinct differences emerge: 

Sentinel’s AI features give it an edge in proactive threat detection. Sentinel can identify and neutralise threats faster, ensuring organisations are always a step ahead of cybercriminals. 

  • Real time Monitoring and Alerts: Sentinel provides real time monitoring, ensuring that any cyber threats or anomalies are instantly flagged. Its alert system reduces false positives. Splunk, while offering real time monitoring, can sometimes be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of data, leading to potential delays in alerts being delivered.
  • User Activity Monitoring: Sentinel provides an in depth view of user activity, ensuring that any suspicious behaviour is immediately flagged to security analysts. Splunk also offers user activity monitoring, but its interface can make extracting these insights more complicated and time consuming.
  • Use Case Investigation: With Azure services and its AI driven approach, Sentinel provides intuitive investigation of use cases such as a security breach or data anomaly. Splunk, with its extensive logging capabilities, also offers detailed use case investigations, but might require more manual configuration.
  • Threat Detection and Response: Sentinel’s AI approach means it can identify and neutralise threats faster. Splunk, while powerful in threat detection, often relies more on predefined configurations and might not be as swift in response.
  • Log Storage: Log data is crucial for any SIEM. Sentinel’s cloud based storage approach ensures unparalleled scalability. Cloud based storage often proves to be more cost effective in the long run. 
  • Ease of Deployment: Microsoft Sentinels cloud native architecture ensures rapid deployment. Splunk, on the other hand, with its more traditional, on premise setup, can be more time consuming. Organisations might find themselves navigating through a series of configurations and customisations before Splunk can be fully operational.
  • Architecture: The Splunk platform can often introduce complexities, especially when integrating with newer platforms or applications. Sentinel, being a part of the Microsoft ecosystem, offers seamless integration with Azure services. This is particularly beneficial for organisations already invested in Microsoft services.
  • Administration and Reporting: With Microsoft Sentinel, administration is streamlined thanks to its cloud based design. Security teams can easily configure and manage the platform, and its comprehensive reporting tools offer actionable insights. Splunk, while offering a robust set of administrative tools and detailed reports, can sometimes be more complex to navigate and requires more time and resources.
  • Pricing: Sentinel‘s flexible pricing, based on data ingestion and retention, can often be more cost effective. Splunk, with its more traditional pricing structure, can prove to be more expensive, especially as data volumes grow. 

Choosing Between MS Sentinel and Splunk?


Businesses looking for a SIEM solution must consider the features of Splunk vs Sentinel and the long term implications in terms of costs, resources, and scalability.  

While Splunk has been a market leader for some time, its high costs and the need for a dedicated team can be prohibitive. 

Microsoft Sentinel, with its cloud native architecture, AI driven capabilities, and seamless integration with Azure services, offers a more modern, scalable, and cost effective solution.  


Its proactive approach to threat detection and management means that organisations can stay ahead of potential security issues without the need to make large upfront and ongoing investments in personnel and infrastructure. 

In the Microsoft Sentinel vs Splunk debate, while both platforms have their merits, Sentinel’s modern approach and cost effectiveness make it the best choice for many organisations. 

Discuss your cyber security options

Get in touch today to speak to an expert and secure your business, or call us on 0800 090 3734

DigitalXRAID’s Managed Microsoft Sentinel Service

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To harness the power of Microsoft Sentinel, partner with a specialist cybersecurity service provider like DigitalXRAID. Our CREST accredited managed Microsoft Sentinel service ensures you maximise your SIEM solution’s potential with the highest industry standards. 

24/7/365 monitoring means that your security is safeguarded, with threats detected and any attacks or breaches stopped in just 8 minutes.  

Our seasoned team of experts brings a wealth of experience, having protected a diverse range of organisations, from central government departments and critical national infrastructure to universities and international football clubs. 

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By choosing DigitalXRAID, you’re not just getting a service, you’re investing in a partnership. We work closely with our clients, offering a personal touch that ensures your specific security needs are always met.

Our commitment to excellent service combined with the capabilities of Microsoft Sentinel, provides an unparalleled security solution for your business. 

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