Yahoo is using data analytics company Splunk’s tool for Hadoop, named Hunk, to analyse its IT operations in real-time, saving the firm millions in hardware costs a year.

The internet search company, which offers email and news similarly to Google, analyses 150 terabytes of machine data with Splunk Enterprise every day. This information is used to optimise IT operations, applications delivery, security as well as business analytics to better understand the customer and personalise search results.

“Hundreds” of employees are now using Hunk on Hadoop to analyse and visualise 600 petabytes worth of data to cost-effectively monitor its infrastructure, as well as Splunk Enterprise.

Ian Flint, monitoring architect, Yahoo said: “Hunk gives Yahoo deep visibility into our massive Hadoop data stores to help us continuously optimise operational performance. Insights we gain from Hunk help us save millions of dollars per year in hardware provisioning. Splunk Enterprise helps us to maximise revenue by giving product and business teams better insight into our customers, the user experience and any looming issues.”

For example, Yahoo is using Hunk in its grid operations group to improve its performance and stability. It allows it to track system metrics from all of its clusters by region, visually browse complex tables, track historical data and improve its data service level agreements. It has been able to cut down development cycles and search and troubleshoot IT issues in the grid system in real time.

Yahoo acquired mobile analytics and advertising company Flurry, which tracks over 600,000 apps over the world, for targeted advertising. It was a move to kickstart Yahoo’s slow-moving advertising revenues, particularly for mobile and catch up with the likes of Facebook and Google.

It also runs Yahoo Gemini, a platform for mobile advertising and BrightRoll, a digital video advertising company that it bought last year.

It will demonstrate these new companies during its first mobile developer conference this week in San Francisco, where its top executives, including Marissa Mayer, hope to lure top app entrepreneurs.