Splunk Tutorials

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Published Date

28th May, 2020




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What Is Splunk?

A software technology that searches, analyses, visualize and monitor the data which is generated by the machine into the real-time, Splunk can read and monitor various log files and saves data in indexes as events. This Splunk tool also permits you to reflect the data in different sorts of dashboards. 

As Splunk analyze, search, visualize and monitor the machine data, this machine data comes from sensors, devices, web applications or the data that is built by any user. Splunk not only analyses and monitor the log files but, it also analyses and monitors any semi-structured or structured with the peculiar data modelling. Splunk contains field spectators, built-in features to understand the types of data, and it can also optimize the process of searching. It gives data visualization upon the search outcomes. 



Story of Splunk:

Splunk is a dominant platform for examining machine data. Machine data is already leading within the world of technology. There are two ways to understand the versatility and power of Splunk they are 

  • Splunk to rescue the data centre.
  • Splunk to the rescue within the marketing department.

Splunk to rescue the datacenter:

If your website is down and if you are searching for the problem in webservers, database servers, applications or load balancers to fix them, now you can use Splunk to search the log files from all your firewalls, web servers, routers, load balancers and database in Splunk you can see the graph to look when the problem has occurred and can fix it, fixing the problem using Splunk usually takes less time because Splunk will gather all the important information in the central index that you can immediately search.

Splunk to rescue within the marketing department:

There are four relevant uses of Splunk in the marketing department.

  • Marketing Analytics Splunk measures the effectiveness of the marketing campaign, customer acquisition channels and customer segmentation.
  • Social media analytics: associating social media data with the web or mobile data can give brand new penetrations that helps you to interact with the customers more efficiently 
  • Multi-Channel analytics: Powerful ad-hoc researches upon data can reveal distinct digital channels over destination and optimize.  
  • Increase Conversion Rates: Learn and update purchasing cart progress within real-time and overtime.    

Marketers see to get deep penetrations over various channels, and these penetrations encourage renewed conversion rates and revenue, marketing camping performance and Splunk gives marketers with real-time and novel penetrations over digital channels and also provides the capability to combine structured data with machine data.

Splunk Stream:

Splunk stream is a data collection of purpose-built wire and solution of analytics from Splunk, Splunk passively catches data packets, dynamically identify applications, phrase the protocols and transmit metadata backwards to your Indexer for beyond 30 protocols.

Targeted complete packet capturing to NAS concerning the forensic examination regarding raw packets. Aggregate data utilizing simple SPL aggregation techniques to decrease the amount regarding data indexed and also captures flow-type records including v9, sFlow, NetFlow, v5, jFlow and also sends your flow records straight to your indexers with the collection and arbitrary filtering. 

Advantages of Splunk:

As we all are aware that log plays a very important role in the IT industry, logs utilized for multiple purposes such as application and system monitoring, compliance, IT operations, business analytics, security and so on.

Centralized logging system makes it simple to the developers particularly whenever they ought to detect issues, troubleshoot the applications, review the performance of the application, search the application when there are unexpected hits upon the services and so on.

Splunk is a centralized log analysis tool used for data that is generated by the machines, so the advantages of using Splunk are mentioned here.

  • Splunk can find real-time logs as quickly as possible.  
  • Splunk analyses the logs that aggregated from a big service cluster.
  • Splunk decreases the time to solve the issues and troubleshoot the problems. 
  • Splunk gives real-time visibility and advanced GUI within dashboards within multiple formats.
  • Splunk does not need any other dependent services like the database.
  • Splunk acts like reporting, analysis and monitoring tool that gives penetrations.
  • Splunk can maintain at low-cost.
  • Setting up Splunk is very easy.
  • Splunk accepts any data type like JSON, .csv log formats and so on.     

Characteristics/Features of Splunk:

Splunk’s one of the huge selling points is real-time processing because there are storage devices that are getting better day-by-day, and the processors are also getting better.

The few other characteristics and benefits of Splunk are

  • We can configure Splunk to post notifications at the onset of a machine state.
  • We can correctly interpret the resources required for computing the infrastructure.
  • We can build knowledge objects for Operational Intelligence.
  • Splunk fastens development.
  • Splunk makes testing easy and quick.
  • ROI is generated as fast as possible.
  • Splunk permits us to build real-time applications.

Approaching Splunk

Splunk is used to answer the questions, Splunk will break the task into three phases

  • In the first phase, identify the information or data that will answer all your questions.
  • We have to convert the data into outcomes that will clarify your questions.
  • The third step is to show the results within the report, graph or interactive chart to make it understandable.   

Splunk components:

There are three different Splunk components they are 

  • Splunk forwarder: this is a component by which we can collect the logs Assume, you require to assemble logs from any remote machine, later you can achieve this by utilizing Splunk remote forwarders which do not depend upon the prime Splunk instance. There are two subtypes in Splunk forwarders they are

  1. Universal forwarder we can utilize universal forwarder if we require to transfer the raw data that is obtained from the source. It is a simplistic component which achieves minimal processing upon the incoming data brooks before delivering them toward an indexer.  
  2. Heavy forwarder typically makes indexing and parsing at the source and effectively routes the data toward the Indexer preserving on storage space and bandwidth. So while a massive forwarder parses the data/information, the Indexer only requires to manage the segment of indexing.
  • Splunk Indexer this is the Splunk component which you can utilize for indexing and also for saving the data that comes from the forwarder, Splunk forwards the incoming data into the events and saves the data inside the indexes for performing the search operations efficiently. 

  • Splunk search head this is the component utilize for interacting with Splunk. It gives GUI(Graphical User Interface) to the clients for performing multiple operations.

Operational Intelligence in Splunk

Operational Intelligence enables the enterprises to:

  • Utilize machine data to get a deeper knowledge of their customers: 
  • If you want to track transactions on your website, you can see what people got, though by observing the web server logs we can get an idea of the pages that they have seen before their purchase, possibly still further necessary for the down the line.
  • Reveals analytics and necessary patterns obtained corresponding form events within various sources: you can track customers behaviour through websites, social media, call record and in-store retail purchases. And for a better picture of consumer arises.
  • Decrease the period among the necessary event and the event’s detection: machine data is observed and compared within real-time.
  • Deploy a solution immediately: Splunk can give a solution as quickly as possible.
  • Support live and legacy data to the understanding of whatever is transpiring presently: for instance, the websites traffic which is occurred by web promotion can be analyzed with earlier promotions and can be estimated within real-time.                  

Splunk data sources:

The most general input sources of Splunk are

  • Network Splunk can listen on UDP(User Datagram Protocol) or TCP(transmission control protocol) ports and can read any data or information that has been sent.
  • Files Splunk will observe particular directories or files. If the new data appended to a file or else a fresh file appended to a directory that has been monitoring, then Splunk will read that data which is added.
  • Scripted inputs Splunk is capable of reading the data output of machines with the help of scripts or programs, so as a Unix® custom script or a command that monitors sensors. 

Versions of Slunk:

There are two versions in Splunk they are

  • The free version: this free version of Splunk is only for low volumes of Splunk. This free version can only provide a maximum of 500 MB of indexing through the day.
  • The enterprise version: the Splunk cloud licenses and Splunk enterprise supports distributed deployment and multi-users, this also offers single sign-on, clustering, schedule PDF delivery, role-based security, premium Splunk applications and so on.

Steps to set up a Splunk server:

  • The first step is downloading and installing Splunk. 
  • In the second step, we have to enable the receiving ports to get the logs from the Splunk Forwarder.
  • The third step is to set up the Splunk Forwarder.
  • In this fourth step, we have to download and install the Splunk Forwarder.
  • The fifth step we have to add the logs within the Splunk Forwarder.
  • Configuring Splunk server upon the Splunk Forwarder is done in this last sixth step.

Companies that are using Splunk:

  • IBM
  • Cisco
  • Facebook
  • Motorola
  • Bosch
  • PepsiCo
  • Adidas
  • Visa
  • Adobe
  • Walmart
  • Salesforce 

 Products of Splunk:

  • Splunk enterprise: this is one of the simplest ways to obtain the answers from the machine data and also to analyze and aggregate them at the same time. Huge-IT businesses utilize this Splunk enterprise version. 
  • Splunk data stream processor: this collects the process and transfers them to the data to the Splunk and other destinations within no time or just in milliseconds with the streaming of real-time 
  • Splunk cloud: Splunk cloud deploys the Splunk reliably, securely and scalably as a service for this infrastructure is not at all required, Splunk cloud is a platform that is hosted, Splunk cloud is available from utilizing AWS cloud platform or by utilizing Splunk.
  • Splunk Light: this is a free version this permits to report, alter and search the data of your log. As it is a free version, this has only very few features and functionalities when compared with the other versions or products of Splunk.       

Search command in Splunk:

The search command is the workhorse of the Splunk. It is one of the easiest and very authoritative commands. Such a fundamental command that you do not indeed require to typewrite it anyplace before the prime pipe because it is requested essentially at the peak of a quest, recovering events of the indexes upon the disk. 

Disadvantages of Splunk:

These are a few of the disadvantages of Splunk.

  • For the huge volume of data Splunk can be very expensive.
  • Searches in Splunk are really difficult to understand.
  • Search syntax and regular expressions are very difficult.
  • Dashboards in Splunk are functional, but they are not as efficient as other tools that monitor.
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