Splunk is a software which processes and brings out insight from machine data and other forms of big data. This machine data is generated by CPU running a webserver, IOT devices, logs from mobile apps, etc. It is not necessary to provide this data to the end users and does not have any business meaning. However, they are extremely important to understand, monitor and optimize the performance of the machines.
Splunk can read this unstructured, semi-structured or rarely structured data. After reading the data, it allows to search, tag, create reports and dashboards on these data. With the advent of big data, Splunk License is now able to ingest big data from various sources, which may or may not be machine data and run analytics on big data.
So, from a simple tool for log analysis, Splunk has come a long way to become a general analytical tool for unstructured machine data and various forms of big data.
Splunk is available in three different product categories as follows −
- Splunk Enterprise − It is used by companies which have large IT infrastructure and IT driven business. It helps in gathering and analyzing the data from websites, applications, devices and sensors, etc.
- Splunk Cloud − It is the cloud hosted platform with same features as the enterprise version. It can be availed from Splunk itself or through the AWS cloud platform.
- Splunk Light − It allows search, report and alert on all the log data in real time from one place. It has limited functionalities and features as compared to the other two versions.
In this section, we shall discuss the important features of enterprise edition −
Splunk can ingest a variety of data formats like JSON, XML and unstructured machine data like web and application logs. The unstructured data can be modeled into a data structure as needed by the user.
The ingested data is indexed by Splunk for faster searching and querying on different conditions.
Searching in Splunk involves using the indexed data for the purpose of creating metrics, predicting future trends and identifying patterns in the data.
Splunk alerts can be used to trigger emails or RSS feeds when some specific criteria are found in the data being analyzed.
Splunk Dashboards can show the search results in the form of charts, reports and pivots, etc.
The indexed data can be modelled into one or more data sets that is based on specialized domain knowledge. This leads to easier navigation by the end users who analyze the business cases without learning the technicalities of the search processing language used by Splunk.
Splunk Enterprise is a software product that enables you to search, analyze, and visualize the data gathered from the components of your IT infrastructure or business. Splunk Enterprise takes in data from websites, applications, sensors, devices, and so on. After you define the data source, Splunk Enterprise indexes the data stream and parses it into a series of individual events that you can view and search.
Most users connect to Splunk Enterprise with a web browser and use Splunk Web to administer their deployment, manage and create knowledge objects, run searches, create pivots and reports, and so on. You can also use the command-line interface to administer your Splunk Enterprise deployment.
Splunk Enterprise Features
The following section highlights seven Splunk Enterprise features. You can read about more features on the Splunk Enterprise page at Splunk.com.
Splunk Enterprise processes and stores the data that represents your business and its infrastructure. You can collect data from devices and applications such as websites, servers, databases, operating systems, and more. Once the data is collected, the index segments, stores, compresses the data, and maintains the supporting metadata to accelerate searching. To learn about getting your data into Splunk Enterprise, see Get started with getting data in in the Getting Data in manual. For more information on the indexing process, see Indexes, indexers, and indexer clusters in the Managing Indexers and Clusters of Indexers manual.
Search is the primary way users navigate their data in Splunk Enterprise. You can save a search as a report and use it to power dashboard panels. Searches provide insight from your data, such as:
- Retrieving events from an index
- Calculating metrics
- Searching for specific conditions within a rolling time window
- Identifying patterns in your data
- Predicting future trends
Alerts notify you when search results for both historical and real-time searches meet configured conditions. You can configure alerts to trigger actions like sending alert information to designated email addresses, posting alert information to an RSS feed, and running a custom script, such as one that posts an alert event to syslog.
Dashboards contain panels of modules like search boxes, fields, charts, and so on. Dashboard panels are usually connected to saved searches or pivots. They display the results of completed searches and data from real-time searches that run in the background.
Pivot refers to the table, chart, or data visualization you create using the Pivot Editor. The Pivot Editor lets users map attributes defined by data model objects to a table, chart, or data visualization without having to write the searches in the Search Processing Language (SPL) to generate them. Pivots can be saved as reports and added to dashboards.
Splunk Enterprise allows you to save searches and pivots as reports, and then add reports to dashboards as dashboard panels. Run reports on an ad hoc basis, schedule them to run on a regular interval, or set a scheduled report to generate alerts when the result meets particular conditions.
Data models encode specialized domain knowledge about one or more sets of indexed data. They enable Pivot Editor users to create reports and dashboards without designing the searches that generate them.