Introduction to Splunk
“Splunk” is the product created by an American multinational company based in California that creates software platforms for searching, monitoring, and analyzing data via a Web-style interface.
With the general term “Splunk”, it is the “Data to Everything” platform, which is the most advanced and commonly used product. To be more specific, the Splunk platform is a scalable and reliable data platform for investigating, monitoring, analyzing and acting on organizations data.
The main abilities of Splunk platform are empowerment of organization to identify and solve errors in real time, cloud management to improve efficiency, accelerate innovation and look after of disruptors and finally supercharging IT teams with the technology they need to drive transformation.
Components of Splunk
Splunk is made up of 3 primary components namely –
- Splunk Forwarder
- Splunk Indexer
- Splunk Search Head
Splunk Forwarder is mainly related to for data forwarding. It collects the logs and sends them further to the indexer. We can install multiple such forwarders in array of machines and forward the log data to a Splunk Indexer for processing and storage. Splunk forwarder are of 2 types as under –
- Universal Forwarder – Is used to forward raw data without any prior treatment or processing. This type is much faster with minimal resource requirement on the host. One caveat is that it results in huge quantities of data sent to the indexer.
- Heavy Forwarder – It is responsible for parsing and indexing at the source, on the host machine. The benefit is that only the parsed events are sent to the indexer.
It is primarily related to Parsing and Indexing the data. Indexer indexes and stores the data coming from the forwarder. The Splunk instance changes the incoming data into events and then stores it in indexes in order to perform search operations efficiently.
Following file types are created by indexer and separated into directories called buckets:
- Compressed raw data
- Indexes pointing towards raw data (.TSIDX files)
- Metadata files
We may set up a cluster of indexers with replication in order to avoid data loss.
Search Head basically a GUI used for searching, analyzing and reporting. It renders the UI for users for them to interact with Splunk. It allows users to search and then query Splunk data and interfaces with help of indexers in order to gain access to the specific data which was requested.
Specifications of Splunk Platform
According to the official manufacturer’s website, Splunk platform has many services it can provide to customers. Most of the advanced specifications are described below:
- Powerful in the Cloud and On-Prem: Splunk platform is designed with scalable and powerful services that can be applied in the cloud and on-premises. To be more specific, the user can access the latest innovations on the cloud with accelerated releases first, or manage the platform from public or private cloud environments.
- Integrated AI and Machine Learning: Splunk platform is designed with integrated tools and onboarding information supported by open source AI and machine learning (ML) algorithms. Powerful AI and ML capabilities automatically identify, predict and mitigate IT, security, DevOps and business errors before they become problems.
- Cloud Ready: Splunk architecture is robust enough and complies to sudden or unexpected burst facilitation in data volumes, therefore the user can scale in the cloud according on various needs. Splunk platform can be also deployed and managed by the official Splunk enterprises as a secure, reliable and scalable service with the relevant cost.
- Accessible through Connected Experiences: Splunk platform is designed to offer access to more users beyond technical experts to monitor and utilize data through mobile, TV, augmented and virtual reality at the same time. To be more specific, Splunk Secure Gateway enables mobile devices to establish communication with Splunk instances via an encrypted bridge.
- Faster Answers with Analytics Workspace: Splunk platform provides instant reaction to user’s data by enabling visualization and alerting on metrics or events data with a drag and drop interface. In addition, it is designed to convert logs into metrics and boosts search optimization and monitoring performance as well.
- Interactive Dashboards and Visualization: Splunk platform also has the design to provide services such as creation and distribution of interactive dashboards and visualizations of data across the network, so the entire organization can effectively see and act as expected.
- A Unique Investigative Approach: Splunk platform uses an agile architecture which helps the user to avoid structure data until he makes a question to the software. Then Ingestion of any data is performed, regardless of source or type. Splunk platform also provides answers to questions across business, IT Security, and DevOps services inside the organization.
- Built for Enterprise Scale: Splunk platform also provides analysis at an unmatched scale. This includes powerful search capabilities that provide cohesion on analytical experiences with public data sets of any measure across any number of data sources.
- Take action on data in motion: The last but most valuable service of Splunk platform is the streaming processing service that provides a better control over the explosion of organization’s data. Helping the user to get a better view of any environment and accelerate business critical awareness to match real time KPIs.
Splunk Platform is a “Big Data” management and analyzing software tool. It is undoubtedly one of the best in the market, but unfortunately it’s expensive price makes its adoption little hard for most organizations especially with those having budget constraints. Although, if you are a engineer looking for a career on this platform, then you are in the right direction.
Many large scale IT companies are in need of professionals associated with this platform. You may come to the conclusion that it is a bit competitive in finding jobs associated with this platform, but once you’re hired in any organization, you will be respected for your unique skills in Splunk technology.