Which Applications Ship with Splunk Enterprise?
As a software platform that can help users make sense of machine-generated log data, Splunk is a preferred tool for searching and monitoring machine-generated Big Data. It uses a web-style interface to make accessing and understanding data faster and simpler. Part of what makes Splunk such a powerful performer is that it doesn’t just collect the data but can analyze it as well, which is critical when dealing with the massive amounts of machine data being generated today.
That, in turn, allows for better insights into business operations and customer behavior, enabling leaders to see where improvements could be made or where efforts are falling short.
Splunk Enterprise ships with three applications that play a pivotal role in performing these vital search and analysis functions. They are central to the overall operation and navigation of the Splunk platform, so learning how they function can improve your user experience.
Here’s a closer look at what each one does — and why they’re so important.
The Monitoring Console is critical because it provides detailed information about your Splunk Enterprise deployment. It can help you troubleshoot and find solutions to common problems quickly and easily and provide details about the architecture.
The Monitoring Console arrives unconfigured, and you have the choice of leaving it unconfigured in standalone mode, configuring it in standalone mode to access default platform alerts or configuring it for distributed mode to view console information for every instance in your deployment.
Using this monitoring tool, you can see important performance information and gain insight into such areas of your deployment as:
- Search performance and distributed search framework
- Indexing performance
- Operating system resource usage
- Splunk app key value store performance
- Search head and indexer clustering
- Splunk Index and volume usage
- Forwarder connections and Splunk TCP performance
- HTTP Event Collector performance
- License usage
- Data quality
The Monitoring Console dashboards use data from Splunk Enterprise’s internal log files as well as data from the Splunk Enterprise platform instrumentation.
The Launcher serves as the home page for Splunk and is the first page you land on when you open Splunk. Also known as the Splunk Home App, it is the launching pad for apps and tutorials. It provides an overview of all the applications on the Splunk server and allows you to check dashboards, such as a landing dashboard. The Launcher is a default app that will provide information on all the apps that are being used.
It also gives the option to add data to help start getting local data funneling into Splunk or to learn about Splunk apps in the Splunk Apps Marketplace. The Marketplace can be incredibly useful, since it is where Splunk users and employees post Splunk apps, and you can find useful tools for your operation. Most of these apps are free, but there are some premium apps available as well.
The Splunk Answers section of the Launcher has a huge database of documentation on Splunk features and functionality. There’s a community page for engaging with other Splunkers as well as a solutions page to answer questions about your deployment.
Search and Reporting
The Search and Reporting app is, in many ways, the most important app for Splunk Enterprise. It is a default app that allows you to search your data, create data models and pivots, save searches and pivots as reports, configure alerts and create dashboards.
If you’re new to Splunk and trying to familiarize yourself with the system, the Search and Reporting app is a good place to focus your attention, since a majority of the searches will be run. Getting a solid understanding of this app will provide a good foundation on which to build moving forward.
The Search Manual can help you get started with this app and help you learn the search language, types of searches, types of commands and how to search and report in real time — among other things.
Optimize Your Splunk Experience with Apps and Add-ons
You can get more from Splunk by using apps and add-ons, and with more than 1,000 to choose from, there is something for virtually every data source and user need. (You can also create your own.) They are divided into six categories:
- Business Analytics
- IoT & Industrial Data
- IT Operations
- Security, Fraud & Compliance
Although apps and add-ons are similar in that they can easily be installed in Splunk, they have some differences in functionality. Splunk apps are designed to analyze and display knowledge around a specific data source or data set and might require the use of one or more add-ons to be able to collect or configure data. Some of the free apps included on the platform are Splunk App for Microsoft Exchange, Splunk App for AWS and Splunk DB Connect.
An add-on, on the other hand, provides capabilities for a specific task to help gather, normalize and enrich data sources.
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