Splunk® Enterprise

Managing Indexers and Clusters of Indexers

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About managing indexes

When you add data, the indexer processes it and stores it in an index. By default, data you feed to an indexer is stored in the main index, but you can create and specify other indexes for different data inputs.

An index is a collection of directories and files. These are located under $SPLUNK_HOME/var/lib/splunk. Index directories are also called buckets and are organized by age. For information on index storage, see How Splunk Enterprise stores indexes.

In addition to the main index, Splunk Enterprise comes preconfigured with a number of internal indexes. Internal indexes are named starting with an underscore (_). To see a full list of indexes in Splunk Web, click the Settings link in the upper portion of Splunk Web and then select Indexes. The list includes:

  • main: The default Splunk Enterprise index. All processed external data is stored here unless otherwise specified.
  • _internal: This index includes Splunk Enterprise internal logs and metrics.
  • _audit: Events from the file system change monitor, auditing, and all user search history.

A number of topics in this manual describe ways you can manage your indexes. In particular, the following topics are helpful in index management:

Index types

Splunk Enterprise supports two types of indexes:

  • Events indexes. Events indexes impose minimal structure and can accommodate any type of data, including metrics data. Events indexes are the default index type.
  • Metrics indexes. Metrics indexes use a highly structured format to handle the higher volume and lower latency demands associated with metrics data. Putting metrics data into metrics indexes results in faster performance and less use of index storage, compared to putting the same data into events indexes. For information on the metrics format, see the Metrics manual.

There are minimal differences in how indexers handle the two index types. Any differences that do exist are described in the relevant topic.

For more information about the indexing process

To learn more about indexes, see:

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Indexers in a distributed deployment
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Create custom indexes

This documentation applies to the following versions of Splunk® Enterprise: 7.0.0, 7.0.1, 7.0.2, 7.0.3, 7.0.4, 7.0.5, 7.0.6, 7.0.7, 7.0.8, 7.1.0, 7.1.1, 7.1.2, 7.1.3, 7.1.4, 7.1.5, 7.2.0, 7.2.1


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