How to get going
How to get going
It's easy to get started with Splunk. You just point Splunk at some data by configuring an input from the Add data page. Or, even easier, you can download and enable a relevant app, such as one of the OS apps (Splunk for Windows or Splunk for Unix and Linux). Once you've configured the inputs or enabled the app, Splunk immediately starts indexing the specified data. In a short time, you can go to the Search app (reachable from Splunk Home, the starting page for Splunk Web) and begin to explore the data in detail.
It's easy, but still... it's a good idea to work first with a test index.
Add new inputs
Here's a recommended way to start out:
1. Understand your needs. Some of the questions you might ask yourself include:
- What kind of data do I want Splunk to index? Look here for a quick guide to the types of data Splunk indexes.
- Is there an app for that? See "Use apps" to find out if there's a pre-configured app that will meet your needs.
- Where does the data reside? Is it local or remote? See "Where is my data?".
- Should I use forwarders to access remote data? See "Use forwarders".
- What do I want to do with the indexed data? Get a sense of the possibilities; start by reading "What is Splunk knowledge?".
2. Start out small, by creating a test index and adding just a few inputs. Look here for information on setting up a test index.
Important: Try to keep the amount of test data to a minimum; any data added to your test index counts against your maximum daily indexing volume for licensing purposes.
3. Use Splunk's data preview feature to see and, if need be, modify how Splunk indexes your data before committing the data to the test index. See "Overview of data preview" for details.
4. Run some searches on the test data:
- Are you seeing the sort of data you were expecting?
- Did Splunk's default configurations work well for your events?
- Is there stuff missing or mangled?
- Are the results optimal?
5. If necessary, massage your input and event processing configurations further until events look the way you want them to. To learn how to configure event processing, see "What Splunk does with your data" in this manual.
6. Delete the data from your test index and start over, if necessary. Look here for information on how to do that.
7. When you're ready for prime time, point your inputs to the default "main" index, as described here.
When you've got other inputs to add, adopt the same approach.
Got custom data? It might need some extra TLC
Splunk can index any time-series data, usually without the need for additional configuration. If you've got logs from a custom application or device, you should try Splunk's defaults first. But if you're not getting the results you want, you can tweak a bunch of different things to make sure your events are indexed correctly.
- Are your events multi-line?
- Is your data in an unusual character set?
- Is Splunk not figuring out the timestamps correctly?