Splunk® Supported Add-ons

Splunk Add-on for AWS

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Configure CloudWatch inputs for the Splunk Add-on for AWS

Complete the steps to configure CloudWatch inputs for the Splunk Add-on for Amazon Web Services (AWS):

  1. You must manage accounts for the add-on as a prerequisite. See Manage accounts for the Splunk Add-on for AWS.
  2. Configure AWS services for the CloudWatch input.
  3. Configure AWS permissions for the CloudWatch input. You can skip this step and configure AWS permissions at once, if you prefer. See Configure AWS permissions for all Splunk Add-on for AWS inputs at once.
  4. Configure CloudWatch inputs either through Splunk Web or configuration files.

Configure separate CloudWatch inputs for each metric or set of metrics that have different minimum granularities, based on the sampling period that AWS allows for that metric. For example, CPUUtilization has a sampling period of 5 minutes, whereas Billing Estimated Charge has a sampling period of 4 hours. If you configure a granularity that is smaller than the minimum sampling period available in AWS, the input wastes API calls.

For more information, see Sizing, performance, and cost considerations for the Splunk Add-on for AWS.

Configure AWS services for the CloudWatch input

To enable AWS to produce billing metrics in CloudWatch, turn on Receive Billing Alerts in the Preferences section of the Billing and Cost Management console.

The CloudWatch service is automatically enabled to collect free metrics for your AWS services and requires no additional configuration for the Splunk Add-on for AWS.

Configure CloudWatch permissions

Required permissions for CloudWatch: Describe*, Get*, List*

Required permissions for Autoscaling: Describe*

Required permissions for EC2: Describe*

Required permissions for S3: List*

Required permissions for SQS: List*

Required permissions for SNS: List*

Required permissions for Lambda: List*

Required permissions for ELB: Describe*

See the following sample inline policy to configure CloudWatch input permissions:

  "Statement": [{
    "Action": [
    "Effect": "Allow",
    "Resource": "*"
  "Version": "2012-10-17"

For more information and sample policies, see: http://docs.aws.amazon.com/AmazonCloudWatch/latest/DeveloperGuide/UsingIAM.html

Configure a CloudWatch input using Splunk Web

To configure inputs in Splunk Web:

  1. Click Splunk Add-on for AWS in the navigation bar on Splunk Web home.
  2. Click Create New Input > CloudWatch.
  3. Click Advanced to edit Metrics Configuration.
  4. Use the following table to complete the fields for the new input in the .conf file or in Splunk Web:
Argument in configuration file Field in Splunk Web Description
aws_account AWS Account The AWS account or EC2 IAM role the Splunk platform uses to access your CloudWatch data. In Splunk Web, select an account from the drop-down list. In inputs.conf, enter the friendly name of one of the AWS accounts that you configured on the Configuration page or the name of the automatically discovered EC2 IAM role.
aws_iam_role Assume Role The IAM role to assume, see Manage accounts for the Splunk Add-on for AWS.
aws_region AWS Regions The AWS region name or names. In Splunk Web, select one or more regions from the drop-down list. In inputs.conf, enter one or more valid AWS region IDs, separated by commas. See http://docs.aws.amazon.com/general/latest/gr/rande.html#d0e371 for more information.
Metrics Configuration arguments
metric_dimensions Dimensions CloudWatch metric dimensions display as a JSON array, with strings as keys and regular expressions as values. Splunk Web automatically populates correctly formatted JSON objects to collect all metric dimensions in the namespace you have selected. If you want, you can customize the JSON object to limit the collection to just the dimensions you want to collect. For example, for the SQS namespace, you can collect only the metrics for queue names that start with "splunk" and end with "_current" by entering [{"QueueName": ["\"splunk.*_current\\\\s\""]}].

You can set multiple dimensions in one data input. If you use a JSON array, the dimension matched by the JSON object in the array is matched. A JSON object has strings as keys and values that are either a regex or an array of regexes. The Splunk Add-on for AWS supports one JSON object per JSON array. For example, [{"key1": "regex1"}, {"key2": "regex2"}] is not supported.

A dimension is matched to the object if it meets these two conditions:

  • It has the same key set to the object
  • In the value of each key, there is one or more elements matched by every regex in the value to the key in the JSON object.

For example, [{"key":["val.*", ".*lue"]}] matches {"key":"value"} and {"key":["value"]}, but not {"key":"value", "key2":"value2"}.
The BucketName dimension does not support wildcards or arrays with length greater than one. When you collect metrics from the AWS S3 namespace, configure separate CloudWatch inputs for each S3 bucket. For example, {"StorageType": ["StandardStorage"], "BucketName": ["my_favorite_bucket"]}.

metric_names Metrics CloudWatch metric names in JSON array. For example, ["CPUUtilization","DiskReadOps","StatusCheckFailed_System"]. Splunk Web automatically populates correctly formatted JSON objects for all metric names in the namespace you have selected. Edit the JSON object to remove any metrics you do not want to collect. Collecting metrics you do not need results in unnecessary API calls.
metric_namespace Namespace The metric namespace. For example, AWS/EBS. In Splunk Web, click + Add Namespace and select a namespace from the drop-down list or manually enter it. If you manually enter a custom namespace, you need to type in all your JSON objects manually for the remaining fields. In inputs.conf, enter a valid namespace for the region you specified. You can only specify one metric namespace per input.
metric_expiration Metric Expiration Duration of time the discovered metrics are cached for, measured in seconds.
statistics Metric statistics The metric statistics you want to request. Choose from Average, Sum, SampleCount, Maximum, Minimum. In inputs.conf, this list must be JSON encoded. For example: ["Average","Sum","SampleCount","Maximum","Minimum"].
sourcetype Source type A source type for the events. Enter a value if you want to override the default of aws:cloudwatch. Event extraction relies on the default value of source type. If you change the default value, you must update props.conf as well.
index Index The index name where the Splunk platform puts the CloudWatch data. The default is main.
polling_interval Polling interval This field was removed in version 4.6.0 of the Splunk Add-on for AWS. Do not use.
period Period The granularity, in seconds, of the returned data points. For metrics with regular resolution, a period can be as short as 60 seconds (1 minute) and must be a multiple of 60. Different AWS metrics can support different minimum granularity based on the sampling period that AWS allows for that metric. For example, CPUUtilization has a sampling period of 5 minutes, whereas Billing Estimated Charge has a sampling period of 4 hours. Do not configure a granularity that is less than the allowed sampling period for the selected metric, or else the reported granularity reflects the sampling granularity but is labeled with your configured granularity, resulting in inconsistent data.

The smaller your granularity, the more precise your metrics data becomes. Configuring a small granularity is useful when you want to do precise analysis of metrics and you are not concerned about limiting your data volume. Configure a larger granularity when a broader view is acceptable or you want to limit the amount of data you collect from AWS.

query_window_size Query Window Size Window of time used to determine how far back in time to go in order to retrieve data points, measured in number of data points.

Configure a CloudWatch input using configuration files

To configure inputs manually in inputs.conf, create a stanza using the following template and add it to $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/apps/Splunk_TA_aws/local/inputs.conf. If the file or path does not exist, create it.

aws_account = <value>
aws_region = <value>
metric_namespace = <value>
metric_names = <value>
metric_dimensions = <value>
statistics = <value>
period = <value>
sourcetype = <value>
index = <value>
metric_expiration = <value>
query_window_size = <value>

Some of these settings have default values that can be found in $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/apps/Splunk_TA_aws/default/inputs.conf:

start_by_shell = false
sourcetype = aws:cloudwatch
use_metric_format = false
metric_expiration = 3600
query_window_size = 24
interval = 300

The previous values correspond to the default values in Splunk Web as well as some internal values that are not exposed in Splunk Web for configuration. If you choose to copy this stanza to /local and use it as a starting point to configure your inputs.conf manually, change the stanza title from aws_cloudwatch to aws_cloudwatch://<name>.

If you want to change the interval, copy the [aws_cloudwatch] stanza to the local/inputs.conf file then set the interval value as you want. It will override the default value set in default/inputs.conf


Send CloudWatch events to a metrics index

Configure the Splunk Add-on for AWS to collect CloudWatch events and send them to a metrics index.


  • Splunk Enterprise version 7.2 and higher.
  • An existing metrics index. See Get started with metrics in the Splunk Enterprise Metrics manual to learn more about creating a metrics index.
Last modified on 28 August, 2020
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This documentation applies to the following versions of Splunk® Supported Add-ons: released

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