Splunk® IT Service Intelligence

Install and Upgrade Splunk IT Service Intelligence

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Plan your ITSI deployment

Deploy Splunk IT Service Intelligence (ITSI) on a configured Splunk platform installation. Review the system and hardware requirements and the search head and indexer considerations before deploying IT Service Intelligence.

Preparation for deployment

Before you deploy IT Service Intelligence, perform the following steps:

  1. Compile a list of services, KPIs, and glass table views that you want to create.
  2. Compile a list of your entities. Entities are usually hosts, but can also be users, mobile devices, and so on. Entities for hosts must include, at a minimum, the IP address, host name, and designated role. For example, web, db, or app server.
  3. Make sure your Splunk ITSI instance includes the default admin user. Deleting or renaming this user breaks ITSI installation and operation.
  4. Verify your existing hardware performance using the following search query:

    index=_introspection sourcetype=splunk_resource_usage component=Hostwide earliest=-5m | timechart avg(data.cpu_user_pct) by host

    If the query takes more than 2-5 seconds to complete, check performance in the Job Inspector to investigate the issue. This slowness might indicate your current hardware is insufficient or badly configured, or you might have a high latency dispatch that requires architecture changes.
  5. Confirm Splunk Enterprise version compatibility. See the Splunk products version compatibility matrix.

Available deployment architectures

You can deploy Splunk IT Service Intelligence in a single instance deployment or a distributed search deployment. Splunk IT Service Intelligence is also available in Splunk Cloud. Before you deploy Splunk IT Service Intelligence on premises, familiarize yourself with the components of a Splunk platform deployment. See Components of a Splunk Enterprise deployment in the Capacity Planning Manual.

Single instance deployments

For a simple and small deployment, install ITSI on a single Splunk platform instance. A single instance functions as both a search head and an indexer. Use forwarders to collect your data and send it to the single instance for parsing, storing, and searching.

You can use a single instance deployment for a lab or test environment, or a small system with one or two users running concurrent searches. For instructions on installing ITSI on a single Splunk Enterprise instance, see Install Splunk IT Service Intelligence.

Distributed deployments

You can deploy ITSI across any distributed architecture supported by Splunk Enterprise. This includes all types of deployment topologies, from small departmental deployments using a single instance for both indexer and search head, to large enterprise deployments using several search heads, dozens of indexers, and hundreds of forwarders. See Types of distributed deployments in the Splunk Enterprise Distributed Deployment Manual.

  • For information about installing ITSI in a distributed environment, see Where to install IT Service Intelligence in a distributed environment.
  • Improve search performance by using an index cluster and distributing the workload of searching data across multiple nodes. Using multiple indexers allows both the data collected by the forwarders and the workload of processing the data to be distributed across the indexers.
  • Use forwarders to collect your data and send it to the indexers.

In a distributed search deployment, and to implement search head clustering, configure the search head to forward all data to the indexers. See Forward search head data to the indexer layer in the Splunk Enterprise Distributed Search manual.

To properly scale your distributed search deployment with ITSI, see Introduction to capacity planning for Splunk Enterprise in the Capacity Planning Manual and Indexer and search head sizing examples.

Cloud deployments

Splunk IT Service Intelligence is available as a service in Splunk Cloud. The Splunk Cloud deployment architecture varies based on data and search load. Splunk Cloud customers work with Splunk Support to set up, manage, and maintain their cloud infrastructure. For information on Splunk Cloud managed deployments, see the Types of Splunk Cloud deployment in the Splunk Cloud User Manual.

Integration with the Splunk App for Infrastructure

As of version 4.2.0, ITSI ships with Splunk App for Infrastructure (SAI). Integration with SAI is enabled by default. If you're upgrading ITSI while SAI is already installed in your environment, the SAI version is upgraded to the most recent version. For information about the integration, see Overview of integrating the Splunk App for Infrastructure with ITSI.

The ITSI installation package includes SAI and the Splunk Add-on for Infrastructure. Consider the following installation locations when upgrading ITSI:

Before installing, see the release notes for SAI and the Splunk Add-on for Infrastructure:

Integration with Splunk Insights for Infrastructure

You cannot directly integrate Splunk Insights for Infrastructure with ITSI. You must upgrade your Splunk Insights for Infrastructure instance to Splunk Enterprise first. For more information, see Upgrade Splunk Insights for Infrastructure to Splunk Enterprise in the Install and Upgrade Splunk Insights for Infrastructure manual.

Splunk Enterprise system requirements

Splunk IT Service Intelligence requires a 64-bit OS install on all search heads and indexers. For a list of supported operating systems, browsers, and file systems, see System requirements for use of Splunk Enterprise on-premises in the Splunk Enterprise Installation Manual.

Use this table to determine the compatibility of the IT Service Intelligence versions and Splunk platform versions.

ITSI is incompatible with Splunk Enterprise versions 7.2.0 - 7.2.3.

Splunk IT Service Intelligence version Splunk platform version
4.2.x, 4.3.x 7.1.x (Perform workaround below)
7.2.4 - 7.2.9 (Perform workaround below)
7.3.x
4.0.x, 4.1.x 7.0.x
7.1.x (Perform workaround below)
7.2.4 - 7.2.9 (Perform workaround below)

Workaround

To prevent ITSI Event Analytics from duplicating events on Splunk Enterprise versions 7.1.x and 7.2.4 - 7.2.9, create a limits.conf file on all search heads at $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/apps/SA-ITOA/local/ and add the following stanza:

[search]
phased_execution_mode = auto

If you do not plan on using Event Analytics, the workaround is not necessary.

Hardware requirements

CPU core count and RAM are critical factors in indexer and search head performance. ITSI requires minimum hardware specifications that you increase according to your needs and usage of ITSI. These specifications also apply for a single instance deployment of ITSI.

Machine role Minimum CPU Minimum RAM
Search head 12 cores required, 16+ recommended 12 GB required, 16+ recommended
Indexer 16 cores 32 GB

Indexing is an I/O-intensive process. The indexers require sufficient disk I/O to ingest and parse data efficiently while responding to search requests. For the latest IOPS requirements to run Splunk Enterprise, see Reference Hardware: Indexer in the Splunk Enterprise Capacity Planning Manual.

You might need to increase the hardware specifications of your own ITSI deployment above the minimum hardware requirements depending on your environment. Depending on your system configuration, refer to the mid-range or high-performance specifications for Splunk platform reference hardware. See Mid-range specification and High-performance specification in the Splunk Enterprise Capacity Planning Manual.

If the number of indexer CPU cores in your deployment exceeds the minimum hardware specifications, you can implement one of the parallelization settings to improve the indexer performance for specific use cases. See Parallelization settings in the Capacity Planning Manual.

Operating system requirements

For a list of supported operating systems, browsers, and file systems, see System Requirements in the Splunk Enterprise Installation Manual.

Ubuntu

When installing IT Service Intelligence on Ubuntu, use Bash shell. Do not use Dash shell as it can result in defunct processes.

Windows

When installing IT Service Intelligence on Windows, rename the inputs.conf.windows file to inputs.conf in both SA-Utils and SA-ThreatIntelligence default directories.

For example:

cd $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/apps/SA-Utils/default/
cp inputs.conf inputs.conf.bak
cp inputs.conf.windows inputs.conf
rm inputs.conf.windows

ITSI license requirements

ITSI requires a separate ITSI license in addition to your Splunk Enterprise license. Your Splunk representative will provide you with an appropriate ITSI license at the time of purchase. For ITSI license installation instructions, see Install a license in the Splunk Enterprise Installation and Configuration Manual.

IT Service Intelligence ships with an internal license stack called the IT Service Intelligence Internals *DO NOT COPY* stack. Because ITSI event analytics generates a large number of notable events, this internal stack ensures that you don't pay for these generated events. The sourcetypes used to track notable events and episodes are counted on this special stack with no impact on your Splunk Enterprise license. When calculating your daily license usage, disregard this stack, as it only counts internal ITSI usage.

This image shows one license called Dev_Splunk_Enterprise stack with a note that it is the regular Splunk Enterprise license. Another license exists below named IT Service Intelligence Internals DO NOT COPY stack. It has a note saying to disregard because it counts internal ITSI usage.

Java requirements

IT Service Intelligence requires Java 8x - 11.x to run anomaly detection and event management features. ITSI supports OpenJDK and Oracle JDK 8-11. Java installation is required on search heads only, not indexers or forwarders.

ITSI versions 4.3.x and 4.4.x do not support 32-bit JRE/JDK. Using 32-bit causes the Rules Engine to fail with unclear errors in the search.log. Always use 64-bit JRE/JDK.

IT Service Intelligence search head considerations

IT Service Intelligence does not require a dedicated search head. However, ITSI is not supported on the same search head as Splunk Enterprise Security (ES). For scalability beyond about 200 discrete KPIs, a search head cluster is a more stable option.

Real-time searches cannot be disabled on the search head, otherwise ITSI notable event grouping stops working.

Virtual machines

When running a search head on a virtual machine, make sure to allocate all available CPU and RAM to the search head.

Forward search head data to indexers

ITSI runs KPI searches on the search head and by default stores data in the local itsi_summary index. It is considered a best practice to forward all internal data from search heads to indexers. There are two basic search head configuration scenarios for forwarding data to indexers:

Search head type Configuration
Non-clustered search heads Configure search heads to forward data to indexers.
Clustered search heads In this scenario, you must configure outputs.conf to forward data from search heads to indexers. Then use the deployer to push the configuration file to cluster members.

For detailed instructions on how to configure search heads to forward data to indexers, see Forward search head data to indexers in the Splunk Enterprise Distributed Search manual.

IT Service Intelligence and search head clustering

Search head clusters increase the search load on indexers. Add more indexers or allocate additional CPU cores to the indexers when implementing a search head cluster. See System requirements and other deployment considerations for search head clusters and Search head clustering architecture in the Distributed Search Manual.

Search head scaling considerations for Splunk IT Service Intelligence

Consider the following guidelines when implementing a search head cluster:

Factor Increase this specification
A large number of concurrent searches Increase CPU cores
Increase RAM
A high number of real-time searches being run
A large number of users logging in at the same time
Increase CPU cores
A large number of enabled correlation searches Increase RAM

For instructions on deploying ITSI in a search head cluster environment, see Install IT Service Intelligence in a search head cluster environment.

If you plan to use ITSI's Event Analytics solution, including Episode Review, you must have a stable search head cluster environment. The search head cluster must be healthy, which means it is not skipping searches and can handle the current load in your production environment.

Indexer clustering support

IT Service Intelligence supports both single site and multisite indexer cluster architectures. See The basics of indexer cluster architecture and Multisite cluster architecture in the Splunk Enterprise Managing Indexers and Clusters of Indexers manual.

A single site or multisite indexer cluster architecture can have one search head or one search head cluster with a running instance of ITSI. Additional single instance search heads cannot run ITSI unless specific configuration changes are made.

For a multisite indexer cluster architecture, do the following:

  • Enable summary replication. See Replicated summaries in the Splunk Enterprise Managing Indexers and Clusters of Indexers manual.
  • Set the ITSI search head to site0 to disable search affinity. See Disable search affinity in the Splunk Enterprise Managing Indexers and Clusters of Indexers manual.

If you use indexer clustering, the method you use to deploy apps and configuration files to indexer peers is different. See Manage common configurations across all cluster peers and Manage app deployment across all cluster peers in the Splunk Enterprise Managing Indexers and Clusters of Indexers manual.

Performance considerations

ITSI works by way of KPI collection through searches against information stored within the Splunk Enterprise environment. ITSI production deployments might require additional hardware, depending on several factors, including the existing unused capacity of the environment, the number of concurrent KPI searches, the version of Splunk Enterprise in production, and other performance considerations specific to each deployment.

For more information, see Determine when to scale your Splunk Enterprise deployment in the Splunk Enterprise Capacity Planning Manual.

Planning your hardware requirements

ITSI performance depends on the ability to perform multiple fast, concurrent searches. Performance results depend on both search optimization and the capacity of your deployment to run multiple concurrent searches.

When planning your ITSI hardware requirements, consider these ITSI-specific factors that impact performance:

  • Average KPI run time
  • Frequency of KPIs (1, 5, or 15 minute)
  • Number of entities that are being referenced per KPI

Also consider the following Splunk Enterprise factors that might impact performance:

ITSI capacity planning

ITSI capacity planning is governed by several variables. The three key variables in determining how many indexers and search heads you need are average KPI run time, the frequency of KPIs (1, 5, or 15 minute), and the number of entities being referenced per KPI. These variables can vary significantly in real-world deployments. Contact your Splunk sales representative for specific ITSI capacity planning recommendations based on your environment.

You must consider several other variables that impact the number of indexers and search heads you need, including the number of cores on those machines, the total amount of data being indexed, and total number of concurrent users.

Indexer and search head sizing examples

The following examples show roughly the number of indexers and search heads required to run the specified number of KPIs. These numbers are for example purposes only and vary based on your environment.

The following variables are fixed for each of the following examples:

  • 5-minute KPIs
  • 12 cores per search head and indexer
  • Environment dedicated to ITSI alone
  • Splunk Enterprise version 6.6 or later
  • Use of "entity" refers to entities stored in the KV store and in the examples is a per-KPI measure, not the total number of entities in the system. If simple entity splits are done for KPIs and are not based on entities in a KV store, but extracted fields in Splunk searches, they need not be considered entities.
  • 1 indexer required per 100 GB indexed

Example Set 1: Average run time per KPI = 10 seconds

Example A: 0 Entities per KPI, 100 GB indexed per day

KPIs Indexers Search heads
100 1 indexer 1 search head
500 2 indexers 1 search head
1,000 3 indexers 2 search heads

Rough capacity plan:

~ (Per 500 KPIs 1+ search head, 1+ indexer) + 1 Indexer.

Example B: 50 entities per KPI, 500 GB indexed per day

KPIs Indexers Search heads
100 5 indexers 1 search head
500 5 indexers 2 search heads
1,000 5 indexers 3 search heads

Rough capacity plan:

~ (Per 333 KPIs 1+ search head)

Example Set 2: Average run time per KPI = 5 seconds

Example A: 0 entities per KPI, 100 GB indexed per day

KPIs Indexers Search heads
100 1 indexer 1 search head
500 1 indexer 1 search head
1,000 2 indexers 2 search heads

Rough capacity plan:

~ (Per 950 KPIs 1+ search head), (Per 730 KPIs 1+ indexer)

Example B: 50 entities per KPI, 500 GB indexed per day

KPIs Indexers Search heads
100 5 indexer 1 search head
500 5 indexer 1 search head
1,000 5 indexers 3 search heads

Rough capacity plan:

~ (Per 333 KPIs 1+ search head)

It is important to distinguish between the number of KPIs and the number of KPI searches. When using KPI base searches, these requirements can be dramatically different. It's the number of actual search jobs that matters.

KV store size limits

Splunk IT Service Intelligence requires the KV store to store certain information on the search head. Also, in a dedicated search head environment, KPI data is stored locally. You need a minimum of 30 GB of free storage in $SPLUNK_HOME.

The limit of a single batch save to a KV store collection is 50 MB. As a result, if one KPI base search is in use by multiple services, and the total size of your services exceeds 50 MB, ITSI generates an error. Additionally, if the number of objects, such as services and KPIs, exceeds the KV store memory limits, services might be lost during a backup or migration. To avoid these issues, check the total amount of data that your services contain, and, if necessary, increase the KV store size limit in limits.conf.

  1. Use the Backup/Restore UI or the kvstore_to_json.py script to create a backup of your system. For more information, see Back up and restore ITSI KV store data.
  2. If the size of itsi_services___service___0.json exceeds 50 MB, increase the KV store size limit.
  3. Add the following stanza to $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/apps/SA-ITOA/local/limits.conf:
    [kvstore]
    max_size_per_batch_save_mb = 50
    
  4. Increase the value of max_size_per_batch_save_mb to a higher value.
  5. Additionally, if you have more than 1,000 KPIs and services combined, add the following stanza to $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/apps/SA-ITOA/local/limits.conf:
    [kvstore]
    max_size_per_result_mb = 100
    
  6. Increase the value of max_size_per_result_mb to roughly 50 MB per 1,000 KPIs.

Search macros in ITSI

ITSI uses search macros to simplify and consolidate lengthy KPI searches. You can view a complete list of search macros used in ITSI, including macro definitions and usage details in macros.conf. For more information on search macros, see Use search macros in the Splunk Enterprise Knowledge Manager Manual.

HTTP event collector

ITSI uses HTTP Event Collector (HEC) for event management. HEC runs as a separate app called splunk_httpinput and stores its input configuration in $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/apps/splunk_httpinput/local.

HEC requires that port 8088 be open for local traffic. You do not need any additional HEC configuration.

For more information about HTTP Event Collector, see Set up and use HTTP Event Collector in the Splunk Enterprise Getting Data In manual.

ITSI compatibility with other apps

Do not install ITSI and Splunk Enterprise Security (ES) on the same search head or search head cluster. With the exception of ES, you can deploy ITSI on Splunk Enterprise instances with other Splunk apps.

For a comprehensive evaluation of your environment, consult Splunk Professional Services or your support representative.

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This documentation applies to the following versions of Splunk® IT Service Intelligence: 4.3.0, 4.3.1


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