Splunk® Content Packs for ITSI and IT Essentials Work

Splunk Content Packs for ITSI and IT Essentials Work

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Install and configure the Content Pack for Shared IT Infrastructure Components

Perform the following high-level steps to configure the Content Pack for Shared IT Infrastructure Components:

  1. Install the content pack on your ITSI search head.
  2. Review past critical issues.
  3. Integrate the content pack with existing alerts.
  4. Configure a single service.

Prerequisites

Take a full backup of your ITSI environment in case you need to uninstall the content pack later. See Create a full backup.

Step 1: Install the content pack

If you're a Splunk Cloud Platform customer, you can install the content pack directly through the ITSI Content Library in a future release. You can also install content packs through the ITSI REST API. If you're an on-premises customer on a version lower than 4.8.0, see Install the content pack in an on-premises instance.


Install the content pack through the REST API

On ITSI version 4.8.x you can use the itoa_interface/content_pack endpoint to install content packs through the ITSI REST API. The endpoint includes GET operations to fetch versioning information and preview the contents of the content pack, and a POST operation to install content packs.

Install the content pack on an on-premises instance

Perform the following steps to install the content pack:

  1. Download the following ITSI backup file: BACKUP-CP-SHARED-INFRA-1.3.1.zip
  2. On your ITSI search head, create a restore job and upload the backup file. For instructions, see Restore from a backup zip file.
  3. After the restore job completes, confirm that the objects included in the content pack are restored to your environment.

Step 2: Review past critical issues

The service dependency tree included with this content pack contains 30 discrete areas that you might already be monitoring. The next step is to prioritize which areas to ingest into ITSI. Review critical issues, such as P0s, P1s and major P2s, from the past 6-9 months and determine the root cause of each issue.

Consider the following guidelines when reviewing past critical issues:

  • The functional area where the problem occurred can help you prioritize which services to instrument using metrics and which to ignore for now.
  • The root causes of each case can guide you to specific KPIs that can help with root cause analysis during the next outage.

Step 3: Integrate the content pack with existing alerts

The Shared IT Infrastructure tree provided with this content pack includes 30 discrete areas that might already be monitored in your environment. Ingest that data into the Splunk platform and then tie it to one or more service-specific KPIs.

Perform the following steps for each service in the Shared IT Infrastructure tree corresponding to areas that generate alerts:

  1. Ingest the alerts into a Splunk index not tied to ITSI. For more information, see How do you want to add data in in the Splunk Enterprise Getting Data In manual.
  2. Create a correlation search to normalize the information in the alerts and save them as ITSI notable events. For more information, see Overview of correlation searches in ITSI in the Event Analytics manual.
  3. Within the associated service, create a KPI that counts the number of recent alerts. For more information, see Overview of creating KPIs in ITSI in the Service Insights manual.
  4. In the new KPI's thresholding section, set times with zero alerts to Normal severity and set times with one or more alerts to High severity.
  5. Modify the health score calculation by setting the importance for the alerting KPI to 11. For more information, see Set KPI importance values in ITSI in the Service Insights manual.
  6. (Optional) To aggregate the alerts into episodes and manage them in Episode Review, perform the following steps:
    1. Create a correlation search to process and normalize external alerts and store them back to ITSI as notable events.
    2. Create a notable event aggregation policy for those specific events. For more information, see Overview of aggregation policies in ITSI in the Event Analytics manual.

For areas of the ITSI Shared IT Infrastructure tree where alerts aren't available, remove the Heartbeat KPI. Removing this KPI changes the corresponding service from green to gray, indicating that there is an unmonitored dependency in the environment.

Step 4: Configure a single service

To configure a single service, link it to the service template included with one of the OS content packs, or add the appropriate KPIs manually.

  1. Perform one of the following steps depending on your data source:
    1. OS metrics: Link the service to the appropriate OS KPI service template from one of the OS content packs. Edit the service's entity rules to match the correct hosts.
    2. Service-specific metrics: Add the appropriate KPIs manually or use other ITSI content packs.
  2. Enable the service and its parent services.

Integrate services with OS metric data

You can monitor some areas of your infrastructure at the OS level, including Active Directory or network services such as DNS, DHCP, NTP, and the systems providing the SMTP backbone. Application logs and KPIs tied to performance of the services provided by those servers provide additional visibility into your infrastructure.

Perform the following steps to integrate with OS metric data:

  1. In ITSI, click Configuration > Services and open the service you want to integrate.
  2. Configure the entity rules to match the correct hosts.
  3. Use the OS monitoring approach to create KPIs in this service corresponding to OS metrics. For more information, see About the Content Pack for Monitoring Unix and Linux or About the Content Pack for Monitoring Microsoft Windows, depending on your operating system.
  4. Go to the Settings tab of the service and configure the health score calculation.
  5. Review and configure the importance levels of critical KPIs.
  6. Click Save to save the service configuration.

Integrate services with service-specific metric data

Perform the following steps for each of your services related to a recent major outage:

  1. Identify the root causes of past issues and the corresponding data sources. Make sure that data is ingested into the Splunk platform, or ingest that data.
  2. In ITSI, click Configuration > Services and open the service you want to integrate.
  3. Configure the entity rules to match the correct hosts.
  4. Create individual KPIs to track the root causes of potential issues.
  5. Go to the Settings tab of the service and configure the health score calculation.
  6. Review and configure the importance levels of critical KPIs.
  7. Click Save to save the service configuration.
Last modified on 21 July, 2021
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This documentation applies to the following versions of Splunk® Content Packs for ITSI and IT Essentials Work: current


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