Splunk® Enterprise

Distributed Deployment Manual

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Make a universal forwarder part of a system image

This topic describes how to deploy a universal forwarder as part of a system image or virtual machine. This is particularly useful if you have a large number of universal forwarders to deploy. If you have just a few, you might find it simpler to install them manually, as described for Windows and nix machines.

Before following the procedures in this topic, read "Deployment overview".

Steps to deployment

Once you have downloaded the universal forwarder and have planned your deployment, as described in "Deployment overview", perform these steps:

1. Install the universal forwarder on a test machine. See below.

2. Perform any post-installation configuration, as described here.

3. Test and tune the deployment, as described below.

4. Install the universal forwarder with the tested configuration onto a source machine.

5. Stop the universal forwarder.

6. Edit server.conf in /etc/system/local and remove the guid attribute.

7. Edit inputs.conf in /etc/system/local and remove any host attribute.

8. Prep your image or virtual machine for cloning.

9. On *nix systems, set the splunkd daemon to start on boot using cron or your scheduling system of choice. On Windows, set the service to Automatic but do not start it.

10. Distribute system image or virtual machine clones to machines across your environment and start them.

11. Use the deployment monitor to verify that the cloned universal forwarders are functioning.

Install the universal forwarder

Install the universal forwarder using the procedure specific to your operating system:

Important: On a Windows machine, if you do not want the universal forwarder to start immediately after installation, you must use the commandline interface. Using the proper commandline flags, you can configure the universal forwarder so that it does not start on the source machine when installed but does start automatically on the clones, once they're activated.

At the time of installation, you can also configure the universal forwarder. See "General configuration issues" in the Deployment Overview.

Perform additional configuration

You can update your universal forwarder's configuration, post-installation, by directly editing its configuration files, such as inputs.conf and outputs.conf. See "Deployment overview" for information.

For information on distributing configuration changes across multiple universal forwarders, see "About deployment server".

Test the deployment

Test your configured universal forwarder on a single machine, to make sure it functions correctly, before deploying the universal forwarder across your environment. Confirm that the universal forwarder is getting the desired inputs and sending the right outputs to the indexer. You can use the deployment monitor to validate the universal forwarder.

Troubleshoot your deployment

Be sure that the value of the host attribute in inputs.conf has not been changed from its initial value of $host. This allows the universal forwarder to interpret the host properly for each installation. You do not want to hardcode the value of host.

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This documentation applies to the following versions of Splunk® Enterprise: 4.3, 4.3.1, 4.3.2, 4.3.3, 4.3.4, 4.3.5, 4.3.6, 4.3.7


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