Splunk® Enterprise

Search Manual

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About real-time searches and reports

With real-time searches and reports, you can search events before they are indexed and preview reports as the events stream in.

You can design alerts based on real-time searches that run continuously in the background. Such real-time alerts can provide timelier notifications than alerts that are based on scheduled searches. For more information, see the "About alerts" topic, in the Alerting Manual.

You can also display real-time search results and reports in your custom dashboards using the dashboard editor, panel editor, and simple XML. For more information about the visual dashboard editor, see "Create simple dashboards with the UI" in the Splunk Data Visualizations Manual.

For more information about using real-time dashboards with advanced features that go beyond what the visual dashboard editor can provide, see Build a real-time dashboard in the Developer manual.

Note: When Splunk is used out-of-the-box, only users with the Admin role can run and save real-time searches. For more information on managing roles and assigning them to users, see "Add and edit roles" in Securing Splunk.

Real-time search mechanics

Real-time searches search through events as they stream into Splunk for indexing. When you kick off a real-time search, the Splunk scans incoming events that contain index-time fields that indicate they could be a match for your search. Splunk identifies these events in the UI as scanned events. This number is cumulative and represents the sum of all events scanned since the search was launched.

As the real-time search runs, Splunk periodically evaluates the scanned events against your search criteria to find actual matches. These events are identified in the UI as matching events. This number represents the number of matching events that currently exist within the sliding time range window that you have defined for the search. As such it can fluctuate up or down over time as Splunk discovers matching events at a faster or slower rate. If you are running the search in Splunk Web, the search timeline also displays the matching events that the search has returned within the chosen time range.

Here's an example of a real-time search with a one minute time range window. At the point that this screen capture was taken, the search had scanned a total of 3,105 events since it was launched. The matching event count of 558 represents the number of events matching the search criteria that had been identified in the past minute. This number fluctuated between 530 and 560 for the following minute; if it had spiked or dropped dramatically, that could have been an indication that something interesting was happening that required a closer look.

As you can see, the newest events are on the right-hand side of the timeline. As time passes, they move right until they move off the left-hand side, disappearing from the time range window entirely.

RTsearch example.png

A real-time search should continue running until you or another user stops it or deletes the search job; it should not "time out" for any other reason. If your events are stopping it could be a performance-related issue (see the subtopic "Expected performance and known limitations," below).

Real-time searches can take advantage of all Splunk search functionality, including advanced functionality like lookups, transactions, and so on. We've also designed search commands that are to be used specifically in conjunction with real-time searches, such as streamstats and rtorder.

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Real-time searches and reports in Splunk Web

This documentation applies to the following versions of Splunk® Enterprise: 5.0, 5.0.1, 5.0.2, 5.0.3, 5.0.4, 5.0.5, 5.0.6, 5.0.7, 5.0.8, 5.0.9, 5.0.10, 5.0.11, 5.0.12, 5.0.13, 5.0.14, 5.0.15, 5.0.16, 5.0.17, 5.0.18


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