About forwarding and receiving
Important: Before reading this manual, you should be familiar with the fundamentals of Splunk Enterprise distributed deployment, as described in the Distributed Deployment Manual.
You can forward data from one Splunk Enterprise instance to another Splunk Enterprise instance or even to a non-Splunk system. The Splunk Enterprise instance that performs the forwarding is typically a smaller footprint version of Splunk Enterprise, called a forwarder.
A Splunk Enterprise instance that receives data from one or more forwarders is called a receiver. The receiver is usually a Splunk Enterprise indexer, but can also be another forwarder, as described here.
This diagram shows three forwarders sending data to a single receiver (an indexer), which then indexes the data and makes it available for searching:
Forwarders represent a much more robust solution for data forwarding than raw network feeds, with their capabilities for:
- Tagging of metadata (source, source type, and host)
- Configurable buffering
- Data compression
- SSL security
- Use of any available network ports
The forwarding and receiving capability makes possible all sorts of interesting Splunk Enterprise topologies to handle functions like data consolidation, load balancing, and data routing. For more information on the types of deployment topologies that you can create with forwarders, see "Forwarder deployment topologies".
There are a few different types of forwarders, as described in "Types of forwarders".
Types of forwarders
This documentation applies to the following versions of Splunk® Enterprise: 6.0, 6.0.1, 6.0.2, 6.0.3, 6.0.4, 6.0.5, 6.0.6, 6.0.7, 6.0.8, 6.0.9, 6.0.10, 6.0.11, 6.0.12, 6.0.13, 6.0.14, 6.0.15, 6.1, 6.1.1, 6.1.2, 6.1.3, 6.1.4, 6.1.5, 6.1.6, 6.1.7, 6.1.8, 6.1.9, 6.1.10, 6.1.11, 6.1.12, 6.1.13, 6.1.14, 6.2.0, 6.2.1, 6.2.2, 6.2.3, 6.2.4, 6.2.5, 6.2.6, 6.2.7, 6.2.8, 6.2.9, 6.2.10, 6.2.11, 6.2.12, 6.2.13, 6.2.14, 6.2.15