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Splunk on AWS EC2 CloudSplunk

Whats is Splunk ?

Splunk is a log, monitoring and reporting tool for IT system administrators with search capabilities. It crawls logs, metrics, and other data from applications, servers and network devices and indexes it in a searchable repository from which it can generate graphs, SQL reports and alerts. Splunk can be easily set on the AWS machine archival storage as EBS volumes and periodically syncing the archive from EBS to S3 Bucket or taking EBS snapshots for backup of the logs for the future use.

Generally its hard to track the logs from the server. We do have different monitoring tools such as Nagios, Zabix, here is a new tool named Splunk, which is a kind of bigger solution for providing monitor the visibility inside all the dynamic and complex environment. For example you have an application seems to be very slow, its not because the app have some issue , its because of the lack of free memory on the server. Such kind of details can be obtained from inside the splunk server.

Why do we go for Splunk ?

In auto-scaled where the instances are running under load-balancer scenarios, the servers gets scale up and down, and also there are some situations like some instance gets terminated without any alert. During this situation it will be good to get the login sessions during the server-down state, also the server access logs, so that we can track the reason for the server down. Managing logs on server is really hard, and also the logs will be available on different location. Inorder to address this problem, here we have setup Splunk to listen on a TCP port for any network traffic passes all others servers log to this host, then you will have a centralized, indexed log repository for all of your services.

Here i will guide you on deploying the splunk on the AWS EC2 and configuring splunk forwarder on the remote machine. Splunk is very flexible and is easy to install on any servers. You can select the appropriate hardware capacity planning for your Splunk deployment from here.

Once you have installed the Splunk server , follow the steps given below to start the app:

Now start the Splunk using the command given below:
[NOTE: The here Splunk is installed in /opt location]

/opt/splunk/bin/splunk start

Now you can access the Splunk web UI using the URL given below:

http://domain.com:8000

The Splunk need to be configure in such a way that it should be able to receive the data from the remote machine. For this you will need is to follow the following steps:

1. Login to Splunk WebUI eg. http://10.10.10.35:8000
2. Go to Manager –> Forwarding and receiving –> Receive data
3. Click on New Button and add default port i.e. 9997
4. Click on save button to save the settings.
NOTE: Make sure that the port is opened for the server to accept the data from the remote machine.

Next you will need to install Splunk forwarder on the remote machine. Once you have installed the forwarder start the app as shown below:

/opt/splunk/bin/splunk start

Then enable the forwarder using the command and restart the Splunk app.

./splunk enable app SplunkLightForwarder -auth
Splunk username: admin
Password: changeme
./splunk add forward-server 10.10.10.35:9997 -auth admin
./splunk restart

Now after few minutes you can see the Splunk dashboard indexes all it logs on the realtime dashboard.

Generally in Splunk deployment , we have a deployment server which pushes the configuration on to the deployment client, grouped into server class. The Splunk deployment server is a centralized manager which manages several splunk instances known as deployment client. The deployment client is the Splunk instance installed on the remote machine and parse the log on to the Splunk deployment server.

 

 

The Splunk generally collects the data from the remote machine which contain  the machine-to-machine and also from human-to-machine interaction. With these collected data it indexes to the engine and generates the reports and also drives alert. The email alert can be configured for the specific conditions like. For example we can configure the alert mail when it finds any log containing the error messages. The Splunk will access all these large volume of data and also provides the visibility and intelligence to IT and data ware house. And also will be able to perform the real-time and historic analysis of all the bulk data from the remote machine.

Its easy to use, also to install and also easier deploy method make this application different from others. The Splunk will be very useful for the developer team for finding and fixing the bugs and also helps to provide real time insights.

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