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Exploring Splunk. SEARCH PROCESSING LANGUAGE (SPL). PRIMER AND COOKBOOK. By David Carasso, Splunk's Chief Mind. CITO. Research. New York . Splunk is probably the single most powerful tool for searching and exploring data you will ever encounter. Exploring Download the Book: ePub | pdf | Kindle. SPL Commands and Examples. – Searching, charfing, converging, mapping, transac,ons, anomalies, exploring. Custom Commands. – Extend the capabili,es of.

All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. Authorization to photocopy items for internal or personal use is granted by Splunk, Inc. No other copying may occur without the express written consent of Splunk, Inc. Dan Woods, Deb Cameron Copyeditor: Deb Cameron Production Editor: Deb Gabriel Cover:

The Splunk index is similar to indexes in the back of textbooks. Remem- as complicated as a stack trace containing several hundred lines..

Before Splunk can search massive amounts of data. Exploring Splunk behind the scenes. Splunk indexes raw data by creating a time-based map of the words in the data without modifying the data itself. Results host. Sat Mar 31 Chapter 3 brings us to the place where most of the action happens: Getting Data In Field source Where did the data come from? Click on the Splunk tab. The displays. At other times.

The gives you a quick overview of the data visible to you. You can see events from the last 15 minutes. Exploring Splunk Notice a few things about this dashboard: The at the top is empty. The to the right of the permits time range adjustment.

For real-time streaming data. The panel displays a running total of the indexed data. The next section introduces you to the. The Search Dashboard If you click the Search option or enter a search in the. Chapter 3: Searching With Splunk The next three panels show the most recent or common values that have been indexed in each category: The came from. The panel shows which hosts your data came from.

The panel shows the types of sources in your data. A graphic representation of the number of events match- ing your search over time.

Sending a search to the background lets it keep running to comple- tion on the server while you run other searches or even close the window and log out. Events are ordered by. Searching With Splunk Shows the events from your search. Under the. When you start typing in the. Beneath the side- bar for which the event has a value.

When you click. When If you greyed out. Pausing a search temporarily stops it and lets you explore the re- sults to that point. Finalizing a search stops it before it completes.

Use the menu to save the search. The icon takes you to the page. Exploring Splunk address. Moving down to the upper left corner of the area. If you save the results. Clicking that button resumes the search from the point where you paused it. Splunk shows events as a list. While the search is paused. In contrast. If you want to check on the job in the meantime. Use the Create menu to create dashboards.

The Export button exports your search results in various formats: Searching With Splunk Events? What command is retriev- ing the events from the index?

That said Search Processing Language Splunk helps sift data from the mass of indexed events into a form that is useful for answering real-world questions. This search returns the top users in syslog errors. Figure illustrates a common search pattern: Pipes this case the commands are top and fields.. Exploring Splunk search. The output of top is a table of 3 columns user. In this sense. Exploratory Data Analysis: The results from each command are passed as input to the next com- mand.

If you have ever used a Linux shell such as bash. Searching With Splunk Before we dive into the search commands in Chapter 4. Table shows a few examples of implicit calls to the search command and their results. The search Command The search command is the workhorse of Splunk. They apply to many other commands as well. Case-sensitivity Keyword arguments to the search command are not case-sensitive. OR has higher precedence than AND. You can specify that either one of two or more arguments should be true using the OR keyword.

Subsearches The search command. To search for quotes use a backslash to escape the quote character. Searching With Splunk Here. Chapter Search Processing Language In Chapter 3. Ordering results and optionally sort limiting the number of results. Taking a set of events or results and search where dedup results.

For complete reference documentation. Table summarizes the SPL commands covered in this chapter. This chapter takes a bare bones. Ascending order is the default for search results. To reverse the order of Figure illustrates the second example. The third command tells Splunk to sort the values lexicographically. Exploring Splunk Shorthand for Part of a Search. In other words.. Chapter 4: Search Processing Language price rating fields price rating fields price rating fields 9.

When comparing search command: For example: FALSE distance time 3 3. FALSE 2 2 2. FALSE 10 TRUE 0. TRUE 2 2 2. FALSE 5 5. Search Processing Language dedup Command Result dedup host host.. Effectively this keeps the result with the largest delay value for each unique source. With this command, the search results may have multiple values for the host example, requests from a single IP address could come from multiple hosts if multiple people are accessing the server from the same location.

Therefore, you should not see different val- ues of host or clientip addresses among the events in a single transaction. This example then pipes the transactions into the where command, which uses the duration took less than a second to complete.

Key Points All the transaction command arguments are optional, but some con- - tions. For example, if you searched for transaction host cookie, you might see the following events grouped into a single transaction: Although the stats command covered later in this section and the transaction command both enable you to aggregate events, there is an important distinction: Reporting Results Reporting commands covered in this section include top, stats, chart, and timechart.

The second example in Table Exploring Splunk are returned.. Search Processing Language stats The stats command calculates aggregate statistics over a dataset. The resultant tabulation can contain one row. The stats. Table shows a few examples of using the stats command..

The stats command returns a table of results where each row rep- resents a single unique combination of the values of the group-by The chart command returns the same table of results. Exploring Splunk … stats count. These functions can also be used with the chart and timechart commands. The order of the values matches the order of input events.

Table shows a few simple examples of using the chart command. You specify the x-axis variable using over or by. Exploring Splunk chart … chart max delay over host Return max delay for each value of host. Search Processing Language chart timechart The timechart command creates a chart for a statistical aggregation ap- Table shows a few simple examples of using the timechart com- mand.

Chapter 6 offers more examples of using this command in context. The fourth example in Table The count function and as GET. You might want to simplify your results by using the fields com- The rex The lookup - ing rows in the lookup table to your event.

Search Processing Language more readable for a particular audience by using the replace command. Splunk Web to render results in- correctly and create other search problems. The eval Boolean logic. Change any host value that ends alhost in host with localhost to localhost The values in a search and replace are case-sensitive. Appendix E lists all the available functions.. Susan To: What Are Regular Expressions?

Name saved-? I wanted to … previous Meenu Subject: I wanted to … From: Meenu Subject: Let's set up a time to … search results John Miguel Message Here's what we need to arrange for the. Bob Subject: Let's set up a time to … From: John To: Miguel Message Here's what we need to arrange for the. User27 G. User3 F. User98 H. User2 E. User9 B. The next chapter describes how you can enrich your data with tags and event types and tell Splunk to watch for certain patterns and alert you about them.

User1 C.. Using Splunk to Understand Data mess of meaningless numbers and cryptic text. You can think of this like looking at all the pieces in a puzzle. This chapter covers three areas: The more you know about the system pumping out machine data. What do we mean classify your data for deeper analysis. When you save reports and dash- boards. The more you are able to understand the data and piece the puzzle together. And when you create alerts. At last. But even if you know a data set well.

This is like sorting the puzzle pieces into border pieces and interior pieces. But there are often hidden attributes embedded in machine data. If you click Edit search results. Configuring Field Extraction - For ex- ample. Automatic Field Discovery common patterns in the data. Exploring Splunk Identifying Fields: Looking at the Pieces of the Puzzle Splunk recognizes many common types of data. By examining events that have certain product categories in their URLs.

By entering the kinds of values you seek such as a client IP address in web logs. Splunk generates a regular expression that extracts similar values this is especially helpful for the regular expression-challenged among us. Search Language Extraction - mon command for extracting data is the rex command.

Manually Configuring Field Extraction From.

Chapter 5: You http: By shape or color? Exploring data using top The top the top ten. You can use the top command to answer questions like these: What are my top 10 web pages?

Exploring data using stats The stats command provides a wealth of statistical information about your data. Here are a few simple ways to use it: How many response errors2 have I had? Adding sparklines to the mix As of Splunk 4. Sparklines let you quickly visualize a data pattern without creating a separate line chart. For example, this search uses sparklines to show the number of events over time for each host: Here are a few more commands that demonstrate ways to use sparklines: What is the number of events for each status and category combina- tion, over time?

By grouping your data into catego- ries, you can search, report, and alert on those categories. Using Splunk, you can categorize your data as many ways as you like. There are two primary ways that Splunk helps with categorizing data: What would you like to know about the data? What are you looking very well that few if any other data analysis software can: Click on the down arrow to tag the host You can manage all your tags by going to. You can then report on those custom tags to see your data the way you want instead of how it happens to be named.

If you see an outlier value in the UI and want to be able to revisit it later and get more context. No pipes. Event Types When you search in Splunk. You could say that you were looking for events of a certain type.

You implicitly look for a particular kind of event by searching for it. In our ongoing quest to improve our website. Event types facilitate event categorization using the full power of the search command. You might create event types to categorize events such as where a cus- tomer purchased. Enriching Your Data To create the event type success a search like this: The dialog appears where you name the event type. We create the other three event types in just the same way.

You can add another tag to the error event types that is more descriptive. Perhaps there are three types of errors: You can then add a more descriptive tag about the types of errors relevant to that event type. In other words. All the while.

Perhaps you build higher-level event types by referencing lower-level event types. Soon after. Perhaps you then add tags to your event types to unify several categorizations.

This section shows you how to create charts and dashboards for visual- izing your data. Splunk offers various chart types: What product categories are affected most by errors? This search cal- culates the number of events for each and generates the pie chart shown in Figure Creating Visualizations When you look at a table of data.

Using sparklines to see inline visualizations in the events table results.

Putting that same data into charts and graphs can reveal new levels of information and bring out details that are hard to see otherwise. Enriching Your Data especially want to see with a tag of normal. To create charts of your data. Exploring Splunk better add some redirects for the bad URLs and try to get the sites that are linking to our pages to update their links. Hovering over part of a graphic displays detail about the data One key point to remember is that simple visualizations are generally the most popular with all levels of users.

A dashboard is made up of report panels. Then you can ask. Figure shows an example of a dashboard. You can. Enriching Your Data Creating Dashboards The end result of using Splunk for monitoring is usually a dashboard with several visualizations. The best way to build a dashboard is not from the top down but from the bottom up.

When designing dashboards. Click followed by the link or OK. Viewing a Dashboard At any time you can view a dashboard by selecting it from the - menu at the top of the page. Creating Alerts through a Wizard - dition about which you want to be alerted.

Give your search a name. Creating Alerts What is an alert? If this happens. Run a search that generates a report for a dashboard. Decide if you want this report to go on a new dashboard or on an existing dashboard. From there.

Specify a title for your dashboard and a visualization table. When the condition matches. Splunk takes whatever search Editing a Dashboard While viewing your dashboard. Custom conditions are described later in this chapter. With the search you want in the. This starts a wizard that makes it easy to create an alert.

Monitor on a scheduled basis for less urgent conditions that you nonetheless want to know about. Here are the use cases for these three options: Monitor in real time if you want to be alerted whenever the condi- tion happens. You can choose whether Splunk monitors for a condition by running a search in real time. Enriching Your Data is in the search bar when you create an alert and uses that as a saved search. Scheduling an Alert On the screen of the. If you specify that you want to monitor on a schedule or in a rolling win- dow.

In Figure Exploring Splunk The next step is to set limits and specify what to do if the alert is triggered. Specifying Actions What should happen if the alert condition occurs? On the screen of the dialog. It may take some adjustment to prevent too many unimportant alerts or too few important ones. Subject line. Execute actions on all results or each result. Enter at least one. The severity is metadata for your reference so that you can classify alerts.

Click the checkbox inline to put them right into the email itself. Set the severity. This means you could change that subject to: Oh no! You can leave this as the default. This determines whether Splunk takes the action such as sending an email for the group of results that matches the search or for each individual result. The limits should be tuned so that. More throttling options are described later in this chapter.

After you click or shared for read-only access to users of the current app. Severity shows up in. This option - ated with the alert again. The levels are info. Include the results that triggered the alert. Alerts are effective only if they tell you what you need to know when you need to know it. Enriching Your Data Email has the following options: Email addresses. Click to Tuning Alerts Using Manager Setting the right limits for alerting usually requires trial and error. You specify the script name.

If you specify a rolling window. As a result. Setting Alert Conditions the If side by editing through the Manager. Select a saved search from the list to display its parameters. Remember that saved searches underlie alerts. To edit to your alert. The alert can be set to trigger: Always Depending on the number of events. Consider hosts.

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To do this. Throttling Alerts Splunk lets you tune alerts so that they tell you something meaningful. This is what throttling does. You can tell Splunk to alert you but not to keep alerting you. In this way. You can be alerted once per search.

A message that tells you something important is helpful. One hundred mes- Splunk lets you throttle alerts so that even if they are triggered. All alert actions are based on a script.

Click Alert in the upper right corner of the screen to display the. Create a helpdesk ticket or other type of trouble ticket. If you specify host in. So is creating an RSS feed.

With that in mind. Send an SMS to the people who can help with the problem. Restart the server. You can also edit the Enriching Your Data alert as an alert instance. In this chapter. Monitoring Concurrent Users Problem You need to determine how many concurrent users you have at any par- ticular time.

Monitoring refers to reports you can visually monitor and alerting refers to conditions monitored by Splunk. How many concurrent users are there?

How are key metrics changing over time? In addition to recipes that monitor various conditions. Some of the more complex examples suggest variations on the recipe for you to explore. This can help you gauge whether some hosts are overloaded and enable you to better provision resources to meet peak demand.

Each recipe includes a problem statement followed by a description of how to use Splunk to solve the problem. Monitoring Recipes Monitoring can help you see what is happening in your data. These recipes are meant to be brief solutions to common monitoring and alerting problems. Note the pipe character is at the beginning of this search. Use this search to show the maximum concurrent users for any particular time: If a host stops logging events.

This is what is used to create the Summary Dashboard. A host might stop logging events if the server. Exploring Splunk Solution First. Solution Use the metadata command.

This often indicates a serious problem. Here are a couple of examples that use tags. Tags are simpler but event types are more powerful tags and event types are discussed in Chapter 5. Show the top ten host types good for bar or pie charts: Chapter 6: Recipes for Monitoring and Alerting Use the following search to take the information on hosts.

Exploring Splunk. Solution For this solution. This can answer questions like. As an example. Repeat the same searches as you did for tags.. Assume the events have an artist sales many units were sold at a particular time. Get the monthly rankings by artist. Get the daily rankings by artist and append them to the results. Recipes for Monitoring and Alerting 3.

Use stats to join the monthly and daily rankings by artist. The streamstats com- mand adds one or more statistics to each event. Use sort and eval to format the results.

Change the value for earliest from d d to -1d d to get the rank- ings from yesterday. MonthRank Variations Here. Exploring Splunk Format the output Finally. MonthRank Summary Putting it all together. This could mean fewer customers. Finally create a chart. As an exercise for you. Be- cause there are only two hours two hours ago and one hour ago. Solution First. We then get a count of the number of those events per hour and host.

Recipes for Monitoring and Alerting Solution To see a drop over the past hour. Variations Instead of the number of events. Variations Explore different time periods. Putting it all together: Spikes can show you where you have peaks or troughs that indicate that some metric is rising or falling in database load—whatever type of spike you are interested in. Try different charts other than avg bytes. Recipes for Monitoring and Alerting Solution Use a moving trendline to help you see the spikes.. Consider a different number of values for example.

Run a search followed by the trendline for. Changing the formatting of the Y-axis to Log scale also helps. Putting this together our search is: Splunk automatically picks the right value for the search timespan. The result is a series of mini graphs showing how long it took each page to load on average.

We want to create a small graph showing how long it took for each of our web pages to re- spent is the amount of time spent serving that - cessed the most i..


The 5m tells Splunk to show details down to a 5-minute granularity in the sparklines. Variations Try using different functions other than avg. Solution Use the spath command. Try using values different than 5m for granularity. In this example. Solution To produce these sparklines in your tables.

Sparklines were invented by Edward Tufte and incorporated in Splunk 4. If you remove the 5m granularity altogether. This is the idea behind sparklines—small.

Exploring Splunk Compacting Time-Based Charting Problem You would like to be able to visualize multiple trends in your data in a small space. Solution are not as general as a source or source type. Regular Expressions The rex For example. Each level can have an op- tional array index. Recipes for Monitoring and Alerting When called with no path argument. Another older com- xpath The - closed by curly brackets e.

Suppose your events look like this: Paths have the form foo.. Extracting Fields from an Event Problem You want to search for a pattern and extract that information from your events.

All array elements can be represented by empty curly brackets e Alerting Recipes Recall from Chapter 5 that an alert is made up of two parts: A condition: An interesting thing you want to know about. Variations Try using multikv. An action: Alert condition: I want to get an email of all servers whose load is above a certain percentage. Exploring Splunk The result is what you would expect: I want to get an email whenever one of my servers has a load above a certain percentage.

Alert actions: Recipes for Monitoring and Alerting Variations Change alert conditions and suppression times Alerting When Web Server Performance Slows Problem time of your web servers is above a certain number of milliseconds. Solution The following search retrieves weblog events and returns a table of hosts that have fewer than requests over the timeframe that the search runs: Solution The following search retrieves weblog events.

Use the same recipe to monitor HTTP status codes and report prevalent than it was over the last month. Converting Monitoring to Alerting The monitoring recipes in this chapter produce useful reports. Exploring Splunk Set up the alert in the following way: Monitoring Inactive Hosts A custom alert condition of where now.

Consider calculating the average concurrency as well and alerting if the max is twice the average. This alerts you if too many concurrent users are logged in. Fire only when more than N declines are seen in a row.

Fire an alert when any events are seen. Fire only when more than N spikes are seen in a time period e. Recipes for Monitoring and Alerting Show a Moving Trendline and Identify Spikes The variation for this recipe is already set up conveniently for an alert..

But when should you use transaction and when should you use stats? The rule of thumb: If you can use stats. The transaction - - should be used to segment the data into transactions. Introduction There are several ways to group events. Unlike stats.

With that speed. You can only group events with stats if constraints. In other cases. The most common approach uses either the transaction or stats command. When it is desirable to see the raw text of the events rather than an Like stats. Exploring Splunk Again. No matter what search com- mands you use. If all your events have the same ip value. Chapter 7: Grouping Events Recipes Unifying Field Names Problem You need to build transactions from multiple data sources that use differ- Solution … transaction username But when the username user.

Finding Incomplete Transactions Problem You need to report on incomplete transactions. Exploring Splunk Solution Suppose you are searching for user sessions starting with a login and end- ing with a logout: Normally incomplete transactions are not returned.

How can you achieve this? Evicted transactions are sets of events that do not match all the trans- action parameters. To get the duration of phase1. Calculating Times within Transactions Problem Solution The basic approach is to use the eval command to mark the points in time needed to measure the different durations.

By default. Grouping Events Next. Exploring Splunk but you have the full range of eval functions available to you for more complex situations. Variations By default. We - tion as follows: To keep the entire list of values. You might be tempted to use the transaction command as follows: Solution Suppose you have events as follows: It provides a union of all events that have that a unique userid. Grouping Events Solution transaction or stats command. The proper way to do that is with the dedup command: The rest of this recipe explains how to calculate these values.

Implementing Splunk 7 - Third Edition

Exploring Splunk Using transaction here is a case of applying the wrong tool for the job. That time difference is the gap between transactions. Solution Suppose we have a basic transaction search that groups all events by a given user clientip-cookie pair.

That difference is the gap between transactions. In effect. Grouping Events Next we need to add the start time from the previous i. For example.. Exploring Splunk Variations Given a simpler set of requirements. By using streamstats. If the only constraints for transac- tions are startswith and endswith—meaning there are no time e. So what is the solution? There are two methods: Not only is it slow. Grouping Events Suppose. You could use this search: It searches for just the events needed to build a transac- tion searchtxn transaction then running the transaction searchtxn also determines which seed condition is rarer to get the fastest results.

Pick the more rare condition to get the candidate userid values as quickly as possible. Finding Events Near Other Events Problem to search for logins by root and then search backwards up to a minute for unsuccessful root logins as well as forward up to a minute for changes in passwords.

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Become a contributor. Go to Subscription. You don't have anything in your cart right now. Splunk is the leading platform that fosters an efficient methodology and delivers ways to search, monitor, and analyze growing amounts of big data.

This book will allow you to implement new services and utilize them to quickly and efficiently process machine-generated big data.

We introduce you to all the new features, improvements, and offerings of Splunk 7. We cover the new modules of Splunk: Splunk Cloud and the Machine Learning Toolkit to ease data usage. Furthermore, you will learn to use search terms effectively with Boolean and grouping operators. You will learn not only how to modify your search to make your searches fast but also how to use wildcards efficiently. Later you will learn how to use stats to aggregate values, a chart to turn data, and a time chart to show values over time; you'll also work with fields and chart enhancements and learn how to create a data model with faster data model acceleration.

Once this is done, you will learn about XML Dashboards, working with apps, building advanced dashboards, configuring and extending Splunk, advanced deployments, and more. Finally, we teach you how to use the Machine Learning Toolkit and best practices and tips to help you implement Splunk services effectively and efficiently. By the end of this book, you will have learned about the Splunk software as a whole and implemented Splunk services in your tasks at projects.

Exploring Splunk

James D. Miller is an innovator and accomplished senior project lead and solution architect with 37 years' experience of extensive design and development across multiple platforms and technologies. Roles include leveraging his consulting experience to provide hands-on leadership in all phases of advanced analytics and related technology projects, providing recommendations for process improvement, report accuracy, the adoption of disruptive technologies, enablement, and insight identification.

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Also read my other posts. I am highly influenced by toy collecting. I am fond of sharing PDF docs quickly.