I don’t think our website makes it painfully clear why you’d want Splunk.
Here is my view why you will want Splunk.
What is Splunk?
Splunk is a search server that indexes all your log files.
If you need to search and troubleshoot log files, you need Splunk. It
handles any log format, including syslog, Apache, Jboss, mysql,
oracle, router data, etc. It parses and indexes in real time.
Grep works fine. Why do I need Splunk?
grepis totally fine for small, simple, local files, but
work on 20GB of log files, across a dozen servers; doesn’t group
multiline log messages together; doesn’t unify timestamps across
files; doesn’t automatically find related log events; doesn’t show
histograms of log events; doesn’t search gigabytes in seconds; doesn’t
have a cool ajax web interface similar to google.
What are multiline log messages?
As an example, java exceptions look like this:
at $Proxy231.getAllAttributes(Unknown Source)
You can’t use
grep to search for java proxy exceptions because
“Exception” and “proxy” don’t occur on the same line! The same
would apply to sql, router data, email, or any other multiline event.
Splunk automatically groups
multiline events into single events, so the above exception
would become one event. Splunk does this with advanced heuristics and
machine learning algorithms, as well as customizeable groupping rules.
What about unifying timestamps?
Most log files have timestamps embedded in them. Splunk understands
dozens and dozens of timestamp formats, unifying them across
timezones. Some log files write events out as GMT (Greenwich Mean
Time) some as local time such as PST (Pacific Standard Time). Some
logs can come from servers on the east coast, some from the west
coast, or beyond. By
normalizing all these timeszones in dozens of timestamp formats,
Splunk allows you to say “What happened at 11:57pm”, world-wide,
across all my log files, across all my servers. “I got an error
at 1:15am yesterday. Show me the log events from all my logs just
OK, one more. What are related log events?
Suppose you see suspecious activity or an error. Just ask Splunk to
find logs related to that activity. It’ll find logs that have the
same IP, UserID, URL, codes, etc. If there was a problem with an IP,
Splunk will show you all the related events for that IP; same for
UserID, URL, or any other code. You can even ask Splunk to show you events sorted
by how unexpected they are!
How much does Splunk cost?
The Splunk Personal Server is
Free. Give it a try.
How can I get Splunk?