TIPS & TRICKS

Splunk App for Jenkins: Increase quality and velocity of your software releases

jenkins-stickersMore than 12,000 customers are using Splunk software to monitor their critical services. They are deploying Splunk software on-premises or using Splunk Cloud, across a variety of operating systems, different deployment configurations and scale complexities. As a result, ensuring the highest Splunk software quality is of paramount importance.

To help with this endeavor, our engineering team is running most of our development and testing workflows using the Jenkins platform. The complexity of developing and testing Splunk software across various configurations has resulted in a massive Jenkins deployment infrastructure with multiple clusters, with more than 500 slaves per master running thousands of jobs per day. Previously, analyzing Jenkins data at this scale manually was not possible. As a result, our engineering and program management teams decided to use Splunk software to monitor their Jenkins environment. The Splunk App for Jenkins was born.

The App makes it possible to use Splunk solutions to collect, monitor and analyze the wealth of Jenkins data. Since our engineering teams started using the Splunk App for Jenkins to gain insight into Jenkins health, builds and test data, they were able to develop and test at greater velocity while ensuring the high quality of Splunk software. They were able to reduce build certification times from weeks to just a few minutes. In a true DevOps spirit of sharing, the Splunk team published the Splunk App for Jenkins on splunkbase and shared with Jenkins community, all for free.

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Easy to get started

You should be able to setup, configure, and begin seeing the App’s value within 10 minutes! You need two components: the Splunk Plugin for Jenkins and Splunk App for Jenkins.

  1. The Plugin automatically monitors, collects, sends Jenkins data to Splunk. It uses HTTP Event Collector (HEC) to send data to Splunk software eliminating the need for installing Splunk forwarders.
  2. The App provides a set of pre-built dashboards for quick analysis of Jenkins data.

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Benefits

The Splunk App for Jenkins helps engineering teams, including developers, test/QA engineers and program managers as well as Jenkins admins to:

  • Get instant visibility into test results.Test engineers can eliminate countless hours spent on looking at test results in Jenkins, and get all failing/passing test results with stack traces, regression failures, group test failures by errors, and configure filters to find tests with long run-times, specific errors, and much more.
  • Gain instant and detailed insights into the progress and results of Jenkins builds.  Engineers can easily find and view any Jenkins build, build summary, status, test trends, queue times, searchable console logs, and much more. And, because all of the Jenkins data is available and searchable in Splunk software, they can use Splunk alerts to appropriate engineer as the error happen in Jenkins which helps improve teams’ productivity.comb 2
  • Monitor the health of Jenkins infrastructure. For most companies, using Jenkins platform managing multiple masters with attached slaves can be a full-time job in busy development environments. The Splunk App for Jenkins provides Jenkins health panel which can help you simplify your day-to-day management by visualizing the entire Jenkins deployment. You can reduce troubleshooting times as you can quickly pinpoint issues on Jenkins masters, disconnected and/or underutilized slave nodes, get real-time master logs, and represent an entire master-slave topology across the organization.

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The power of Splunk for your continuous application delivery lies in its ability to collect, analyze and provide instant feedback from a variety of data sources in your build pipeline. You can use this feedback to match your own unique CI/CD workflow, by correlating Jenkins data with other DevOps data sources. For instance, based on Splunk searches on top of Jenkins data, you can notify the appropriate test or dev engineer by triggering HipChat (or other chat tool alerts), when a build or test fails. Or you can weave in correlation with code repos and task tracking tools. With this unified visibility across silos, teams can come closer together, and your organization can foster the true culture of empathy and collaboration, critical elements of DevOps culture, which has a proven impact on your bottom line.

To learn more about what Splunk can do for your DevOps and CI/CD initiative check out our DevOps webpage.

Stay tuned for the Splunk App for Jenkins blog Part 2 where Ali Raza, Splunk’s Chief QA Architect, will dive deeper into best practices, technical aspects and important deployment considerations of the Splunk App for Jenkins.

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Thanks!
Stela Udovicic

Splunk
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Splunk

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