Universal forwarder splunk

Universal forwarder splunk DEFAULT

Install a Windows universal forwarder from an installer

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You can install the universal forwarder on a Windows host with the Windows universal forwarder installer package. This method of installation is best for the following:

  • Small deployments.
  • Proof-of-concept test deployments.
  • System images or virtual machines for eventual cloning.

You can install the universal forwarder in other ways as well.

Prerequisites to installing the universal forwarder on Windows

Before you install the Windows universal forwarder, read the following prerequisites.

Determine if you will forward data to Splunk Enterprise or to Splunk Cloud Platform

Installation procedures differ depending on the destination Splunk platform. See the following topics for installation instructions:

Choose the Windows user that the universal forwarder should run as

When you install the universal forwarder, you can select the Windows user that the forwarder uses to get data. You have two choices.

  • Local System. If you specify the Local System user during the installation process, the universal forwarder collects any kind of data that is available on the local host. It cannot collect data from other hosts.
  • Domain account. This option installs the forwarder as the Windows user you specify. The forwarder has the permissions that have been assigned to that user, and collects data that the user has read access to. It does not collect data from resources that the Windows user does not have access to. If you need to collect data from those resources, you must give the Windows user access to those resources.

Install the forwarder as a Domain account to do any of the following:

  • Read Event Logs remotely
  • Collect performance counters remotely
  • Read network shares for log files
  • Access the Active Directory schema, using Active Directory monitoring

Choose and configure the user that the universal forwarder should run as before installing the forwarder for remote Windows data collection. If you do not, installation can fail.

If you install as a domain user, specify a user that has access to the data you want to monitor. See Choose the Windows user Splunk should run as in the Splunk Enterprise Installation Manual for concepts and procedures on the user requirements that must be in place before you collect remote Windows data.

If you install as a domain user, you can choose whether or not the user has administrative privileges on the local machine. If you choose not to give the user administrative privileges, the universal forwarder enables "low-privilege" mode. See Install the universal forwarder in low-privilege mode.

Configure your Windows environment for remote data collection

If your monitoring needs require that you install the universal forwarder to collect remote Windows data, then configure your Windows environment for the proper installation of the forwarder.

The configuration process includes adding or editing Active Directory security groups and granting the Windows universal forwarder user access to those groups. It can also include creating and updating Group Policy Objects (GPOs) to provide further security and access for the user.

For step-by-step instructions on how to modify your Windows network, domain, or Active Directory forest, see Prepare your Windows network for a Splunk Enterprise installation as a network or domain user in the Splunk Enterprise Installation Manual.

  1. Create and configure security groups with the user you want the universal forwarder to run as.
  2. (Optional) Configure the universal forwarder account as a managed service account.
  3. Create and configure Group Policy objects (GPOs) for security policy and user rights assignment.
  4. Assign appropriate user rights to the GPO.
  5. Deploy the GPOs with the updated settings to the appropriate objects.

Have credentials for the Splunk administrator user ready

When you install the universal forwarder, you must create credentials for the Splunk administrator user. The installer does not create credentials for the user. Think of a username and password and be ready to supply them when you perform the installation. If you do not supply at least a password during a silent installation, the universal forwarder can install without any users defined, which prevents login. You must then create a user-seed.conf file to fix the problem and restart the forwarder.

Install the universal forwarder for use with on-premises Splunk Enterprise instances

The Windows universal forwarder installer installs and configures the universal forwarder to send data to an on-premises Splunk Enterprise instance. It offers you the option of migrating your checkpoint settings from an existing forwarder.

Do not install or run the 32-bit version of the Splunk universal forwarder for Windows on a 64-bit Windows system or an unsupported version of Windows. Do not install the universal forwarder over an existing installation of full Splunk Enterprise.

Universal forwarder installation options

When you install the universal forwarder on Windows, you can install with the default settings or customize installation options prior to installing.

If you choose not to customize options, the installer does the following:

  • Installs the universal forwarder in on the system drive (the drive that booted your Windows host.)
  • Installs the universal forwarder with the default management port of TCP/8089.
  • Configures the universal forwarder to run as the Local System user.
  • Prompts you to create a Splunk administrator password. You must complete this step before installation can continue.
  • Enables the Application, System, and Security Windows Event Log data inputs.

To understand the ramifications of the Windows user that the universal forwarder runs as, see Choose the user Splunk Enterprise should run as in the Installation Manual.

Install the forwarder with the default options

  1. Download the universal forwarder from splunk.com.
  2. Double-click the MSI file to start the installation.
  3. (Optional) To view the license agreement, click the "View License Agreement" button.
  4. 64 UFInstaller.png

  5. Select the Check this box to accept the License Agreement check box.
  6. To change any of the default installation settings, click the "Customize Options" button and see Customize options. Otherwise, click Install to install the software with the defaults.
  7. Perform at least one of the following two steps, or the universal forwarder cannot send data anywhere.

  8. (Optional) In the Deployment Server pane, enter a host name or IP address and management port for the deployment server that you want the universal forwarder to connect to and click Next.
  9. (Optional) In the Receiving Indexer pane, enter a host name or IP address and the receiving port for the receiving indexer that you want the universal forwarder to send data to and click Next.
  10. Click Install to proceed. The installer runs and displays the Installation Completed dialog. The universal forwarder starts automatically.
  11. 62 UFInstaller Complete.png

  12. From the Control Panel, confirm that the service runs.

Customize Options

If you chose "Customize options" in the Universal forwarder setup dialog box, the installer presents you with the following options.

62 UFInstaller Location.png

The installer puts the universal forwarder into the directory by default.

  1. (Optional) Click Change to specify a different installation directory.
  2. 62 UFInstaller Certificate.png

  3. (Optional) Select an SSL certificate to verify the identity of this machine. Depending on your certificate requirements, you might need to specify a password and a Root Certificate Authority (CA) certificate to verify the identity of the certificate. If not, these fields can be left blank.
  4. 62 UFInstaller ChooseUser.png

  5. Select the Local System or Domain Account check box and click Next. If you specify Local System, the installer displays the Enable Windows Inputs dialog box. If you specify Domain account, the installer displays a second dialog box where you enter domain and user information.
  6. 62 UFInstaller Entercreds.png

  7. If you selected "Domain account", the installer displays a dialog box for user name and password credentials. Enter the user name and password into the User name and Password fields. Specify the user name in format only, or the installation can fail.
  8. Enter the password again in the Confirm password field.
  9. To add the domain user you specified to the local Administrators group, select the "Add user as local administrator" check box and click Next. The installer adds the domain user you specified to the local Administrators group. If you do not select the "Add user as local administrator" check box, the universal forwarder installs in "low-privilege" mode. See "Run the universal forwarder in low-privilege mode" later in this topic for additional information and caveats.
  10. 62 UFInstaller EnableInputs.png

  11. (Optional) Select one or more Windows inputs from the list and click Next.

    You can enable inputs later, by editing within the universal forwarder directory. See "Considerations for enabling data inputs in the installer" later in this topic about what happens when you enable inputs in this dialog.

    722 UFInstaller CreateAdminCredentials.png

  12. Create credentials for the Splunk administrator user, then click Next.

    You must complete this action, as installation of the universal forwarder cannot proceed without it. If you do not specify a username, the universal forwarder installer creates the user during the installation process.

    62 UFInstaller DeploymentServer.png

  13. (Optional) Enter the hostname or IP address and management port for your deployment server and click Next.

    Perform at least one of the next two steps. While both are optional, the forwarder does nothing if you perform neither step because it does not have a configuration.

  14. 62 UFInstaller Receiver.png

  15. (Optional) Enter the hostname or IP address and receiving port of the receiving indexer (receiver) and click Next.
  16. Click Install to proceed with the installation.

Install the universal forwarder for use with Splunk Cloud Platform

An installation of the universal forwarder for Splunk Cloud iPlatform is similar to an installation for on-premises versions of Splunk Enterprise.

  1. Download the universal forwarder from splunk.com.
  2. Double-click the MSI file to start the installation:
  3. Check the Check this box to accept the License Agreement checkbox.
  4. Uncheck the Use this UniversalForwarder with on-premises Splunk Enterprise... checkbox.
  5. To change any of the default installation settings, click the Customize Options button and proceed to the Customize options for a cloud install procedure. Otherwise, click Next.
  6. Note: Perform at least one of the following two steps, or the universal forwarder cannot send data anywhere.

  7. (Optional) In the Deployment Server pane, enter a host name or IP address and management port for the deployment server that you want the universal forwarder to connect to and click Next.
  8. (Optional) In the Receiving Indexer pane, enter a host name or IP address and the receiving port for the receiving indexer that you want the universal forwarder to send data to and click Next.
  9. Click Install. The installer runs and displays the Installation Completed dialog. The universal forwarder automatically starts.

Customize options for a Splunk Cloud Platform installation

Follow these instructions if you need to perform a detailed configuration of the universal forwarder for use with Splunk Cloud Platform.

  1. (Optional) In the Destination Folder dialog box, click Change to specify a different installation directory.
  2. In the Certificate Information dialog box, click Next. Do not specify any parameters.
  3. Specify whether you want the universal forwarder to run as the Local System user or a domain user and click Next. If you specified Local System, the installer skips the second screen and takes you directly to the "Enable Windows Inputs" dialog box.
  4. If you specified Domain account, the installer displays a second dialog box, where you enter domain and user information. Enter the user name and password into the User name and Password fields. Specify the user name in format, or the installation can fail.
  5. Enter the password again in the Confirm password field.
  6. To add the domain user you specified to the local Administrators group, select the "Add user as local administrator" check box and click Next. The installer adds the domain user you specified to the local Administrators group. If you do not select the "Add user as local administrator" check box, the universal forwarder installs in "low-privilege" mode. See "Run the universal forwarder in low-privilege mode" later in this topic for additional information and caveats.
  7. (Optional) Select one or more Windows inputs from the list and click Next.
  8. If you have an on-premises deployment server and you want to use it, fill in the appropriate information and click Next. Otherwise, do not specify any parameters here.
  9. Click Next. Do not specify any parameters here.
  10. Click Install to proceed with the installation. The installer runs and displays the Installation Completed dialog box. The universal forwarder automatically starts.
  11. From Windows Control Panel, confirm that the service runs.

Install the universal forwarder in "low-privilege" mode

When you specify a domain user during an installation and do not give that user local administrator rights, the forwarder installs and runs in "low-privilege" mode.

There are some caveats to doing this:

  • You do not have administrative access to any resources on either the host or the domain when you run the universal forwarder in low-privilege mode.
  • You might need to add the domain user to additional domain groups in order to access remote resources. Additionally, you might need to add the user to local groups to access local resources that only privileged users would have access to.
  • You cannot collect Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) data as a non-admin user.

Last modified on 14 October, 2021

This documentation applies to the following versions of Splunk® Universal Forwarder: 7.2.2, 7.2.3, 7.2.4, 7.2.5, 7.2.6, 7.2.7, 7.2.8, 7.2.9, 7.2.10, 7.3.0, 7.3.1, 7.3.2, 7.3.3, 7.3.4, 7.3.5, 7.3.6, 7.3.7, 7.3.8, 7.3.9, 8.0.0, 8.0.1, 8.0.2, 8.0.3, 8.0.4, 8.0.5, 8.0.6, 8.0.7, 8.0.8, 8.0.9, 8.0.10, 8.1.0, 8.1.1, 8.1.2, 8.1.3, 8.1.4, 8.1.5, 8.1.6, 8.2.0, 8.2.1, 8.2.2


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Sours: https://docs.splunk.com/Documentation/Forwarder/8.2.2/Forwarder/InstallaWindowsuniversalforwarderfromaninstaller

Configure the universal forwarder

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Before a forwarder can forward data, it must have a configuration. A configuration:

  • Tells the forwarder what data to send.
  • Tells it where to send the data.

Because the universal forwarder does not have Splunk Web, you must give the forwarder a configuration either during the installation (on Windows systems only) or later, as a separate step. To perform post-installation configuration, you can:

  • Use the CLI. The CLI lets you do nearly all configuration in a small number of steps, but does not give you full access to the feature set of the forwarder.
  • Create or modify configuration files on the forwarder directly.
  • Use a deployment server. The deployment server can ease distribution of configurations, but does not make a forwarder forward data by itself. You must use the deployment server to deliver configurations to the forwarders so that they collect the data you want and send it to the place you want.

About configuring the universal forwarder with configuration files

Configuration files are text files that the universal forwarder reads when it starts up or when you reload a configuration. Forwarders must read configuration files to know where to get and send data. These files give you full access to the forwarder feature set, but editing configuration files can be difficult or mistake-prone at times. See "About configuration files" and "Configuration file precedence" in the Splunk Enterprise Admin manual, for details on how configuration files work.

Key configuration files are:

You make changes to configuration files by editing them with a text editor. You can use any editor that you want as long as it can write files in ASCII/UTF-8 format.

The forwarder works with configurations for forwarding data in in ). See Configure forwarding with outputs.conf.

The universal forwarder has a app, which includes preconfigured settings that let the forwarder run in a streamlined mode. Do not edit any configuration files within that app unless you receive specific instructions.

Best practices for deploying configuration updates across universal forwarders

You can use the following methods to deploy configuration updates across your set of universal forwarders:

  • Edit or copy the configuration files for each universal forwarder manually (This is only useful for small deployments.)
  • Use the Splunk deployment server to push configured apps to your set of universal forwarders.
  • Use your own deployment tools (puppet or Chef on *nix or System Center Configuration Manager on Windows) to push configuration changes.

Configure the universal forwarder from the CLI

The CLI lets you configure most forwarding parameters without having to edit configuration files. It does not give you full access to all forwarding parameters, and you must edit configuration files in those cases.

When you make configuration changes with the CLI, the universal forwarder writes the configuration files. This prevents typos and other mistakes that can occur when you edit configuration files directly.

The forwarder writes configurations for forwarding data to in ). See Configure forwarding with outputs.conf, for information on .

Examples for using the CLI to configure a universal forwarder

Following are example procedures on how to configure a universal forwarder to connect to a receiving indexer.

Configure the universal forwarder to connect to a receiving indexer

From a shell or command prompt on the forwarder, run the command:

./splunk add forward-server <host name or ip address>:<listening port>

For example, to connect to the receiving indexer with the hostname and that host listens on port 9997 for forwarders, type in:

./splunk add forward-server idx1.mycompany.com:9997

Configure the universal forwarder to connect to a deployment server

From a shell or command prompt on the forwarder, run the command:

./splunk set deploy-poll <host name or ip address>:<management port>

For example, if you want to connect to the deployment server with the hostname on the default management port of 8089, type in:

./splunk set deploy-poll ds1.mycompany.com:8089

Configure a data input on the forwarder

The Splunk Enterprise Getting Data In manual has information on what data a universal forwarder can collect.

1. Determine what data you want to collect.

2. From a shell or command prompt on the forwarder, run the command that enables that data input. For example, to monitor the directory on the host with the universal forwarder installed, type in:

./splunk add monitor /var/log

The forwarder asks you to authenticate and begins monitoring the specified directory immediately after you log in.

Restart the universal forwarder

Some configuration changes might require that you restart the forwarder.

To restart the universal forwarder, use the same CLI command that you use to restart a full Splunk Enterprise instance:

  • On Windows: Go to and run this command:
splunk restart
  • On *nix systems: From a shell prompt on the host, go to , and run this command:
./splunk restart

Last modified on 14 January, 2021

This documentation applies to the following versions of Splunk® Universal Forwarder: 6.4.0, 6.4.1, 6.4.2, 6.4.3, 6.4.4, 6.4.5, 6.4.6, 6.4.7, 6.4.8, 6.4.9, 6.4.10, 6.4.11, 6.5.0, 6.5.1, 6.5.2, 6.5.3, 6.5.4, 6.5.5, 6.5.6, 6.5.7, 6.5.8, 6.5.9, 6.5.10, 6.6.0, 6.6.1, 6.6.2, 6.6.3, 6.6.4, 6.6.5, 6.6.6, 6.6.7, 6.6.8, 6.6.9, 6.6.10, 6.6.11, 6.6.12, 7.0.0, 7.0.1, 7.0.2, 7.0.3, 7.0.4, 7.0.5, 7.0.6, 7.0.7, 7.0.8, 7.0.9, 7.0.10, 7.0.11, 7.0.13, 7.1.0, 7.1.1, 7.1.2, 7.1.3, 7.1.4, 7.1.5, 7.1.6, 7.1.7, 7.1.8, 7.1.9, 7.1.10, 7.2.0, 7.2.1, 7.2.2, 7.2.3, 7.2.4, 7.2.5, 7.2.6, 7.2.7, 7.2.8, 7.2.9, 7.2.10, 7.3.0, 7.3.1, 7.3.2, 7.3.3, 7.3.4, 7.3.5, 7.3.6, 7.3.7, 7.3.8, 7.3.9, 8.0.0, 8.0.1, 8.0.2, 8.0.3, 8.0.4, 8.0.5, 8.0.6, 8.0.7, 8.0.8, 8.0.9, 8.0.10, 8.1.0, 8.1.1, 8.1.2, 8.1.3, 8.1.4, 8.1.5, 8.1.6, 8.2.0, 8.2.1, 8.2.2


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Splunk, Splunk>, Turn Data Into Doing, Data-to-Everything and D2E are trademarks or registered trademarks of Splunk Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective owners. © 2021 Splunk Inc. All rights reserved.

Sours: https://docs.splunk.com/Documentation/Forwarder/8.2.2/Forwarder/Configuretheuniversalforwarder
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Types of forwarders

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There are three types of forwarders:

  • The universal forwarder contains only the components that are necessary to forward data. Learn more about the universal forwarder in the Universal Forwarder manual.
  • A heavy forwarder is a full Splunk Enterprise instance that can index, search, and change data as well as forward it. The heavy forwarder has some features disabled to reduce system resource usage.
  • A light forwarder is also a full Splunk Enterprise instance, with more features disabled to achieve as small a resource footprint as possible. The light forwarder has been deprecated as of Splunk Enterprise version 6.0. The universal forwarder supersedes the light forwarder for nearly all purposes and represents the best tool for sending data to indexers.

The universal forwarder

The sole purpose of the universal forwarder is to forward data. Unlike a full Splunk instance, you cannot use the universal forwarder to index or search data. To achieve higher performance and a lighter footprint, it has several limitations:

  • The universal forwarder cannot search, index, or produce alerts with data.
  • The universal forwarder does not parse data except in certain limited situations. You cannot use it to route data to different Splunk indexers based on its contents. See the Forwarder Comparisons table later in this topic for details.
  • Unlike full Splunk Enterprise, the universal forwarder does not include a bundled version of Python.

The universal forwarder can get data from a variety of inputs and forward the data to a Splunk deployment for indexing and searching. It can also forward data to another forwarder as an intermediate step before sending the data onward to an indexer.

The universal forwarder is a separately downloadable piece of software. Unlike the heavy and light forwarders, you do not enable it from a full Splunk Enterprise instance. Learn more about the universal forwarder in the Universal Forwarder manual.

To learn how to download, install, and deploy a universal forwarder, see Install the universal forwarder software in the Universal Forwarder manual.

Heavy and light forwarders

While the universal forwarder is the preferred way to forward data, you might need to use heavy or light forwarders if you need to analyze or make changes to the data before you forward it, or you need to control where the data goes based on its contents. Unlike the universal forwarder, both heavy and light forwarders are full Splunk Enterprise instances with certain features disabled. Heavy and light forwarders differ in capability and the corresponding size of their resource footprints.

A heavy forwarder (sometimes referred to as a "regular forwarder") has a smaller footprint than an indexer but retains most of the capability, except that it cannot perform distributed searches. Some of its default functionality, such as Splunk Web, can be disabled, if necessary, to reduce the size of its footprint. A heavy forwarder parses data before forwarding it and can route data based on criteria such as source or type of event.

One key advantage of the heavy forwarder is that it can index data locally, as well as forward data to another Splunk instance. You must activate this feature. See Configure forwarders with outputs.conf in this manual for details.

A light forwarder has a smaller footprint with much more limited functionality. It forwards only unparsed data. The universal forwarder, which provides very similar functionality, supersedes it. The light forwarder has been deprecated but continues to be available mainly to meet legacy needs.

When you install a universal forwarder, you can migrate checkpoint settings from any (version 4.0 or greater) light forwarder that resides on the same host. See About the universal forwarder in the Universal Forwarder manual for a more detailed comparison of universal and light forwarders.

For detailed information on the capabilities of heavy and light forwarders, see Heavy and light forwarder capabilities in this manual.

Forwarder comparison

This table summarizes the similarities and differences among the three types of forwarders:

Features and capabilities Universal forwarder Light forwarder Heavy forwarder
Type of Splunk Enterprise instance Dedicated executable Full Splunk Enterprise, with most features disabled Full Splunk Enterprise, with some features disabled
Footprint (memory, CPU load) Smallest Small Medium-to-large (depending on enabled features)
Bundles Python? No Yes Yes
Handles data inputs? All types (but scripted inputs might require Python installation) All types All types
Forwards to Splunk Enterprise? Yes Yes Yes
Forwards to 3rd party systems? Yes Yes Yes
Serves as intermediate forwarder? Yes Yes Yes
Indexer acknowledgment (guaranteed delivery)? Optional Optional (version 4.2 and later) Optional (version 4.2 and later)
Load balancing? Yes Yes Yes
Data cloning? Yes Yes Yes
Per-event filtering? No No Yes
Event routing? No No Yes
Event parsing? SometimesNo Yes
Local indexing? No No Optional, by setting attribute in
Searching/alerting? No No Optional
Splunk Web? No No Optional

For detailed information on specific capabilities, see the rest of this topic, as well as the other forwarding topics in the manual.

Types of forwarder data

Forwarders can transmit three types of data:

The type of data a forwarder can send depends on the type of forwarder it is, as well as how you configure it. Universal forwarders and light forwarders can send raw or unparsed data. Heavy forwarders can send raw or parsed data.

With raw data, the forwarder sends the data unaltered over a TCP stream. it does not convert the data into the Splunk communications format. The forwarder collects the data and sends it on. This is particularly useful for sending data to a non-Splunk system.

With unparsed data, a universal forwarder performs minimal processing. It does not examine the data stream, but it does tag the stream with metadata to identify source, source type, and host. It also divides the data stream into 64-kilobyte blocks and performs some rudimentary timestamping on the stream that the receiving indexer can use in case the events themselves have no discernible timestamps. The universal forwarder does not identify, examine, or tag individual events except when you configure it to parse files with structure data (such as comma-separated value files.)

With parsed data, a heavy forwarder breaks the data into individual events, which it tags and then forwards to a Splunk indexer. It can also examine the events. Because the data has been parsed, the forwarder can perform conditional routing based on event data, such as field values.

The parsed and unparsed formats are both referred to as cooked data, to distinguish them from raw data. By default, forwarders send cooked data (universal forwarders send unparsed data and heavy forwarders send parsed data.) To send raw data instead, set the attribute/value pair in outputs.conf.

Forwarders and indexes

Forwarders forward and route data on an index-by-index basis. By default, they forward all external data, as well as data for the internal index. In some cases, they also forward data for the internal index. You can change this behavior as necessary. For details, see Filter data by target index.

Last modified on 02 July, 2021

This documentation applies to the following versions of Splunk® Enterprise: 6.4.0, 6.4.1, 6.4.2, 6.4.3, 6.4.4, 6.4.5, 6.4.6, 6.4.7, 6.4.8, 6.4.9, 6.4.10, 6.4.11, 6.5.0, 6.5.1, 6.5.2, 6.5.3, 6.5.4, 6.5.5, 6.5.6, 6.5.7, 6.5.8, 6.5.9, 6.5.10, 6.6.0, 6.6.1, 6.6.2, 6.6.3, 6.6.4, 6.6.5, 6.6.6, 6.6.7, 6.6.8, 6.6.9, 6.6.10, 6.6.11, 6.6.12, 7.0.0, 7.0.1, 7.0.2, 7.0.3, 7.0.4, 7.0.5, 7.0.6, 7.0.7, 7.0.8, 7.0.9, 7.0.10, 7.0.11, 7.0.13, 7.1.0, 7.1.1, 7.1.2, 7.1.3, 7.1.4, 7.1.5, 7.1.6, 7.1.7, 7.1.8, 7.1.9, 7.1.10, 7.2.0, 7.2.1, 7.2.2, 7.2.3, 7.2.4, 7.2.5, 7.2.6, 7.2.7, 7.2.8, 7.2.9, 7.2.10, 7.3.0, 7.3.1, 7.3.2, 7.3.3, 7.3.4, 7.3.5, 7.3.6, 7.3.7, 7.3.8, 7.3.9, 8.0.0, 8.0.1, 8.0.2, 8.0.3, 8.0.4, 8.0.5, 8.0.6, 8.0.7, 8.0.8, 8.0.9, 8.0.10, 8.1.0, 8.1.1, 8.1.2, 8.1.3, 8.1.4, 8.1.5, 8.1.6, 8.2.1, 8.2.0, 8.2.2


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Splunk, Splunk>, Turn Data Into Doing, Data-to-Everything and D2E are trademarks or registered trademarks of Splunk Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective owners. © 2021 Splunk Inc. All rights reserved.

Sours: https://docs.splunk.com/Documentation/Splunk/8.2.2/Forwarding/Typesofforwarders
Introduction to Splunk Forwarder Deployment Topology and Configure Universal Forwarder

The universal forwarder

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About the universal forwarder

The universal forwarder collects data from a data source or another forwarder and sends it to a forwarder or a Splunk deployment. With a universal forwarder, you can send data to Splunk Enterprise, Splunk Light, or Splunk Cloud Platform. It also replaces the Splunk Enterprise light forwarder. The universal forwarder is available as a separate installation package.

The universal forwarder offers advantages over using a heavy or light forwarder. The most notable benefit is that it uses significantly fewer hardware resources than other Splunk software products. It can, for example, coexist on a host that runs a Splunk Enterprise instance. It also is more scalable than the other Splunk products, as you can install thousands of universal forwarders with little impact on network and host performance.

Another benefit is its availability for installation on many diverse computing platforms and architectures. You can install it on more platforms than you can Splunk Enterprise.

The universal forwarder includes only the essential components that it needs to forward data to other Splunk platform instances. While it does not have a Web interface, you can still configure, manage, and scale it by editing configuration files or by using the Forwarder Management or Monitoring Console interfaces in Splunk Web.

This manual discusses the universal forwarder

This manual discusses the universal forwarder and how to plan, download, install, and configure it. There are two other types of forwarders. To learn about heavy and light forwarders and how they forward data, see About forwarding and receiving data in the Forwarding Data Manual.

To achieve higher performance and a lighter resource footprint, the universal forwarder has a subset of the functionality provided by a full Splunk platform deployment, specifically:

  • Cannot search or index data.
  • Cannot send alerts.
  • Does not parse incoming data, except in certain cases, such as structured data or some forms of Windows data.
  • Cannot send data to servers as it has no syslog pipeline.
  • Does not include a version of Python.

How the universal forwarder compares to the light forwarder

The light forwarder is a full Splunk Enterprise instance with certain features that have been disabled to achieve a smaller resource footprint. The universal forwarder differs from the light forwarder in the following ways:

  • It puts less load on the host CPU, uses less memory, and has a smaller disk space footprint.
  • It cannot be converted to function as a heavy forwarder or other Splunk Enterprise role.
  • It does not have Splunk Web, which means that you cannot perform any configuration with that user interface.

The light forwarder was deprecated in Splunk Enterprise version 6.0, which means that support for it can be removed in a future version of Splunk Enterprise. When you install the universal forwarder, you can migrate from an existing light forwarder that runs version 4.0 or later. See Migrate a Windows light forwarder or Migrate a *nix light forwarder for details.

Information on Windows third-party binaries that ship with the universal forwarder

For information on third-party Windows binaries provided with the Windows version of the universal forwarder, see Information on Windows third-party binaries distributed with Splunk Enterprise in the Splunk Enterprise Installation Manual.

For information about running the universal forwarder in Windows Safe Mode, see Splunk Enterprise Architecture and Processes also in the Installation Manual.

Last modified on 13 October, 2021

This documentation applies to the following versions of Splunk® Universal Forwarder: 6.4.0, 6.4.1, 6.4.2, 6.4.3, 6.4.4, 6.4.5, 6.4.6, 6.4.7, 6.4.8, 6.4.9, 6.4.10, 6.4.11, 6.5.0, 6.5.1, 6.5.2, 6.5.3, 6.5.4, 6.5.5, 6.5.6, 6.5.7, 6.5.8, 6.5.9, 6.5.10, 6.6.0, 6.6.1, 6.6.2, 6.6.3, 6.6.4, 6.6.5, 6.6.6, 6.6.7, 6.6.8, 6.6.9, 6.6.10, 6.6.11, 6.6.12, 7.0.0, 7.0.1, 7.0.2, 7.0.3, 7.0.4, 7.0.5, 7.0.6, 7.0.7, 7.0.8, 7.0.9, 7.0.10, 7.0.11, 7.0.13, 7.1.0, 7.1.1, 7.1.2, 7.1.3, 7.1.4, 7.1.5, 7.1.6, 7.1.7, 7.1.8, 7.1.9, 7.1.10, 7.2.0, 7.2.1, 7.2.2, 7.2.3, 7.2.4, 7.2.5, 7.2.6, 7.2.7, 7.2.8, 7.2.9, 7.2.10, 7.3.0, 7.3.1, 7.3.2, 7.3.3, 7.3.4, 8.0.0, 8.0.1, 8.0.2, 8.0.3, 8.0.4, 8.0.5, 8.0.6, 8.0.7, 8.0.8, 8.0.9, 8.0.10, 8.1.0, 8.1.1, 8.1.2, 8.1.3, 8.1.4, 8.1.5, 8.1.6, 8.2.0, 8.2.1, 8.2.2


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Sours: https://docs.splunk.com/Documentation/Forwarder/8.2.2/Forwarder/Abouttheuniversalforwarder

Forwarder splunk universal

ARCHIVED: About the Splunk universal forwarder

This content has been archived, and is no longer maintained by Indiana University. Information here may no longer be accurate, and links may no longer be available or reliable.

The Splunk universal forwarder is a free, dedicated version of Splunk Enterprise that contains only the essential components needed to forward data. TechSelect uses the universal forwarder to gather data from a variety of inputs and forward your machine data to Splunk indexers. The data is then available for searching.

The universal forwarder is designed to run on production servers, having minimal CPU and memory usage and the least impact possible on mission-critical software.

Forwarders communicate with deployment servers, which then send configurations to the client forwarder. These configurations tell the forwarder what data to send to which indexers.

The forwarder sends the data encrypted to the indexers. Once the data is written to the Splunk index, searching can begin immediately; thus, searches are up to date within moments of the event occurrence.

Notes:

  • Universal forwarders do not have a web or application interface. Once installed, you must make configuration changes at the command line in both Windows and Unix- or Linux-based systems.
  • Best practices:
    • Use the universal forwarder when possible as a data collection method.
    • Stop and start the universal forwarder from the command line.
  • The Splunk license model is to bill by the amount of GB of daily data ingestion.

Benefits

Benefits of using the Splunk universal forwarder:

  • Data consolidation from all types of inputs
  • Reduces indexer load on the Data Center side (push vs. pull method)
  • Improves resiliency by buffering data when needed, sending to available indexers and switching to others when needed (auto load balance)
  • Administered remotely with the deployment server
Sours: https://kb.iu.edu/d/bfln
Introduction to Splunk Forwarder Deployment Topology and Configure Universal Forwarder

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