Getting Data In

Syslog and Splunk?

splunktrainingu
Communicator

Hello Everyone, 

We are sending VPN data via syslog over UDP to our splunk server. The reason we are using syslog and not a forwarder is because we wanted to filter the VPN logins to only show the ones that are for our environment this is why we used syslog. Anyways my concern is I have been reading online that having the syslog sent to the splunk server can cause issues and splunk would need to operate as root to access the syslogs. Should I have a separate server for the syslogs then figure out a way to send them to the splunk server? 

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richgalloway
SplunkTrust
SplunkTrust

I'm talking about ANY inputs.conf file. It doesn't make much difference. You can use $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/system/local/inputs.conf if you prefer, but I prefer to put my custom configs in an app I create, like $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/apps/my_inputs/local/inputs.conf.
It's not possible to make an index point to the location of the syslog. You must define an input that reads from the syslog file(s) and writes to an index.

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richgalloway
SplunkTrust
SplunkTrust

See http://www.georgestarcher.com/splunk-success-with-syslog/ for a good description of why one shouldn't send syslog directly into Splunk and how to use a syslog server instead.

You should be able to configure rsyslog or syslog-ng to filter your VPN data for you.

If your syslog server is on the same server as Splunk then there's no need for a forwarder.  Just define input(s) to monitor the directories where the syslog data is stored.

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If this reply helps you, an upvote would be appreciated.
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splunktrainingu
Communicator

If your syslog server is on the same server as Splunk then there's no need for a forwarder.  Just define input(s) to monitor the directories where the syslog data is stored. 

@richgalloway  when you say inputs.conf file do you mean the inputs.conf file in Splunk/opt/splunk/etc/system/local ?

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richgalloway
SplunkTrust
SplunkTrust
That's one option. You could also use an inputs.conf file in a custom app.
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If this reply helps you, an upvote would be appreciated.
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splunktrainingu
Communicator

Which inputs.conf file are you talking about? Would it be easier to make an index that points to the location of the syslog?

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richgalloway
SplunkTrust
SplunkTrust

I'm talking about ANY inputs.conf file. It doesn't make much difference. You can use $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/system/local/inputs.conf if you prefer, but I prefer to put my custom configs in an app I create, like $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/apps/my_inputs/local/inputs.conf.
It's not possible to make an index point to the location of the syslog. You must define an input that reads from the syslog file(s) and writes to an index.

---
If this reply helps you, an upvote would be appreciated.
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gcusello
Legend

Hi @splunktrainingu ,

I don't like syslogs because if you have a problem (maintenance, congetione, etc...), you lose them.

If your need is only to filter logs, you can do this following the documentation at https://docs.splunk.com/Documentation/Splunk/8.0.4/Forwarding/Routeandfilterdatad#Filter_event_data_...

Anyway, there isn't any problem taking syslogs and the the access to the syslogs is the same of the other files: if you set grants for splunk user, you can access the syslogs.

If you want to use syslogs, it's a good practice to use two Heavy Forwarders with a Load Balancer to take them, so you can separate this function from the Indexers, two and a LB for HA needs.

Ciao.

Giuseppe

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splunktrainingu
Communicator

@gcusello Sorry I want to clarify something.   But do I need two Heavy forwarders if the syslog is already on the same server as my splunk server? If I wanted to use the Heavy forwarders with load balancer then wouldn't I have to setup a separate syslog server that then forwards to my splunk server?

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