What is Splunk?

Splunk is a log analysis tool used in distributed environments to enable the examination of data from different source files. The term "distributed environment” indicates that many Splunk instances are working together to collect, index, or even search information. This enables you to scale up your Splunk deployment to handle large data volumes in a distributed environment. 

Benefits of a distributed environment in Splunk:

Scalability & flexibility: As services are required to grow, adding computing power becomes relatively easier. Today, most of the systems can start up servers as needed for distributing systems. Therefore, performance is increased and time to completion is lowered.

Fault tolerance: Distributed systems reduce or eliminate single points of failure, therefore improving reliability and fault tolerance. 

Reliability: A well-designed distributed system will still perform relatively well when one or more nodes fail. In a monolithic system, once the server crashes, the entire application goes down.

Speed: One heavy load of traffic can bog down single servers during peak times, impacting performance for everyone. This type of distribution allows easier maintenance of high-performance levels in the scalability of distributed databases and other distributed systems.

Setting up the environment:

If you are ever in a situation where you need to use Splunk in a distributed environment, you may be wondering about how data transmission is done, from the source to indexers and finally to search heads. Let’s look at a brief summary of this workflow.

To begin, install and configure Splunk forwarders on machines that generate data meant for collection. These light agents can transmit information either to one or more indexers.

You will then have to create the Splunk indexers. They are used for receiving, parsing, indexing, and storing data, as well as searching through it and sending results back to search heads.

Finally, you may proceed with installing and configuring Splunk search heads, which are users’ gateways into Splunk. They mostly perform searches across various indexers and present findings via dashboards, reports, alerts, or different visualization techniques.

Workflow of the Distributed Environment:

In a distributed environment, Splunk follows a workflow that includes more than one additive operating collectively to manipulate and examine statistics correctly. Here is an explanation of the workflow:

1. Forwarders: By gathering information from sources, they play the role of watchful debtors. They perform parsing, filtering, and enrichment operations on the data before moving on to the next phase. 

2. Indexers: These are used to receive forwarded data, which plays an important part in storing/indexing such data for easy searches of collected records. Indexers carefully arrange the information and give it timestamps and unique identifiers to ensure accuracy and fast retrieval when required.

3. Search Heads: In between users or applications and the Splunk device are search heads, which act as gateways. They have an intuitive user interface and strong search capabilities. Users can direct their search requests through search heads in order to get access to valuable insights hidden in the distributed environment.

4. Search Execution: To submit a search request, it is sent to multiple connecting indexers by a search head. These indexers process and go through appropriate data for searching purposes. The results are then collected by the search heads, who deliver them to the users or packages.


In conclusion, the distributed environment in Splunk is a powerful way to scale up the data processing and analysis capabilities of the platform. By using forwarders, indexers and search heads, Splunk can handle large volumes of data from various sources and provide fast and reliable search results. Distributed environment also enables high availability, load balancing and data replication features that enhance the performance and reliability of Splunk. The distributed environment in Splunk is suitable for organizations that have complex and dynamic data needs and want to leverage the full potential of Splunk.

Want to learn about the services offered by Splunk?

About Positka:

Being a Splunk Singapore partner, Positka specializes in high-end technology solutions to help businesses improve their overall IT infrastructure. Founded in 2014, our services include Splunk Services, Cybersecurity & Risk Management, Security Awareness Training, Managed Security Services, Lean Process Optimization, Robotic Process Enablement Services and Solutions, while partnering with other top-tier companies like SentinelOne and so on. We are headquartered in Singapore and operate across India, the US, and the UK as well.

This author is a tech writer in Positka writing amazing blogs on latest smart security tech.

Get in touch

Send us a Message

Looking for general information or have a specific question. Fill the form below or drop
us a line at susan@positka.com.