The Essentials of Every Splunk Deployment (Part Two)

If you’re reading this, the words “Splunk” and “deployment” may strike some level of interest. And not just the idea of deploying, but deploying well. Taking on a Splunk deployment and integrating the platform with your team, your data, and your company is a large undertaking. As a company that’s driven mission success on Splunk deployments for years, we have a few thoughts on delivering a successful implementation.

As a reminder, the two primary components of this framework are:

Part 1: The Operational Framework of a Splunk Implementation

Part 2: Best Practices for the “Four Functional Areas” of Splunk Implementation

Let’s dive in to Part Two…

The Four Areas of Splunk Implementation

A best practice is a set of commercial or professional procedures that are accepted or prescribed as being correct or most effective. They’re a standard of how we do things well, such as requesting new data or using Splunk Validated Architectures for your deployment.

There are four functional areas in every Splunk implementation. Here are the best practices for each:

Platform

Best practices in this area help with the availability, scalability, and maintainability of the Splunk deployment:

  • Use the best Splunk Validated Architecture for your deployment.
  • Set up clustering and data replication for redundancy and high availability
  • Establish configurations management policies for knowledge objects
  • Set up a sandbox environment to test changes and research new features introduced via platform updates

Program

These include business alignment, operations, collaboration, use cases, and staffing; which enable you to realize maximum value from your Splunk deployment:

  • Establish robust change management policies and procedures and implement a source control system
  • Develop standard naming convention, RBAC policies, standards for reports, and dashboards. Test thoroughly for adherence to these standards
  • Implement configuration management software, like Puppet, to monitor drift
  • Share success stories between teams, inspire new ideas, promote knowledge sharing, and participate in Splunk user activities such as user groups, Splunk Live, conferences, etc.
  • Hold regular stakeholder meetings to provide updates on progress and demonstrate the value.

Data

These are to help generate well-designed and practical use cases that achieve the desired business outcome from the right set of data:

  • Implement a request process and tools – use ticketing systems for new data request submissions and tracking
  • Develop and maintain a data dictionary to capture meta-information about the data ingested
  • Create processes to document and understand the use cases for every data request and follow typical data management lifecycles to retire data no longer in use
  • Test, test, test. Use the sandbox environment to validate everything before deploying to production.

People

Having the right people trained, empowered, and motivated to do what they do best, the most essential best practice to adopt. Get smart people with the right mission plans and provide the necessary training and tools to be successful.

Your Splunk Experts

Take these tips and put them into action. If you’re looking ahead to a Splunk implementation in your future and need a helping hand, check out our Splunk services to see if we can be of assistance. If you’re looking more for best practice tips on-demand while you work through Splunk, Expertise on Demand may be a great resource for you. Regardless, all the best in your Splunk deployment efforts – we hope this two-part series got you closer to Splunk deployment success.

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