Microsoft Patch Tuesday! Are your servers patched?
It’s my most favorite time of the month – Patch Tuesday! Ok, I might be slightly exaggerating there. Let’s face it. It’s a pain in the neck. I have to go around to every server in my development environment and ensure that all the critical patches have been taken care of. Usually, this means a trip to Windows Update, or checking the logs of the Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) server. Today, I woke up and decided Splunk was going to assist with this.
Developing Modular Inputs in C# – Part 1
One of the cool new features of Splunk 5.0 is modular inputs, and we’ve already seen some great examples of this, such as the built-in perfmon gathering modular input and the Splunk Addon for PowerShell. However, the examples that are provided in the documentation are in Python. When I started writing my own modular input, I saw that much of the process of writing a modular input is scaffolding and repeatable. Thus I set out to write an SDK that would alleviate much of the scaffolding and provide a good framework for writing modular inputs. This multi-part series will cover the same process by writing a C# version of the Twitter example from the documentation.
Are all my Microsoft Servers being Splunked?
I recently got asked a question – how can I tell if all my Microsoft servers are being Splunked? Interesting question and one without a good solid answer. But we have all the bits, so let’s take a look at what it would take to answer that question. First off, let’s assume that by “Is a Server being Splunked?”, then we mean that the server in question has a universal forwarder on it, is hooked into a deployment server, and is sending events to an indexer. All these bits need to have the events land within the same environment.
Enabling Splunk as a Windows Domain User with Group Policy
Many times, we develop Windows-based apps (for example, the Splunk App for Exchange or the Splunk App for Active Directory) without special privileges. We recommend installing the Universal Forwarder on the target system with system-level privileges, which has all the necessary rights we need. Sometimes, we come across situations where we need to install Splunk with domain privileges. If you have set up WMI-based remote audit log collection, then this applies to you. Recently, we found that some of the upcoming apps needed domain privileges, so we set about researching exactly how this could be accomplished through the application of group policy in an Active Directory server. We learned that, although the process is long-winded,…
Splunk with PowerShell? Yes, Please
Do you manage Windows servers? If the answer is yes, then the likelihood is that you utilize PowerShell in your daily operations. As many know, PowerShell is an extraordinarily powerful shell command language that Microsoft invented to manage their most complex server applications. Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, SQL Server and Active Directory can all be managed through PowerShell; and that’s just the start. The Splunk App for Exchange and the Splunk App for Active Directory both use this facility to get inventory and usage information from the depths of the systems.
But it isn’t easy. Scripted inputs are, well, expensive. Firstly, you have to wrap the PowerShell executable inside a CMD batch file. When it executes, you are…
Detecting iOS 6.1 with the Splunk App for Exchange
If you are an Exchange Administrator, you might have heard this one. Basically, if you upgrade your iPhone or iPad to iOS 6.1 and then accept a calendar invitation under certain (unfortunately common) circumstances, then your phone starts generating excessive traffic to the Exchange server. This fills up the logs on your Exchange client access servers and mailbox servers with unnecessary and irrelevant information.
Splunking Exchange in a Simple XML World
With the release of Splunk 5.0, the Simple XML language we use to define the dashboards and forms for an app was greatly extended. So, we were given a challenge – could a reasonably complex app, such as the Splunk App for Microsoft Exchange – be represented using only Simple XML?
Splunk App for Active Directory and the Top 10 Issues
I work a lot with the various people who plan, deploy and support the Splunk App for Active Directory. Some issues come up quite frequently and I thought it would be a good idea to give you a roadmap of things to check as you deploy your environment. I’ll go through the issue and how to check for it so that you can make your roll-out as smooth as possible.
Splunking Powershell and .NET Data Structures
We are currently rocking it at the Microsoft Exchange Conference (MEC) in Orlando and I’m being asked where we get our data from to handle the reporting and monitoring requirements for the Splunk App for Microsoft Exchange. Some of the sources are relatively straight forward – things like the Windows Event Log, IIS logs and Message Tracking logs, for example. But where do we get the rich user information? The answer lies in a series of Powershell scripts that run on a regular basis on each Exchange server. You see, Powershell has access to the whole of the .NET framework and that is where a lot of information lies.
The Splunk App for Active Directory and How I tamed the Security Log
It’s time for another question to be fully answered from .conf 2012. The question was fairly simple – “The Windows Security Log contains a lot of data. Most of it isn’t relevant to the Splunk App for Active Directory. How do I prevent indexing of data I don’t need?”
There are actually two pieces to this. The first is the removal of event codes within the WinEventLog:Security that are not necessary. The second is the removal of data from within events that are not necessary. We’ll go through each one in turn.