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Splunk vs Splunk Cloud: What are the differences?

Developers describe Splunk as "Search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine data". Splunk Inc. provides the leading platform for Operational Intelligence. Customers use Splunk to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine data. On the other hand, Splunk Cloud is detailed as "Easy and fast way to analyze valuable machine data with the convenience of software as a service (SaaS)". If you're looking for all the benefits of Splunk® Enterprise with all the benefits of software-as-a-service, then look no further. Splunk Cloud is backed by a 100% uptime SLA, scales to over 10TB/day, and offers a highly secure environment.

Splunk and Splunk Cloud can be categorized as "Log Management" tools.

According to the StackShare community, Splunk has a broader approval, being mentioned in 31 company stacks & 29 developers stacks; compared to Splunk Cloud, which is listed in 10 company stacks and 5 developer stacks.

Advice on Splunk and Splunk Cloud
Jigar Shah
Security Software Engineer at Pinterest · | 8 upvotes · 98.2K views

We would like to detect unusual config changes that can potentially cause production outage.

Such as, SecurityGroup new allow/deny rule, AuthZ policy change, Secret key/certificate rotation, IP subnet add/drop. The problem is the source of all of these activities is different, i.e., AWS IAM, Amazon EC2, internal prod services, envoy sidecar, etc.

Which of the technology would be best suitable to detect only IMP events (not all activity) from various sources all workload running on AWS and also Splunk Cloud?

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Replies (5)
Nati Abebe
AWS ConfigAWS Config

For continuous monitoring and detecting unusual configuration changes, I would suggest you look into AWS Config.

AWS Config enables you to assess, audit, and evaluate the configurations of your AWS resources. Config continuously monitors and records your AWS resource configurations and allows you to automate the evaluation of recorded configurations against desired configurations. Here is a list of supported AWS resources types and resource relationships with AWS Config

Also as of Nov, 2019 - AWS Config launches support for third-party resources. You can now publish the configuration of third-party resources, such as GitHub repositories, Microsoft Active Directory resources, or any on-premises server into AWS Config using the new API. Here is more detail:

If you have multiple AWS Account in your organization and want to detect changes there:

Lastly, if you already use Splunk Cloud in your enterprise and are looking for a consolidated view then, AWS Config is supported by Splunk Cloud as per their documentation too.

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Isaac Povey
Casual Software Engineer at Skedulo · | 6 upvotes · 62.4K views

While it won't detect events as they happen a good stop gap would be to define your infrastructure config using terraform. You can then periodically run the terraform config against your environment and alert if there are any changes.

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Matthew Rothstein
Security MonkeySecurity Monkey

Consider using a combination of Netflix Security Monkey and AWS Guard Duty.

You can achieve automated detection and alerting, as well as automated recovery based on policies with these tools.

For instance, you could detect SecurityGroup rule changes that allow unrestricted egress from EC2 instances and then revert those changes automatically.

It's unclear from your post whether you want to detect events within the Splunk Cloud infrastructure or if you want to detect events indicated in data going to Splunk using the Splunk capabilities. If the latter, then Splunk has extremely rich capabilities in their query language and integrated alerting functions. With Splunk you can also run arbitrary Python scripts in response to certain events, so what you can't analyze and alert on with native functionality or plugins, you could write code to achieve.

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Vijayanand Narayanasharma
DevOps/TechOps Consultant at Qantas Loyalty · | 3 upvotes · 53.6K views
AWS CloudTrailAWS CloudTrail

Well there are clear advantages of using either tools, it all boils down to what exactly are you trying to achieve with this i.e do you want to proactive monitoring or do you want debug an incident/issue. Splunk definitely is superior in terms of proactively monitoring your logs for unusal events, but getting the cloudtrail logs across to splunk would require some not so straight forward setup (Splunk has a blueprint for this setup which uses AWS kinesis/Firehose). Cloudtrail on the other had is available out of the box from AWS, the setup is quite simple and straight forward. But analysing the log could require you setup Glue crawlers and you might have to use AWS Athena to run SQL Like query.


In my personal experience the cost/effort involved in setting up splunk is not worth it for smaller workloads, whereas the AWS Cloudtrail/Glue/Athena would be less expensive setup(comparatively).

Alternatively you could look at something like sumologic, which has better integration with cloudtrail as opposed to splunk. Hope that helps.

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AWS CloudTrailAWS CloudTrail

I'd recommend using CloudTrail, it helped me a lot. But depending on your situation I'd recommed building a custom solution(like aws amazon-ssm-agent) which on configuration change makes an API call and logs them in grafana or kibana.

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Pros of Splunk
Pros of Splunk Cloud
  • 2
    Ability to style search results into reports
  • 2
    Alert system based on custom query results
  • 2
    API for searching logs, running reports
  • 2
    Query engine supports joining, aggregation, stats, etc
  • 1
    Query any log as key-value pairs
  • 1
    Splunk language supports string, date manip, math, etc
  • 1
    Granular scheduling and time window support
  • 1
    Custom log parsing as well as automatic parsing
  • 1
    Dashboarding on any log contents
  • 1
    Rich GUI for searching live logs
  • 7
    More powerful & Integrates with on-prem & off-prem
  • 3
  • 3
    Powerful log analytics
  • 1
    Pci compliance
  • 1
    Production debugger

Sign up to add or upvote prosMake informed product decisions

Cons of Splunk
Cons of Splunk Cloud
  • 1
    Splunk query language rich so lots to learn
    Be the first to leave a con

    Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

    What is Splunk?

    It provides the leading platform for Operational Intelligence. Customers use it to search, monitor, analyze and visualize machine data.

    What is Splunk Cloud?

    If you're looking for all the benefits of Splunk® Enterprise with all the benefits of software-as-a-service, then look no further. Splunk Cloud is backed by a 100% uptime SLA, scales to over 10TB/day, and offers a highly secure environment.

    Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

    Jobs that mention Splunk and Splunk Cloud as a desired skillset
    United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland England Feltham
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    What tools integrate with Splunk?
    What tools integrate with Splunk Cloud?

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    What are some alternatives to Splunk and Splunk Cloud?
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