Automatically delete old data in Splunk

I’ve had Splunk humming along for about two years now. I’ve already increased the storage space for my Splunk VM once. Today I received a notice that I’ve once again run out of space and indexing had been suspended. I wanted a more permanent solution to this problem, so I consulted the almighty Google.

The solution to my problem is to set a retirement policy. This allows Splunk to automatically delete old data when you hit a certain index size. You can also go by time, but I opted for size. It’s a pretty simple configuration change. Simply edit (or create if it doesn’t exist) $SPLUNK_HOME/etc/system/local/index.conf and add two lines

sudo vim /opt/splunk/etc/system/local/indexes.conf
[main]
maxTotalDataSizeMB = 50000

Then, restart your Splunk instance (the command below is Debian/Ubuntu specific)

sudo service splunk restart

The configuration above tells Splunk to keep at most 50GB of data. When that limit is reached, it begins deleting the oldest log files. No more out of space errors!

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