What is P90 in Splunk?

P90, also referred to as the 90th percentile, is a frequently used measurement in data analysis & it’s used to understand the way a set of information is distributed. Moreover, in Splunk, P90 is utilized to measure application performance, system performance, or network performance. Furthermore, it’s a critical metric for understanding and evaluating the performance of the systems.

Definition of P90 in Splunk

P90 is the value at which 90% of the information falls below that value & 10% of the information falls above that value. Therefore, 90% of the time, the information falls below this value, & 10% of the time, the data is above this value. With this, you can use it when evaluating systems or applications performance, as it offers a method to know the upper limit of what needs to be considered as normal performance, and every value that falls above this limit can signify a problem.

Measuring P90 in Splunk

To measure P90 in Splunk, you’ll be required to utilize a Splunk search query to get the important details. This query is as simple as choosing a certain log file or as difficult as utilizing a combination of filters and fields to retrieve certain data. Once the details have been retrieved, one can utilize the SPL command “percentile” to get the P90 value.

For instance, if you need to calculate the P90 for the response time of a web app, you need to run the Splunk search query below.

index=”web-access” | stats percentiles(response_time) as p90

This above query will retrieve every log entry from the “web-access” index & calculate the P90 for the response time of the web app.

How to Calculate P90 in Splunk

Calculating P90 in Splunk involves several steps

  1. Collect Data: Ensure that you have access to the data you want to analyze.
  2. Sort Data: Arrange the data in ascending order.
  3. Calculate the Index: Determine the index where the P90 value resides. This is done using the formula (P / 100) * N, where P is the desired percentile (90 in this case), and N is the total number of data points.
  4. Determine the Value: Locate the value at the index calculated in the previous step.
  5. P90 Value: The value you find at the calculated index is the P90 value.

Importance of P90 Important

P90 is a significant measurement in Splunk the reason being it offers a method of understanding the way a system or an application performs over time. Furthermore, it also helps one in identifying patterns and trends in your detail. Furthermore, it can also be utilized to detect plus troubleshoot problems with your systems.

For instance, if you have a system that normally performs within a particular P90 value, but abruptly begins to perform out of that value, this signifies that there is an issue with the system and it needs to be addressed. These details can be critical in avoiding downtime and solving performance issues.


P90 concerning Different Performance Metrics

P90 is normally utilized in conjunction with different performance metrics like an average response time, minimum response time, and maximum response time. Together, these metrics offer a comprehensive view of the way an application or system is performing and assist in identifying places that need improvement.

For instance, if the average response time of a web app is low, but the value of P90 is high, this shows that the majority of the requests are handled fast, but a small number of the requests are taking longer to complete. In this case, resolving and identifying the root cause of these slow requests might improve the general performance of a web application.


P90 is a significant measurement in Splunk offering a method to understand the way an application or system is performing over time. It also helps in identifying the areas for improvement. Through measuring P90, one can identify patterns plus trends in their data and detect plus troubleshoot the problems with your systems. This helps to prevent downtime and guarantee optimal performance.

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