Elastic Stack or ELK Stack as it was formerly known to be, comprises a group of open source products that helps its users to search, analyse and visualize the data collected in any format or from any source. ELK Stack is comprised of three products after which the letters in its acronym are named, namely ElasticSearch, Logstash, Kibana, each of these products have played their own role in the data processing. In 2015, following a user’s request, they added a fourth product to the group, called Beats. The new addition to the group made the potential acronyms look unpronounceable, leading to the group being called Elastic Stack.
Let’s have a look at what these products are designed to do.
ElasticSearch is a RESTful search engine. It is an open-source and java based search engine, designed by and built atop Apache Lucene and is released under their license. It was first introduced in the year 2010. The users use Elastic search, to index, analyse and search the log data.
We already know that ElasticSearch helps the users to search, analyse and index log data. But for that to happen, the data should first enter ElasticSearch. Logstash makes that happen by letting the users collect data from many potential sources. Before forwarding the data to ElasticSearch, it processes and enriches the data with aggregation and mutations. It acts as an ingest data pipeline for ElasticSearch.
Kibana is an open-source data visualization tool that converts the data into understandable patterns, histograms, graphs etc. It helps the users interact with the data by providing a visual interface, making it easier for them to understand complex aspects of the data.
Beats is the most recent addition to the group. These are the data shippers that let the users ship operational data to ElasticSearch either through Logstash or directly, following which the data would be archived or enhanced.
Now that you know what Elastic Stack is made of, Let’s go ahead and find out why you should be using Elastic Stack. Before diving in, did you know that successful companies, like Netflix and LinkedIn, are using Elastic Stack? They do. And the following are the reasons why you should use it too.
No upfront payment needed
Yes, You read it right. One of the important reasons that made Elastic Stack very popular among a vast majority of people is that entry is basically free. You don’t need to make any upfront payments or purchases to use it. Since it is free and open-source, there would be no ongoing software licensing fees.
Logs are one of the most critical data sources. A lot of data would be left to analyse as dozens of servers would be running continuously. ELK can quickly analyse all the unstructured data stored in each log of the web servers and can be helpful in identifying possible opportunities and vulnerabilities. ELK can quickly locate information needed when problematic situations arise. This helps the users to quickly come up with ways to resolve the problem. It also adds metrics to correlate logs which can help us identify the past, present and future trends. DBAs have to log on to multiple machines and search numerous files when any error occurs. When the system’s size is larger it becomes even more of a difficult task. But ELK can make it seem very tiny with its quick troubleshooting experience.
While we are on the topic of logs and logging, Logit.io ELK SaaS provides you with an affordable alternative to building and maintaining your Elastic Stack
With Elastic Stack, the users can search anything from literally anywhere. By doing so Elastic Stack can unify the content platforms thus providing a relevant and highly personalized experience. Elastic Stack allows the users to search across enterprise systems, data silos and offers them a highly personalized and comprehensive search experience.
Multiple Hosting Options
Organizations will have multiple hosting options when it comes down to deploying the ELK Stack. If your organisation has the right capabilities you can install the ELK Stack on local servers and can manage it in-house. You can even choose to deploy your ELK Stack as a managed service by partnering with specialist MSP.
Real-time Data Visualization and analysis
Elastic Stack’s Kibana converts the data into visual representations like graphs, histograms etc in real-time so that the users can understand complex data structures very easily. ElasticSearch helps analyse the data quickly and easily. This real-time analysis and visualization of data can be critical in identifying and resolving problems as well as making organizational decisions.
No matter what the company’s technical infrastructure is, ELK Stack deploys at scale. Let it be SaaS solution, or Private or Public Cloud implementations, or containerized or bare metal, the ELK Stack is equipped to work with any company system and adapt to the growth as the company grows.
As a part of the internal security of the platform, along with field-level security on index encryption and document encryption, the Security Information and Event Management(SIEM) application will collect all the security information across the enterprise. The application provides detailed dashboards that allow us to monitor security operations.
Official Clients in Multiple Programming Languages
Now, Coming back to the question we started with, “Why should you be using Elastic Stack?”. By now, you might have probably found the answer for yourself in this article. Elastic Stack, though is a very compatible toolset for larger companies, it also is very effective for smaller companies too. Its interface is simple and user friendly. It makes things easier for you and troubleshoots the errors and identifies possible opportunities for your business growth.