Otherwise known as Elastic Stack, the ELK Stack is the open source stack comprised of the solid combo of ElasticSearch, LogStash, and Kibana. As far as log management goes, ELK stack sets the standard – and a pretty high one at that. When you’ve got names like Facebook, Cisco, and Netflix using ELK Stack for various functionality within your business, you know that it’s a reliable tech bundle.
ElasticSearch is a fast, scalable search engine functionality that can perform all forms of searches – simple, fuzzy, and aggregate. It was designed for enterprise search. It’s currently the most popular search engine on the planet and offers a NoSQL database accessible via a REST API that retrieves JSON objects. The architecture itself is built on Lucene.
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LogStash is a technology used to collect and process data in a central processor, normalizing data along the way, all in real time. LogStash is a scalable pipeline that allows for huge numbers of different inputs, outputs, and filters to be combined in one. Data such as web logs, application logs, system logs, networking logs, etc. were the basis of LogStash, but it’s become so much more than that.
LogStash can welcome data from HTTP requests, web services, and applications, databases, messaging queues, and sensor and IoT data. This data can easily be transformed at ingestion time (or thereafter) in near real time.
Kibana makes all your data, transformations, and search results easily viewable to the human eye. This GUI can include use of bar charts, maps, histograms, and plots. You are also able to add complex mathematical transformations and section data within the tool.
On their own, each one of these three technologies are a powerful tool that can be used as an integral part of an enterprise stack. Combined, they give an all in one system for data storage, retrieval, sorting, and analyzing. While there are all in one alternatives out there, they can be quite costly. Each component of the ELK stack is open source, making your cost only in the manpower required to set up and manage.
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It’s fairly easy to set up ELK in house, however running and management have the tendency to become tedious when scaling rapidly or continually adding a large number of users, scenarios, or use cases to your configuration. You do have the option to choose providers of ELK as a Service, or a managed on premise ELK configuration – however these will come with an associated cost.
Logs are full of data that can be analyzed to make better decisions in the future as well as right now. By using LogStash with ElasticSearch and Kibana you can quickly, effectively trawl your logs for data to inform decisions. The bonus of using this stack is that it’s not just for logs either.
For more information on ElasticSearch, LogStash, Kibana, or the full ELK stack visit elastic.co. With each technology now all under the one roof it provides your best resource to get started with ELK.
Everything you need to know about outsourcing technology development
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