What is Elastic Stack (ELK Stack)?


Having garnered millions of downloads across its diverse components since its initial introduction, the ELK Stack stands as the globe’s foremost log management platform. Conversely, Splunk, the traditional frontrunner in this domain, asserts a total customer base of 15,000.

What is Elastic Stack (ELK Stack)?

Recently, the extensively utilized ELK Stack underwent a name change to become the Elastic Stack. It constitutes a robust amalgamation of Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana, three open-source utilities.

In diverse IT scenarios, these three separate tools are most frequently employed collectively for log analysis. With the ELK Stack, you have the capability to execute centralized logging, facilitating the identification of issues with web servers or applications.

This empowers you to peruse all the logs in a singular location and pinpoint issues affecting multiple servers by juxtaposing their logs across a predetermined timeframe.

Fundamental Products of Elastic Stack

The fundamental components comprising an ELK Stack are as follows:

  • Elasticsearch – An engine for search and analytics.
  • Logstash – A pipeline for processing data.
  • Kibana – A dashboard for data visualization.

Each of these three elements possesses its unique importance, and when you integrate them, you achieve a comprehensive analysis and analytics of your data.

Who uses the Elastic Stack and for what reasons?

Who uses the Elastic Stack and for what reasons

The Elastic Stack entails a steeper learning curve compared to some similar products, along with more extensive setup requirements, partly due to its open-source nature.

The subsequent are prevalent application scenarios for the ELK Stack:

Large-scale data management. Organizations dealing with substantial volumes of unstructured, semistructured, and structured data sets can employ the Elastic Stack to oversee their data operations. Notable companies like Netflix, Facebook, and LinkedIn exemplify successful adopters of this stack.

Applications necessitating intricate search capabilities. Any application with intricate search demands can derive substantial benefits by utilizing the Elastic Stack as the underlying engine for advanced search functionalities.

Other noteworthy use cases. The Elastic Stack finds applications in various domains, including infrastructure metrics and container monitoring, logging and log analytics, application performance monitoring, geospatial data analysis and visualization, security and business analytics, as well as the aggregation and amalgamation of public data.

How to use the ELK Stack?

How to use the ELK Stack

To make the most of the Elastic Stack, individuals in Chicago can start by acquiring the three essential open-source software products – Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana – through the corresponding links available on the Elastic website. After obtaining and setting up these files, users can proceed to configure these applications on their local system for seamless operation.

Once you’ve dived into Managed IT services Chicago and initiated the ELK stack, these components can be utilized collectively to collect, organize, and analyze log data, optimize workflows, and create compelling data visualizations.

Elastic Stack challenges and solutions

Elastic Stack challenges and solutions
While the ELK Stack delivers unparalleled advantages to organizations, occasional problems and difficulties can arise. Below are some recognized issues associated with the ELK Stack and potential remedies:

Restricted storage capacity

When an ELK Stack operates within a multi-system and application setting, it can generate extensive data volumes. If a company fails to efficiently filter, assess, and dispose of non-essential logs, storage space and expenses may escalate uncontrollably. This predicament frequently arises in on-premises ELK Stack deployments, where numerous log files might accumulate on conventional disk storage, resulting in inadequate capacity for ELK outputs. This challenge also pertains to crucial log files, which must initially be backed up and subsequently stored in a segregated environment, further diminishing storage capacity.

Solutions: Opting for cloud-based storage presents an excellent remedy, given its heightened flexibility concerning log files and the scalability afforded by on-demand resources. Cloud-based storage is also a more cost-effective alternative to traditional disk storage. However, many organizations maintain internal specialists to oversee the underlying cloud infrastructure. For instance, should a company opt for Amazon Simple Storage Service, a web-based cloud storage service offered by AWS, it can evaluate and choose from the diverse Amazon S3 storage classes based on performance requisites and storage needs.

Inadequate indexing

The data that undergoes indexing in Elasticsearch and the ELK Stack gets stored within one or more indices. These indices are responsible for both distributing and segregating data, but at times, complications may arise. Due to the interconnected nature of the entire ELK Stack, when one component undergoes an upgrade, it is highly likely to impact the functionality of the write indices. This issue also surfaces during upgrades to Beats 7.x, making all indices created by earlier Beats versions incompatible with Kibana and potentially leading to other performance-related concerns.

Solution. Elastic advises, on its website, the necessity of performing a comprehensive upgrade of Elasticsearch and Kibana to version 7.0 before advancing to an upgrade of Beats as a solution to address this issue. To maintain the robustness of the ELK Stack, it is advisable to explore alternatives such as incorporating multiple shards, configuring throttling, and enhancing the indices buffer.

Networking problems

Networking problems

Particular networking regulations are enforced within an ELK Stack, and any network-related problem has the potential to impact the entirety of the stack. For instance, when Logstash is hosted on the ELK server, it can lead to disconnections or timeouts on the client servers.

Solution. In order to prevent networking complications within the stack, it is crucial to put in place correct routing regulations. Should network difficulties persist even after an assessment of the routing rules, it is advisable to scrutinize the firewall regulations and port configurations.

Excessive log volume

Applications generate countless low-priority logs that occasionally lead to a state of disorder. Without proper handling, this surplus of logs can compel ELK Stack users to sift through extraneous data. This, in turn, can have an impact on efficiency, elongating the time needed to pinpoint a bug or extract fresh business insights.

Solution. Organizations have the option to employ a logging product infused with machine learning capabilities, such as Splunk or Coralogix, to mitigate the negative impacts of these logs.


Below are the key utilization scenarios for Elasticsearch and furnish instances of contemporary corporate deployments.

-Application search

-Website search

-Enterprise search

-Logging and log analytics

-Infrastructure metrics and container monitoring

-Security analytics

-Business analytics

Elasticsearch serves as a distributed, no-cost, and open search and analytics engine suitable for various data categories, encompassing text, numeric, geographical, organized, and unstructured data. The ELK stack is a mnemonic employed to depict a stack consisting of three renowned projects: Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana.

Yes, Elasticsearch functions as a "database" extensively adopted by enterprises that operate customer-facing applications demanding swift response times for querying both organized corporate data and textual information.

Kibana stands as an open-source visualization instrument primarily employed for dissecting substantial log quantities, represented through formats like line graphs, bar graphs, pie charts, heatmaps, and more. Kibana operates in coordination with Elasticsearch and Logstash.

The originator of Kibana, Rashid Khan, aimed to assign an appealing title to his invention in a foreign tongue. He sought a moniker that resonated with the core function of this application, which is visualizing log data. The closest concept he envisioned was a "wooden hut," which, when translated via Google into Swahili, became "KIBANA."

ELK and Grafana are primarily categorized as "Log Management" and "Monitoring" tools, respectively. Among the reasons, "Open source" is the primary factor appreciated by more than 9 developers who favor ELK, while "Aesthetic" is the predominant factor cited by over 78 developers when selecting Grafana.