The Elastic stack serves as a powerful centralized platform for collecting and managing unstructured information, turning it into useful assets in the decision-making process. The software can reliably parse data from multiple sources into a scalable centralized database, allowing both historic and real-time analysis. Real-time analysis and visualization decrease the time taken to discover insights, enabling continual monitoring.
The ELK stack with basic features is open source, which makes it a cost-efficient solution for start-ups and established businesses alike.
Use cases of Elastic Stack
There a several use cases for Elastic Stack, and the prominent ones for IT are listed below. One of the most valuable aspects of the Elastic Stack is its ability to enhance the technologies you’re already using!
- System performance monitoring
- Log management and Log Analysis
- Application Performance Monitoring
- Application Data Analysis
- Security Monitoring and Alerting (SIEM)
- Data Visualization
- IoT analytics platform
Regardless of your use case, there are only two methods to deploy and use the Elastic stack, either go for a self managed approach (on premise or in the cloud) or use a managed PaaS service.
The Elastic PaaS Service enables engineering teams to take advantage of Elastic without requiring the expertise and maintenance involved. Using the stack with minimal time and effort may be one of the most obvious benefits of using a fully managed Platform as A Service.
Logging versus Monitoring
Monitoring ensures that an application or your infrastructure remains available and responds to user requests in a performant way. Monitoring encompasses a variety of different techniques and approaches. Depending on which types of monitoring tools you use, and which features you leverage within them, your monitoring strategy could include processes such as network monitoring, synthetic monitoring, real user monitoring, distributed tracing, database monitoring, server monitoring…
Logging and monitoring are closely related because log data is one of the critical data sources available to you for performing application monitoring. While logs are not the only source of valuable application metrics for your monitoring tools (you can also leverage data like stack traces), logs created by applications, servers, network infrastructure, and more offer detailed windows into the ways in which an application is performing. You can use separate tools but having logging and monitoring in a single platform makes troubleshooting critical issues much faster and much simpler.
Without effective logging, you can’t do monitoring efficiently. But the sole purpose of logging isn’t to support performance monitoring. Without properly managed logs that make data from across an environment available to monitoring tools, you’ll lack a critical resource of data for monitoring. And without monitoring you will not be able to make sense of log data, nor will you be able to troubleshoot problems and prevent these from happening.
All systems and applications produce logs. Organizations that monitor and analyze logs on a continual basis can proactively ensure their systems and applications are performant during peak usage. When implemented effectively, log analysis can help prevent disruptions, optimize operational performance, minimize security vulnerabilities, ensure regulatory compliance, reduce required user support, better understand customer usage, and improve the bottom line.
The cost of managing the ELK stack yourself
Many companies run their own ELK stacks, but do they have the resources to dedicate whole teams to manage ELK? The cost of Doing It Yourself always boils down to time, money and expertise.
While the open-source Elastic stack toolkit is free, it requires infrastructure and resources to build, grow, and maintain. To run an ELK stack that meets acceptable SLAs in a production environment, you need to consider infrastructure, initial build, and ongoing operations costs.
Building a production-ready solution means your team needs to:
- Configure the stack to ingest and parse logs
- Build a resilient data pipeline
- Handle mapping exceptions to prevent logs dropping
- Ensure log data consistency
- Maintaining your infrastructure and plan capacity needed
- Reindex outdated indices
- Data retention and archiving
- Monitor cluster health and respond to failures
- Handle software upgrades
Over time the cost of hosting, customizing, scaling, and maintaining this increasingly complex infrastructure skyrockets, while the strain on your engineering team grows. That’s why many organizations are turning to an ELK Platform as A Service.
ELASTIC AS A SERVICE
Service Integrators offers a fully managed Elastic Stack for your specific use case, where the only thing you need to do is ship data, leaving nothing for you to “manage” because we do it for you.
This offers you an alternative to building and maintaining your own Elastic Stack and it will free up your staff to support your business operations.