During our monthly Technight, we had Loek van Gool presenting about the Elastic Stack(Elk Stack).
Loek is a Solution Architect BeNeLux at Elastic, the company behind Elasticsearch and related products, PKA as the "ELK Stack". Elastic is a dutch company, formed in Amsterdam in 2012. Their goal, was to solve data problems with user friendly product.
The first product, look showed us, was Elasticsearch. So what is Elasticsearch? Elasticsearch is a distributed, RESTful search and analytics engine capable of solving a growing number of use cases. As the heart of the Elastic Stack, it centrally stores your data so you can discover the expected and uncover the unexpected.(source: https://www.elastic.co/products/elasticsearch)
But what does that mean? Loek described this product as a NoSql database, build on Lucene. Lucene is a text search engine library written entirely in Java.
Why Elasticsearch? Loek demonstrated how simple it is, to do CRUD operation by the RESTful API. This is done with JSON, which is really powerful and allot of fun. The benefit of accessing the data from Elasticsearch by JSON, is that you don't have to write any other stuff (access components, etc) to acces your data. You do have to learn the syntax of Elasticsearch. Other great benefit of Elasticsearch, is that it is really fast. So Loek demonstrated some examples, which were cool and inspiring.
But when we have all the data stored in Elasticsearch, we can present it in Kibana. Kibana is a product to show the data from Elasticsearch in really cool graphs. Checkout https://www.elastic.co/products/kibana. Loek demonstrated a few examples of Kibana and it really look beautiful. It remained unclear, how easily it is to implement Kibana and we should dive into this product to see the pros and cons. Personally, i was enthusiastic, but i need to see how easy or difficult it is to implement it for customers.
After Elasticsearch and Kibana, Loek introduced us to the X-Pack product of the ELK-stack. He showed us the reporting, monitoring, graphs and machine learning. These features of X-Pack are really cool and very extendable. X-pack is a commercial product of Elastic, because they need to make money to work on the other products, which is logical. The benefit of X-Pack is that it is really easy to use and install, so if we use the other products for free we can install X-Pack later when we need it and uninstall if we don't need it anymore.
Elasticsearch, Kibana and X-pack are really cool products and Loek showed us what we can do with it. It is to our imagination to create cool products for our customers. The ELK-stack made a great impression and i would like to be involved with it, so the TechNight was a succes.
Thank you for reading, if you would like to know more what Loek van Gool is doing checkout twitter or his linkedin profile.