Elastic Brings Observability Platform to Kubernetes

Elastic N.V. announced this week that Elastic Cloud, a subscription instance of an observability platform based on the open source Elasticsearch engine, is generally available on Kubernetes.

Anurag Gupta, principal product manager for Elastic Cloud, deploying Elastic Cloud for Kubernetes (ECK) eliminates the need to invoke an instance of the platform running outside their Kubernetes environment.

Elastic has been working on ECK since last May. ECK provides DevOps teams access to logs, metrics and application performance management (APM) capabilities along with security information event management (SIEM), machine learning and lifecycle management tools. As part of this effort, Elastic is making available a free-forever Basic tier instance of ECK.

In addition, Elastic has made available Docker images for both Elasticsearch and Kibana, an open source visualization tool, as well as Operators and Elastic Helm Charts to make it easier to deploy, manage and update instances of Elasticsearch running on Kubernetes. ECK is designed to be deployed on Kubernetes clusters using a single one-line-of-code command.

Collectively, Elasticsearch and Kibana along with tools such a Beats and Logstash make up an open source Elastic Stack (ELK) that has gained traction as a method to provide observability within organizations that have adopted best DevOps practices. ELK enables DevOps teams to capture data from any type of source regardless of format and search, analyze and visualize that data in real-time.

While ELK has been available for some time, the platform is gaining traction in the microservices era. Given all the dependencies that exist between microservices, Gupta notes DevOps teams need a platform that enables them to troubleshoot issues in real-time. With microservices increasingly being built and deployed using containers running on Kubernetes clusters, Gupta says interest in employing ECK is rising.

Next up, Gupta says Elastic will integrate ECK with the open source Prometheus monitoring tool being developed under the auspices of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), in addition to being able to consume data generated by open source OpenTelemetry software, a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) and libraries for building agent software. Elastic is also committing to building a dedicated user interface for ECK and adding richer APIs and autoscaling capabilities.

As a set of open source tools, ELK appeals to DevOps teams that want to be able to access a rich set of tools without having to get anyone from the purchasing department involved. How many organizations will extend that interest to include a subscription license remains to be seen. Once they achieve any level of dependency on open source software, most organizations look for a vendor to support and curate the platform.

Regardless of the observability platform selected, IT organizations that embrace microservices running on Kubernetes will require some way to understand what is happening while they can still do something about it. In fact, without that level of observability, embracing best DevOps practices is all but impossible.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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