ELK Kibana Review

Visualization tools are optimized providing us with increased flexibility


What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case is essentially as a visualization of system and application logs as well as metrics, and we have time-based analysis that we like to do as well. We are customers of ELK and I'm an engineer.

What is most valuable?

Some visualization tools are optimized for time series like Kibana, which allows you to do both. We like the flexibility of being able to analyze different types of data.

What needs improvement?

One area that could be improved is security. Being an open source product, if you want to add security, if you want to add authentication, you've got to use a third party plugin that may or may not cost you, or alternatively upgrade to their subscription service, which is a downside as well. I think the types of visualizations are nice, but I think there's room to add more without having to go to third party plugins to do that. Just comparing the total number of visualizations that it provides compared to Grafana, you can see that it's lacking. The UI experience isn't as rich as it is with Grafana or certain other tools.

I would like to see better authentication options, typical authentication options, like active directory and LDAP as well, just a richer UI with more graph type options.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for about a year. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable solution. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't actually scaled it at this point. I think we're essentially using single node clusters and sending them up when we need them, so partly because the team I'm working on is doing more proof of concept work and not supporting a real time project, we don't have a need to scale at this point. We have approximately 30 users in the company. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Because we're using open source, we're not getting technical support, we get whatever we need from the open source community.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. I wasn't involved in the original deployment at this company, but I assume that was also simple.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

We're looking into costs now, and because we're dealing with basically government type programs, there's different pricing, so they're putting a report together for me.

What other advice do I have?

It's important to do your homework with this solution. I think overall it's a fine product, but you really need to assess what your current needs are, what your future needs are, and see if there's any other competing products out there that might be suitable. My interest at this point is not to replace Elasticsearch. My interest is to either replace or supplement what we have with a different visualization tool. 

I'd rate this solution an eight out of 10. There's definitely room for improvement.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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