The average American company manages approximately 162.9 TB of data. This is a lot to manage, especially when this data isn’t integrated, but luckily new technologies make it easier than ever before. The ELK stack is one of the most remarkable developments in data/logging management and analysis that your business should be taking advantage of to streamline its processes.
However, there are a plethora of ELK stack challenges that you will need to know before integrating. Read on to learn what some of these challenges are to be prepared for anything that your system throws your way.
Misunderstanding ELK’s Function
One of the biggest reasons organizations struggle with ELK software is that they are unsure of what it is supposed to do.
In the most basic terms, the ELK stack is a solution that centralizes logging, analyzes logs, and monitors your system use and output. This allows you to monitor your applications and system IT structure by giving users a powerful, robust platform that collects and processes data. It takes information from all data sources and stores them in one location to make your organization more scalable when data grows.
The software is open-source, but many people struggle because they expect it to function in the same way that their outdated closed-source software did. Users can copy, delete, and modify parts of their source code without consequences rather than needing professional changes. When another knowledgeable authorized user does this, those unaware of the open vs. closed source distinction may be concerned about legal repercussions.
People also don’t realize that the ELK stack’s development relies on the mass collaboration common for open-source software. They expect the software creators to fix issues and make updates and therefore let the software become outdated. They do not expect an active community and thus face challenges with slow-moving logging and system monitoring.
Trouble With Installation and Integration
When initially setting up ELK stack logging solutions, users often face challenges involving setup. They struggle to integrate it with their pre-existing data storage and monitoring solutions, which is problematic since that is precisely what the ELK stack is meant to do.
You will need a platform that allows for systems to be integrated more easily. Multiple log agents and standardized protocols can be put together and deployed so that you can make the most of your existing investments. Additionally, the right integration technology can make your ELK stack logging function across multiple platforms, machines, and systems.
Optimization and Performance
Maintaining high-performance levels can also be difficult for ELK stack users, but it isn’t impossible when you optimize your ELK stack for your specific environment. As your infrastructure grows, this is even more essential.
You can do this by assigning optimal memory research for your ELK stack. This means removing unused indices and data logging software. It also means tuning shard size and shard recovery while continuing to monitor how well it is doing. The ultimate goal should be to speed up your logging and make it more accurate and more accessible.
Constant Updates and Upgrades
ELK software updates frequently to add new features. This is common for an open-source project of this magnitude, but most users struggle to keep up with the changes as they occur.
One of the biggest reasons this is such a challenge is that users aren’t notified when their software updates and therefore are surprised with the new need to figure out these alterations after they occur. Apica will alert you as to when these upgrades happen so that you aren’t caught by surprise. It also will provide you with application monitoring so that you can watch changes take place in real-time.
If you are currently struggling with new updates, here are some of the most recent ones that you may need to know about:
- Elasticsearch, which involves a real memory circuit breaker and more scalable/resilient cluster coordination
- Logstash, a replacement for the old Ruby execution engine, that boosts performance, memory, and speed, and
- Beats, which comes with a new Elastic Common Schema (and sets a new standard for field formatting)
Because the ELK stack is open-source software, you must invest in security measures to prevent unauthorized users from accessing your logs. These logs are generally not only private and sensitive but also are critical to daily business operations.
While the quality of open-source software is continually improving, it also has a multitude of defects. Experts who ran about 750 million lines of open source code identified 1.1 million defects within the software, so there is a lot that needs to be patched up. Considering that it isn’t maintained by professionals but rather by collaborative users, this makes sense.
Therefore, you must manage security patching around nodes effectively and allow for no vulnerabilities in your application code. Apica can help you with this, but we recommend that you also consult with a separate outsourced IT professional to ensure that your system is secure. These people can run tests and ensure that the system is impenetrable by hackers and malware.
Troubleshoot ELK Stack Challenges Today
While there are some common ELK stack challenges you’ll need to overcome to reap the many benefits of logging centralization, it’s easy to manage these issues when you are prepared for them. Purchase a Apica plan today to begin collecting, monitoring, analyzing, and retaining all of your Cloud infrastructure data. If you have any lingering questions that you’d like to ask before making this investment, you also can contact us via phone or social media. We hope to have the opportunity to help you streamline your business operations, so we look forward to you reaching out.