AWS Elasticsearch Service Comparison: Amazon and Elastic

When it comes to hosted Elasticsearch Service on AWS, not all offerings are created equal. There’s the fully loaded one from us, Elastic, the company behind Elasticsearch, Kibana, Beats, and Logstash. And there are others like Amazon Elasticsearch Service. Are they the same? Nope.

There are differences in features, flexibility, support, and deployment options. The Elasticsearch Service from Elastic and the offering from Amazon are not the same. We'll explain why.

Don't need further clarification? Lovely. Try it out. 14 days. No credit card required.

NewWe've made it easier to deploy a hot-warm architecture for logging use cases with index curation. Read More

The Feature Gap: We Give You the Capability

From Elasticsearch SQL to Kibana spaces, our entire focus is on building products and features that our users care about. Users notice our Elasticsearch Service on AWS has many features that Amazon does not and cannot provide.

And the gap for these features will continue to widen — noticeably. This is just a sampling of features our Elasticsearch Service on AWS gives you that Amazon's doesn't. View the full list below.

Machine Learning

Automatically detect anomalies in your data with unsupervised machine learning in real time.

Machine Learning

Automatically detect anomalies in your data with unsupervised machine learning in real time.

Integrated Security

TLS encryption, encryption at rest, role-based access control (RBAC), and field- and document-level security. It's all there.


(Free) Create live pixel‑perfect infographic‑style presentations of your Elasticsearch data.

Infrastructure & Logs UIs

(Free) Curated experiences for tailing log files and monitoring infra like containers, pods, and services.

Hot-Warm & Index Curation

(Free) Define how long indices are kept on hot data nodes before automatically moving to warm nodes.

Data Rollups

(Free) Save on space (and costs) by summarizing data into coarser time buckets as it ages for metrics use cases.

Elasticsearch SQL

(Free) Feel more comfortable with SQL? No problem. Use the syntax you're familiar with to query Elasticsearch.

Kibana Spaces

(Free) Organize Kibana dashboards and visualizations into separate spaces, and secure access using RBAC.


Get alerts and notifications about changes in your Elasticsearch data.

And the list keeps going. View the full comparison below.

The Operations Gap: We Give You the Flexibility

Our Elasticsearch Service on Elastic Cloud is the only offering that allows users to deploy custom topologies for solving different use cases. This includes hot-warm architecture with index curation for logging and time series projects, and other templates optimized for I/O, compute, and memory.

All a user has to do is simply click and drag on a slider bar and all the cluster provisioning and optimized hardware-matching magic unfolds behind the scenes. (Watch this five-minute video.)

The Knowledge Gap: We’ve Got the Experts

There is no compression algorithm for experience or expertise. We are the creators and maintainers of Elasticsearch, Kibana, Beats, and Logstash and we’ve been running our hosted Elasticsearch Service (previously known as Found) since 2012.

Amazon introduced their AWS Elasticsearch Service offering in 2015. Amazon, of course, has been offering services via AWS since 2006, but in the context of managing and supporting hosted Elasticsearch, our team has a few years head start.

No one knows the Elastic Stack better than we do. And no one hosts and manages it better than we do.

The Deployment Gap: We Give You Options

We strive to be where our users are — or might want to be. If that's AWS, we're there. If that’s Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Alibaba, or Azure, we're there, too.

If you want to migrate self-managed workloads to a public cloud, we've made that possible. Or if you want to take our Elastic Cloud and run it on prem or in a hybrid environment, check out ECE.

And if you'd like to operationalize or scale a search project, Elastic Cloud is our family of SaaS offerings which also includes our Site Search Service and App Search Service.

None of these options are available through Amazon Elasticsearch Service.

There Can Is Only Be One

And we are it. Try it out for free for 14 days. No credit card required.

Launch Free Trial

AWS Elasticsearch Service: Amazon vs. Elastic

This table is updated periodically. It was last updated on April 9, 2019.

Amazon Elasticsearch Service Elasticsearch Service on Elastic Cloud
Elastic Stack FeaturesSomeAll
Features formerly known as X‑Pack No Yes
Security, Alerting, Monitoring, Graph, Reporting, Machine Learning
Canvas No Yes (Canvas docs)
Kibana Spaces No Yes (Spaces docs)
Localized Kibana (Chinese) No Yes (Localization docs)
Elastic Maps No Yes (Maps docs)
Elasticsearch SQL Support No Yes (SQL docs)
Data Rollups (API & UI) No Yes (Rollup docs)
Centralized management for Beats & Logstash No Yes (Logstash docs)
Elastic APM with Distributed Tracing No Yes (APM docs)
Elastic Uptime No Yes (Uptime docs)
Frozen Indices No Yes (Frozen indices docs)
Security Only perimeter-level security and standard IAM policies
  • Transport encryption
  • Authentication
  • Role-based access control
  • Attribute-based access control
  • Field- and document-level security
  • Encryption at rest

(Security docs)

Alerting Need to build and manage your own system to create alerting workflows. This depends on Amazon Cloudwatch, which comes with predefined, simple metrics. If you want something more sophisticated or related to your data, you'll need to build custom metrics and alerts.
  • Allows you to create scheduled queries, conditions, and actions on your data in Elasticsearch.
  • UI to create, manage, and take actions on alerts.

(Alerting docs)

Machine Learning Need to build and manage your own models created using additional AWS services or third-party services.

Fully integrated and specifically designed for Elasticsearch and Kibana.

  • Unsupervised, automated anomaly detection
  • On-demand forecasting
  • API-driven with easy-to-use UI for selecting data features

(Machine learning docs)

Monitoring Depends on Amazon Cloudwatch, that covers a few metrics including cluster state, node information, etc.

Feature-rich and complete monitoring product specifically designed for Elasticsearch and Kibana.

  • Captures a wider range of metrics including search/index rate and latency, garbage collection count and duration, thread pool bulk rejection/queue, Lucene memory breakdown, and more with 10-second data granularity to ensure that clusters are running healthy.
  • Robust tools to diagnose, troubleshoot, and keep your cluster healthy including automatic alerts on cluster issues.

(Monitoring docs)

Graph No Yes (Graph docs)
Reporting No Yes (Reporting docs)
Custom Plugin Support Not supported Supported
Java Transport Client Not supported Supported
Operational FeaturesSomeAll
Current Version 6.5 7.0
Dedicated VPC Support Yes Yes
Secure Peering Connection Yes Yes
Same Day Elastic Stack Version Release No Yes
In-Place Upgrades Yes Yes
Upgrade Assistant UI and APIs No Yes
Hot-Warm deployment template, with index curation No Yes
Default Snapshots 1 time per day Configurable Policy
Defaults to 48 times per day
Every 30 minutes
Stored for 48 hours
_source only snapshot also available
Instant Rollout of Security Patches No Yes
Cross Zone Replication Support for up to 3 availability zones Support for up to 3 availability zones
Uptime SLA No


99.95% cluster uptime in a given month as long as the cluster is deployed across 2 or more zones

Elastic Maps Service (geo-visualizations in Kibana) Does not work out of the box Yes
SOC 2 Compliance No Yes
Elastic Technical Support No Yes
SLA-Based Support General level support, not specific to AWS Elasticsearch Service Yes