01 December 2016 Releases

Introducing Elastic Cloud Enterprise - Public Alpha

By Uri Cohen

Sometimes, to understand the future it is important to reflect on the past. That notion holds true as we introduce Elastic Cloud Enterprise.

A few years ago, we knew the demand for a rock-solid hosted Elasticsearch offering would grow. We explored the market and determined the Found team had the best technology and approach available. Today, they are the core team building out Elastic Cloud, the same product all grown up.

Fast-forward 20 months, we have since invested heavily in providing the best Elasticsearch and Kibana service running on AWS, and soon, other public cloud providers. New releases of the Elastic Stack are available in Elastic Cloud on the same day, upgrades are made as simple as possible, commercial extensions (like security, alerting, and monitoring) are readily available, and support comes from those responsible for developing the codebase.As Elastic Cloud adoption increased, many of our users and customers expressed the desire to deploy and manage clusters in their own environments with the same ease that we do in Elastic Cloud.

That day has officially arrived. Say ”Heya” to the public alpha of Elastic Cloud Enterprise.

Whether you are deploying and managing one cluster -- or thousands -- Elastic Cloud Enterprise is our Elastic Cloud product installed on the infrastructure (metal or hosting provider) of your choice.

What is it, really?

Put simply, it is our Elastic Cloud product, hosted and managed by you. Multiple clusters of Elasticsearch, Kibana, and all the features of X-Pack are orchestrated from a single console.

If you need to manage multiple Elastic deployments across teams or geographies, you can leverage Elastic Cloud Enterprise to centralize cluster management for:

  • Provisioning
  • Monitoring
  • Scaling
  • Replication
  • Upgrades
  • Backup and restore

Centralizing the management of clusters with Elastic Cloud Enterprise enforces uniform versioning, data governance, backup, and user policies. Increased hardware utilization through better management can also reduce total cost.

It is worth exploring the architecture in greater detail as some of the things the team have built are not only useful, but also quite inventive.

Who is it for?

Recently, we have had the opportunity to run a series of Elastic{ON} Tour events in cities throughout the world. We always have engineers, support, and others manning an Ask Me Anything (AMA) station throughout the day. This year’s event was no different. In fact, some of the conversations confirmed our vision for this product.

We heard users talk about large deployments and the challenges that go along with operational lifecycle management. Others are fielding high demand for the Elastic STack across their organization and provisioning clusters for various teams and divisions to successfully (and securely) perform monitoring or logging.

Understanding, “who it is for” requires reflection on the benefits that Elastic Cloud Enterprise brings. Easy operational lifecycle management (from provisioning, cluster sizing, upgrades, backups, etc) and tenant isolation is particular valuable for those who manage the Elastic Stack. Optimized hardware utilization is particularly beneficial for the IT Admin (if a unique role). As the ‘user’ of a cluster you get access that is easier, faster to provision (from request to endpoint accessible), and more reliable.

x-as-a-Service

The question often manifests itself like: ‘I want to offer Logging as a Service to my organization” or “What are the design patterns to offer logging internally?”

It is tempting to approach this by deploying hundreds of nodes in a single cluster and attempting to segregate data. Perhaps, the appropriate design pattern is quite different. What if your logging, or search, as a service strategy was to spin up hundreds of small nodes (managed by an orchestration framework) and provide each team in your organization with an endpoint and simple instructions?Elastic Cloud Enterprise enables this in a simple, replicable way.

‘Center of Excellence’

In addition, to these requests we have a staggering amount of customers -- and prospects -- who have determined that investment in the Elastic Stack is a key element to their business success. It powers multiple workloads, across multiple use-cases, for multiple teams. As adoption widens, it is necessary to establish a level of corporate support for these initiatives. Sometimes, this is referred to as the ‘Center of Excellence’ in the company. Using Elastic Cloud Enterprise enables the provisioning, scaling, management, monitoring, etc. across these multiple clusters greatly simplifying the roll-out of the technology across an entire enterprise.

How can I use it?

Today we are announcing the public alpha. We’ve been actively working on this product for quite a period of time, tested with interested customers, and are now opening up to the world to experiment with.A poor user experience is a bug. And your feedback about where the bugs lie, what is missing for your desired workflow, and whether it makes you happy are instrumental in ensuring the product is as complete as possible at the time of GA.

You can obtain the software, and start experimenting, by installing now. After install, you will be prompted to accept a EULA and activate a 30 day trial of the software. If you require more time to evaluate, please contact us at cloud-pioneer@elastic.co.

Anything else?

We’re very excited about this public alpha, and we want to make sure it is as perfect (or as perfect as software gets) before shipping more broadly. Everyone who reports a legitimate bug on the pre-release of the software will be recognized for the wider release, and receive a special Elastic gift package as our thank you. If you find something particularly tricky, you could also earn a free ticket to Elastic{ON}17, coming up next March 7 – 9 in San Francisco.

How to participate

To join the program, just try out the alpha of Elastic Cloud Enterprise, and open issues as you find them in the Elastic Cloud Enterprise forum. While we appreciate the information, duplicate issues won’t enter you into the program.

Note: This is an alpha release and is intended for testing purposes only. There is no guarantee that any of the alpha versions will be compatible with other pre-releases, or the GA. We strongly recommend that you keep this far, far away from production. Things will, in fact, change.