Getting Started

Sign Up for a Trial and Get Hosted Elasticsearch!

This tutorial walks you through the steps for signing up for a trial and getting started with Elastic Cloud.

What is Included in the Trial?

The 14-day free trial includes a cluster with up to 4 GB memory, 96 GB storage, and high availability (HA) across two zones. How many documents is that? As many as you can fit.

You can use any of the official plugins that are provided in the Elastic Cloud Console, along with X-Pack’s security and monitoring features, and more. We also provide access to several Elasticsearch dashboards that are hosted directly on Elastic Cloud, including Kibana.

How to Sign Up

To sign up, all you need is an email address:

  1. Got to our Elastic Cloud Trial page.
  2. Enter your email address and click Start Free Trial after taking a peek at the legal terms.
  3. Go and check your mailbox and click on the link in the email. If you haven’t received the email within a few minutes, check your spam folder.

When you click the link, set the password for your account and keep it somewhere safe. After you are signed into the Elastic Cloud Console, you are ready to create your first cluster.

A credit card is optional for the trial and can be added later.

Create Your First Cluster

To get started as quickly as possible:

  1. From the Elastic Cloud Console, click Create Cluster.
  2. Pick a cloud platform and a region, set high availability to two data centers, and click Create. A cluster with the default size, the latest version of the Elastic Stack, and safe default settings will be up and running shortly.

    Start creating your first cluster on Elastic Cloud

    You won’t need to know about them to get started, but to learn more about other cluster settings, see What Settings are Available? You can change many of these settings later without any downtime.

  3. For version 5.0 and later: Write down the password for the elastic user and keep it somewhere safe. You need the password to connect to your cluster. (Missed it? Reset the password.)

Before you move on, take note of the links available from the Overview page of your new cluster: Many of the tasks that are described in our Elastic Cloud documentation are accessible from here. For example:

Some options, such as those under Plugins, are available only if you are on a specific subscription level.

Connect to Your Cluster

There are two ways to connect to your cluster: Through the RESTful API or through the Java transport client. Both ways use an endpoint URL that includes a port, such as https://ec47fc4d2c53414e1307e85726d4b9bb.us-east-1.aws.found.io:9243.

The simplest way to connect to your cluster:

  1. On the Overview page for your new cluster in the Elastic Cloud Console, click the Elasticsearch endpoint URL under Endpoints.
  2. If you get prompted, log in as the elastic user with the password you copied down earlier. Elasticsearch returns a standard message like this:

    {
      "name" : "instance-0000000002",
      "cluster_name" : "811de9be78674138d6b8ba54b830c38d",
      "cluster_uuid" : "KpvANC2ZQb-h5-YVH1qdog",
      "version" : {
        "number" : "5.5.1",
        "build_hash" : "19c13d0",
        "build_date" : "2017-07-18T20:44:24.823Z",
        "build_snapshot" : false,
        "lucene_version" : "6.6.0"
      },
      "tagline" : "You Know, for Search"
    }

RESTful API with JSON

Used with the curl command and most programming languages that aren’t Java, the RESTful API is a very popular way to interact with your Elasticsearch cluster. When you clicked an endpoint URL in the Elastic Cloud Console, you were already using the RESTful API.

To interact with your cluster through the API, use your Elasticsearch cluster endpoint information from the Overview page in the Elastic Cloud Console. Endpoint URLs look like https://ec47fc4d2c53414e1307e85726d4b9bb.us-east-1.aws.found.io:9243 (AWS) or like https://811de9be78674138d6b8ba54b830c38d.us-central1.gcp.foundit.no:9243 (GCP) and can tell you quite a bit about your cluster. The format is always:

https://CLUSTER_ID.REGION.CLOUD_PLATFORM.found.io:PORT

The cluster ID that is unique to your cluster. For example: 811de9be78674138d6b8ba54b830c38d. If you ever need help with a cluster, include the cluster ID in your support request.

The geographic region within your cloud platform. For example: us-east-1 or us-central1.

The cloud platform, either aws for Amazon Web Services or gcp for Google Cloud Platform.

The port for the RESTful API or the Java transport client. For example: 9243. For the RESTful API, port 9243 is used for HTTPS connections and is strongly recommended (port 443 is also supported for HTTPS). We still allow HTTP connections for the API over port 9200 for the time being, but we recommend against using HTTP and no longer list the HTTP endpoint. For the Java transport client, port 9343 with TLS/SSL is used (port 9300 without encryption is also supported but not recommended).

If you created a cluster on Elasticsearch 5.0 or later or if you already enabled the security features with an earlier version of Elasticsearch, you must include authentication details with the -u parameter when you interact with your cluster.

If this is your first time using Elasticsearch, you can try out some curl commands to become familiar with the basics of indexing or searching documents. On operating systems like macOS or Linux, you should already have the curl command installed.

Tip

If you want to try out examples with your own cluster, remember to include your own endpoint URLs and authentication details. These examples won’t work directly as is.

To index your first document into an index called my_index in Elasticsearch, issue a POST request and include the document in JSON format:

curl -u elastic:password https://CLUSTER_ID.REGION.PLATFORM.found.io:9243/my_index/my_type -XPOST -d '{
"title": "One", "tags": ["ruby"]
}'
{"_index":"my_index","_type":"my_type","_id":"AV3ZeXsOMOVbmlCACuwj","_version":1,"result":"created","_shards":{"total":2,"successful":1,"failed":0},"created":true}

To retrieve all the documents in the same index, issue a GET request:

curl -u elastic:password https://CLUSTER_ID.REGION.PLATFORM.found.io:9243/my_index/my_type/_search?pretty=true
{
  "took" : 0,
  "timed_out" : false,
  "_shards" : {
    "total" : 5,
    "successful" : 5,
    "failed" : 0
  },
  "hits" : {
    "total" : 1,
    "max_score" : 1.0,
    "hits" : [
      {
        "_index" : "my_index",
        "_type" : "my_type",
        "_id" : "AV3ZeXsOMOVbmlCACuwj",
        "_score" : 1.0,
        "_source" : {
          "title" : "One",
          "tags" : [
            "ruby"
          ]
        }
      }
    ]
  }
}

These examples barely scratch the surface of what’s available. To learn more, see our Quickstart guide on Elastic Cloud with additional examples that you can use to index and retrieve documents.

Once you experiment with slightly bigger queries, you might also want to try something that is a little more syntax aware. Some popular choices are:

  • Kibana, a great tool for analyzing any type of data stored in Elasticsearch, has grown to include Console, which is useful for interacting with the REST API of Elasticsearch (in versions before 5.0, Console is called Sense).
  • The query editor in Kopf
  • Elastic-hammer, a web front-end for Elasticsearch.

Java transport client

A good choice if your applications are using Java. This lighter-weight transport client forwards requests to a remote cluster over your endpoint URL and port 9343 with TLS/SSL using the native Elasticsearch transport protocol (port 9300 without encryption is also supported but not recommended).

To learn more about how you can use the Java transport client, typically in conjunction with X-Pack security features or Shield, see Configure the Java Transport Client.

Access Kibana

Kibana is an open source analytics and visualization platform designed to search, view, and interact with data stored in Elasticsearch indices. The use of Kibana is included with your subscription.

For new Elasticsearch clusters that use version 5.0 and later, we automatically create a Kibana instance for you. If you use a version before 5.0 or if your cluster didn’t include a Kibana instance initially, there might not be a Kibana endpoint URL shown, yet. To gain access, all you need to do is enable Kibana first.

To access Kibana:

  1. Log into the Elastic Cloud Console, if you aren’t logged in already.
  2. Click Clusters at the top and select one of your clusters.
  3. Under Endpoints, click the Kibana endpoint URL and wait for Kibana to open.
  4. Log into Kibana.

    For version 5.0 and later: Log into Kibana with the elastic superuser to try it out. The password was provided when you created your cluster or can be reset.

    For versions before 5.0: and if Shield is enabled, you can log into Kibana with the admin user to try it out. The password was provided when you enabled Shield or can be reset.

In production systems, you might need to control what Elasticsearch data users can access through Kibana, so you need create credentials that can be used to access the necessary Elasticsearch resources. This means granting read access to the necessary indexes, as well as access to update the .kibana index.

Next Steps

Now that you have provisioned your first cluster, try out some additional steps:

  • Enable additional features, such as Shield for clusters before version 5.0, Kibana for clusters that didn’t get a Kibana instance created automatically, monitoring, and more.
  • Configure your cluster by upgrading to a newer Elasticsearch version or adding some plugins, for example.
  • Like what Elastic Cloud can do for you? Add a credit card to continue using the service past your trial expiration date, to add more clusters, or to increase the processing capacity of your existing cluster.
  • Read our blog, which covers topics for both beginners and experienced users.

Should you want to upload scripts, we ask that you either register a credit card on the Elastic Cloud console or visit the support page for help. This is simply because we don’t want to run your code without knowing who you are. More background on this choice is available in this article.