Index Aliasesedit

APIs in Elasticsearch accept an index name when working against a specific index, and several indices when applicable. The index aliases API allows aliasing an index with a name, with all APIs automatically converting the alias name to the actual index name. An alias can also be mapped to more than one index, and when specifying it, the alias will automatically expand to the aliased indices. An alias can also be associated with a filter that will automatically be applied when searching, and routing values. An alias cannot have the same name as an index.

Here is a sample of associating the alias alias1 with index test1:

POST /_aliases
{
    "actions" : [
        { "add" : { "index" : "test1", "alias" : "alias1" } }
    ]
}

And here is removing that same alias:

POST /_aliases
{
    "actions" : [
        { "remove" : { "index" : "test1", "alias" : "alias1" } }
    ]
}

Renaming an alias is a simple remove then add operation within the same API. This operation is atomic, no need to worry about a short period of time where the alias does not point to an index:

POST /_aliases
{
    "actions" : [
        { "remove" : { "index" : "test1", "alias" : "alias1" } },
        { "add" : { "index" : "test2", "alias" : "alias1" } }
    ]
}

Associating an alias with more than one index is simply several add actions:

POST /_aliases
{
    "actions" : [
        { "add" : { "index" : "test1", "alias" : "alias1" } },
        { "add" : { "index" : "test2", "alias" : "alias1" } }
    ]
}

Multiple indices can be specified for an action with the indices array syntax:

POST /_aliases
{
    "actions" : [
        { "add" : { "indices" : ["test1", "test2"], "alias" : "alias1" } }
    ]
}

To specify multiple aliases in one action, the corresponding aliases array syntax exists as well.

For the example above, a glob pattern can also be used to associate an alias to more than one index that share a common name:

POST /_aliases
{
    "actions" : [
        { "add" : { "index" : "test*", "alias" : "all_test_indices" } }
    ]
}

In this case, the alias is a point-in-time alias that will group all current indices that match, it will not automatically update as new indices that match this pattern are added/removed.

It is an error to index to an alias which points to more than one index.

It is also possible to swap an index with an alias in one operation:

PUT test     
PUT test_2   
POST /_aliases
{
    "actions" : [
        { "add":  { "index": "test_2", "alias": "test" } },
        { "remove_index": { "index": "test" } }  
    ]
}

An index we’ve added by mistake

The index we should have added

remove_index is just like Delete Index

Filtered Aliasesedit

Aliases with filters provide an easy way to create different "views" of the same index. The filter can be defined using Query DSL and is applied to all Search, Count, Delete By Query and More Like This operations with this alias.

To create a filtered alias, first we need to ensure that the fields already exist in the mapping:

PUT /test1
{
  "mappings": {
    "type1": {
      "properties": {
        "user" : {
          "type": "keyword"
        }
      }
    }
  }
}

Now we can create an alias that uses a filter on field user:

POST /_aliases
{
    "actions" : [
        {
            "add" : {
                 "index" : "test1",
                 "alias" : "alias2",
                 "filter" : { "term" : { "user" : "kimchy" } }
            }
        }
    ]
}

Routingedit

It is possible to associate routing values with aliases. This feature can be used together with filtering aliases in order to avoid unnecessary shard operations.

The following command creates a new alias alias1 that points to index test. After alias1 is created, all operations with this alias are automatically modified to use value 1 for routing:

POST /_aliases
{
    "actions" : [
        {
            "add" : {
                 "index" : "test",
                 "alias" : "alias1",
                 "routing" : "1"
            }
        }
    ]
}

It’s also possible to specify different routing values for searching and indexing operations:

POST /_aliases
{
    "actions" : [
        {
            "add" : {
                 "index" : "test",
                 "alias" : "alias2",
                 "search_routing" : "1,2",
                 "index_routing" : "2"
            }
        }
    ]
}

As shown in the example above, search routing may contain several values separated by comma. Index routing can contain only a single value.

If a search operation that uses routing alias also has a routing parameter, an intersection of both search alias routing and routing specified in the parameter is used. For example the following command will use "2" as a routing value:

GET /alias2/_search?q=user:kimchy&routing=2,3

Write Indexedit

It is possible to associate the index pointed to by an alias as the write index. When specified, all index and update requests against an alias that point to multiple indices will attempt to resolve to the one index that is the write index. Only one index per alias can be assigned to be the write index at a time. If no write index is specified and there are multiple indices referenced by an alias, then writes will not be allowed.

It is possible to specify an index associated with an alias as a write index using both the aliases API and index creation API.

POST /_aliases
{
    "actions" : [
        {
            "add" : {
                 "index" : "test",
                 "alias" : "alias1",
                 "is_write_index" : true
            }
        }
    ]
}

In this example, we associate the alias alias1 to both test and test2, where test will be the index chosen for writing to.

PUT /alias1/_doc/1
{
    "foo": "bar"
}

The new document that was indexed to /alias1/_doc/1 will be indexed as if it were /test/_doc/1.

GET /test/_doc/1

To swap which index is the write index for an alias, the Aliases API can be leveraged to do an atomic swap. The swap is not dependent on the ordering of the actions.

POST /_aliases
{
    "actions" : [
        {
            "add" : {
                 "index" : "test",
                 "alias" : "alias1",
                 "is_write_index" : true
            }
        }, {
            "add" : {
                 "index" : "test2",
                 "alias" : "alias1",
                 "is_write_index" : false
            }
        }
    ]
}
Important

Aliases that do not explicitly set is_write_index: true for an index, and only reference one index, will have that referenced index behave as if it is the write index until an additional index is referenced. At that point, there will be no write index and writes will be rejected.

Add a single aliasedit

An alias can also be added with the endpoint

PUT /{index}/_alias/{name}

where

index

The index the alias refers to. Can be any of * | _all | glob pattern | name1, name2, …

name

The name of the alias. This is a required option.

routing

An optional routing that can be associated with an alias.

filter

An optional filter that can be associated with an alias.

You can also use the plural _aliases.

Examples:edit

Adding time based alias
PUT /logs_201305/_alias/2013
Adding a user alias

First create the index and add a mapping for the user_id field:

PUT /users
{
    "mappings" : {
        "user" : {
            "properties" : {
                "user_id" : {"type" : "integer"}
            }
        }
    }
}

Then add the alias for a specific user:

PUT /users/_alias/user_12
{
    "routing" : "12",
    "filter" : {
        "term" : {
            "user_id" : 12
        }
    }
}

Aliases during index creationedit

Aliases can also be specified during index creation:

PUT /logs_20162801
{
    "mappings" : {
        "type" : {
            "properties" : {
                "year" : {"type" : "integer"}
            }
        }
    },
    "aliases" : {
        "current_day" : {},
        "2016" : {
            "filter" : {
                "term" : {"year" : 2016 }
            }
        }
    }
}

Delete aliasesedit

The rest endpoint is: /{index}/_alias/{name}

where

index

* | _all | glob pattern | name1, name2, …

name

* | _all | glob pattern | name1, name2, …

Alternatively you can use the plural _aliases. Example:

DELETE /logs_20162801/_alias/current_day

Retrieving existing aliasesedit

The get index alias API allows to filter by alias name and index name. This api redirects to the master and fetches the requested index aliases, if available. This api only serialises the found index aliases.

Possible options:

index

The index name to get aliases for. Partial names are supported via wildcards, also multiple index names can be specified separated with a comma. Also the alias name for an index can be used.

alias

The name of alias to return in the response. Like the index option, this option supports wildcards and the option the specify multiple alias names separated by a comma.

ignore_unavailable

What to do if an specified index name doesn’t exist. If set to true then those indices are ignored.

The rest endpoint is: /{index}/_alias/{alias}.

Examples:edit

All aliases for the index users:

GET /logs_20162801/_alias/*

Response:

{
 "logs_20162801" : {
   "aliases" : {
     "2016" : {
       "filter" : {
         "term" : {
           "year" : 2016
         }
       }
     }
   }
 }
}

All aliases with the name 2016 in any index:

GET /_alias/2016

Response:

{
  "logs_20162801" : {
    "aliases" : {
      "2016" : {
        "filter" : {
          "term" : {
            "year" : 2016
          }
        }
      }
    }
  }
}

All aliases that start with 20 in any index:

GET /_alias/20*

Response:

{
  "logs_20162801" : {
    "aliases" : {
      "2016" : {
        "filter" : {
          "term" : {
            "year" : 2016
          }
        }
      }
    }
  }
}

There is also a HEAD variant of the get indices aliases api to check if index aliases exist. The indices aliases exists api supports the same option as the get indices aliases api. Examples:

HEAD /_alias/2016
HEAD /_alias/20*
HEAD /logs_20162801/_alias/*