Using Kibana in a Production Environmentedit

How you deploy Kibana largely depends on your use case. If you are the only user, you can run Kibana on your local machine and configure it to point to whatever Elasticsearch instance you want to interact with. Conversely, if you have a large number of heavy Kibana users, you might need to load balance across multiple Kibana instances that are all connected to the same Elasticsearch instance.

While Kibana isn’t terribly resource intensive, we still recommend running Kibana separate from your Elasticsearch data or master nodes. To distribute Kibana traffic across the nodes in your Elasticsearch cluster, you can run Kibana and an Elasticsearch client node on the same machine. For more information, see Load Balancing Across Multiple Elasticsearch Nodes.

Configuring Kibana to Work with Shieldedit

If you are using Shield to authenticate Elasticsearch users, you need to provide the Kibana server with credentials so it can access the .kibana index and monitor the cluster.

To configure credentials for the Kibana server:

  1. Assign the kibana4_server role to a user in Shield. For more information, see Configuring a Role for the Kibana 4 Server in the Shield documentation.
  2. Set the kibana_elasticsearch_username and kibana_elasticsearch_password properties in kibana.yml to specify the credentials of the user you assigned the kibana4_server role:

    kibana_elasticsearch_username: kibana4-user
    kibana_elasticsearch_password: kibana4-password

Kibana 4 users also need access to the .kibana index so they can save and load searches, visualizations, and dashboards. For more information, see Configuring Roles for Kibana 4 Users in the Shield documentation.

See Kibana and Elasticsearch Dynamic Mapping for important information on Kibana and the dynamic mapping feature in Elasticsearch.

Enabling SSLedit

Kibana supports SSL encryption for both client requests and the requests the Kibana server sends to Elasticsearch.

To encrypt communications between the browser and the Kibana server, you configure the ssl_key_file and ssl_cert_file properties in kibana.yml:

# SSL for outgoing requests from the Kibana Server (PEM formatted)
server.ssl.key: /path/to/your/server.key
server.ssl.cert: /path/to/your/server.crt

If you are using Shield or a proxy that provides an HTTPS endpoint for Elasticsearch, you can configure Kibana to access Elasticsearch via HTTPS so communications between the Kibana server and Elasticsearch are encrypted.

To do this, you specify the HTTPS protocol when you configure the Elasticsearch URL in kibana.yml:

elasticsearch: "https://<your_elasticsearch_host>.com:9200"

If you are using a self-signed certificate for Elasticsearch, set the ca property in kibana.yml to specify the location of the PEM file. Setting the ca property lets you leave the verify_ssl option enabled.

# If you need to provide a CA certificate for your Elasticsearch instance, put
# the path of the pem file here.
ca: /path/to/your/ca/cacert.pem

Controlling accessedit

You can use Elasticsearch Shield (Shield) to control what Elasticsearch data users can access through Kibana. Shield provides index-level access control. If a user isn’t authorized to run the query that populates a Kibana visualization, the user just sees an empty visualization.

To configure access to Kibana using Shield, you create Shield roles for Kibana using the kibana4 default role as a starting point. For more information, see Using Kibana 4 with Shield.

Load Balancing Across Multiple Elasticsearch Nodesedit

If you have multiple nodes in your Elasticsearch cluster, the easiest way to distribute Kibana requests across the nodes is to run an Elasticsearch client node on the same machine as Kibana. Elasticsearch client nodes are essentially smart load balancers that are part of the cluster. They process incoming HTTP requests, redirect operations to the other nodes in the cluster as needed, and gather and return the results. For more information, see Node in the Elasticsearch reference.

To use a local client node to load balance Kibana requests:

  1. Install Elasticsearch on the same machine as Kibana.
  2. Configure the node as a client node. In elasticsearch.yml, set both and node.master to false:

    # 3. You want this node to be neither master nor data node, but
    #    to act as a "search load balancer" (fetching data from nodes,
    #    aggregating results, etc.)
    node.master: false false
  3. Configure the client node to join your Elasticsearch cluster. In elasticsearch.yml, set the to the name of your cluster. "my_cluster"
  4. Make sure Kibana is configured to point to your local client node. In kibana.yml, the elasticsearch.url should be set to localhost:9200.

    # The Elasticsearch instance to use for all your queries.
    elasticsearch.url: "http://localhost:9200"