Elastic Wrangles Big Data With Real-Time Search as a Service

Quickly-growing open source startup expands offering portfolio thanks to earlier acquisition of Found

Jason Verge

July 1, 2015

2 Min Read
Elastic Wrangles Big Data With Real-Time Search as a Service
(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Elastic, formerly known as Elasticsearch, has built quite the following since raising $70 million last year. The open source software has gone from 8 million to more than 20 million downloads over the past nine months.

As applications become faster and smarter, the ability to search data in real time grows in importance. Unstructured data is growing thanks to an increasing number of data sources, including the Internet of Things. Companies are storing more and more data in their systems but finding they aren’t able to do a lot with it.

Three-year-old Elastic, which helps companies use Big Data, is behind three popular open source projects: Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana. While all three have seen growth, real-time search has seen the most adoption.

"When data is unstructured, the easiest way is search,” Gaurav Gupta, VP of product management at Elastic, said.

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The company's technology powers real-time search functionality for several popular social media and retail applications and for a growing number of enterprises. It claims to have seen adoption among visible web-scale players, including the likes of Facebook, eBay, Goldman Sachs, Groupon, and Netflix.

Last year, the company said it would focus on winning big enterprise and now claims to have won almost half of the Fortune 100.

Elasic has been making money by providing subscription support for the open source software, commercial versions, and plug-ins -- a standard open-source-based business model. The latest addition to the portfolio is hosted Elasticsearch, the result of the acquisition of a company called Found earlier this year.

Norwegian Found has developed Elasticsearch-as-a-Service and done a lot of work on automating critical processes, such as installation, configuration, maintenance, backup, and high availability for Elasticsearch clusters in the cloud. It is used by the likes of Docker, Gild, and Instacart. Enterprise Big Data heavyweights like Cloudera and MapR have also plugged in to the real-time search service, which is now part of Elastic.

“Found provides more than just hosted Elasticsearch, it gives customers the holistic experience,” Gupta said. “Enterprises want central management and provisioning to manage massive amounts of clusters, which we provide.”

Hosted on Amazon Web Services, Found Standard includes Kibana data visualization and backup functionality, while Found Premium is the enterprise-grade version for mission critical applications.

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