10 Best ELK Stack Alternatives in 2023
The ELK stack is an initialism made from three open-source projects - Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana.
Elasticsearch was the first open-source project released from the trio. It is a distributed, RESTful, JSON-based search engine. It is the base of the ELK stack, used to centrally store data for search and analytics.
Logstash is a free and open server-side data processing pipeline capable to ingest data from multiple sources, transform it and ship them to your stack.
Kibana is “the window” into the ELK stack, it’s a free and open sure interface allowing you to visualize data obtained using Elasticsearch and Logstash. Using Kibana you can create histograms, line graphs, pie charts, sunbursts, and more.
The ELK Stack
While the ELK stack is by definition free and open, in the end, it can become quite costly, because of the infrastructure costs you can either host it on one of the major cloud platforms such as AWS, Azure, or GCP or subscribe to the Elastic Cloud. It starts at around $16/month. You can also try the self-managed Elastic Cloud hosted on Kubernetes.
- Open-source base
- Elasticsearch, Logstash and Kibana cooperate within one ecosystem
- KQL query language
The Best Elastic Stack Alternatives in 2023
The ELK stack has attracted a lot of users, but the price of scaling can get way too high and there are a lot of alternatives offering the same product, for less. There are also multiple issues reported with the Elasticsearch engine and its “guessing” what eventually puts a lot of work on your engineers, instead of allowing them to focus on more important tasks.
That’s why we’ve decided to compile a list of alternatives to the ELK stack, offering better, more reliable solutions, for less money.
1. Better Stack
Using its Built-in Google Docs-like capabilities. You can archive important log fragments, comment, and share logs with your co-workers. You can also benefit from Better Stack's presence and absence notifications which help you spot any issues before they become severe. Better Stack offers SQL-compatible queries and allows you to query your logs efficiently, or connect them to your BI tool directly for custom reports.
Better Stack also offers a live log tail, allowing you to look up logs in the real-time, scroll, and analyze data with a single click using its well-designed and purpose-driven, dark mode UI. All of the data visualizations are handled by Grafana, which allows you to create custom and specific Charts and Dashboards.
Better Stack can manage logs from any platform and deployment is a matter of minutes.
Main Benefits of Better Stack:
- Collaboration Features
- ClickHouse-based storage
- Price starts at $0.25/GB
2. Sumo Logic
Sumo Logic offers a complete set of log management tools for the entire stack, whether cloud, on-premises, or hybrid. Centralized data visualization allows you to spot developing trends and disarm any errors before they occur or during damage control, finding the root cause faster.
Thanks to anomaly detection, outlier detection, and predictive analytics, you get deep and comprehensive insights into your architecture's performance. Sumo logic offers real-time visibility into AWS, Azure, and GCP cloud applications and infrastructure. Alongside that, you get access to over 150 apps and native integrations to get full out-of-the-box visibility into third-party technologies.
Sumo Logic provides you with two dashboards - a live dashboard and an interactive one. The live dashboard offers numerous real-time data in the order as they come. However, it doesn't provide an option to look back at the older data. That's where the interactive dashboard comes in. In the interactive dashboard, you can view a complete overview of events and trends, focus on the graphs and identify rare events. You can filter for the specific errors and exceptions to be able to focus on them in the future.
See more similar tools to Sumo Logic.
Main Benefits of Sumo Logic:
- Two Dashboard Modes
- Security Monitoring, and Threat Detection features
LogicMonitor offers log intelligence at scale for hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Your data are centralized, correlated, and contextualized, with an emphasis on data hygiene and internal compliance. LogicMonitor allows you to centralize your monitoring, correlate relevant logs with metrics in a single platform.
It supports more than 2000 integrations, modules, and pre-built templates for on-premises and cloud infrastructures. LogicMonitor is truly user-friendly since it offers query options for all experience levels. It also allows you to access raw data up to 12 months old. Metrics, logs, and log anomalies are all associated with their corresponding devices, cloud instances, and containers.
LogicMonitor manipulates your data with machine learning tools, which decreases troubleshooting times and allows better workflow by sparing your engineers of unproductive tasks. Anomalies are automatically detected and contextualized for easier root cause analysis. LogicMonitor offers Full IT operations lifecycle support via integrations like ServiceNow, CMDB, and Ansible.
One of the biggest disadvantages is the need to communicate your subscription with a sales team. You need to get a custom quote.
Main Benefits of LogicMonitor:
- Heavy usage of automation and machine learning methods
- Suitable of all experience levels without compromising functions
Loggly is a log management and aggregation tool from SolarWinds. It is currently one of the most commonly used solutions on the market. Loggly is an agentless log analyzer gathering data directly from application servers. Using a token, or the standard Syslog with HTTP(s), Loggly can retrieve data from pre-existing software.
Main Benefits of Loggly:
- SolarWinds Backing
Sematext is a monitoring and logging service. It allows for centralized logging, so it provides you a way to aggregate and store logs from any data source in one location. You can collect data from servers, applications, databases, containers, systems, and more. Sematext allows you to use live time viewing of your logs as they arrive into the cloud from multiple data sources.
It uses the ELK stack for collecting and transforming data, searching, filtering and analyzing, and finally, data managing and visualization, but with the advantage of an advanced and hosted solution. You can troubleshoot faster with real-time alerting on both metrics and logs. Log analyzing and looking for anomalies are used to make the whole process quicker. You can integrate it with email, PagerDuty, Slack, HipChat, BigPanda, OpsGenie, VictorOps, WebHooks, Nagios, Zapier, and more.
Sematext runs on AWS, whose infrastructure follows strict IT security best practices. Your logs are encrypted via HTTPS and sent through TLS/SLL channels. On top of that, you can restrict specific permissions to some members of your team to increase the integrity and security of your service.
Main Benefits of Sematext:
- It brings infrastructure and application performance monitoring together with log management
- Easy to use with good pre-configured dashboards and reports thus also quick to start
- No need for a lengthy configuration;
LogDNA parses major log line types on ingestion and offers Custom Parsing Templates. You can filter your logs based on app, host, or cluster, browse logs from any source instantly, and search through them with simple keywords, exclusion terms, chained expressions, and data ranges. Alerts are set off based on either Presence or Absence, or generate an alert from a saved View and report on them in PagerDuty, Slack, or with a custom Webhook. LogDNA also allows you to save views to access common Filters and Searches and share them.
LogDNA is built on Elasticsearch. A web-based GUI handles filtering, logs grouping by source, and more. Visualization and custom dashboards are also available, and you can work with user-specific logs. Agentless log collection via Syslog and HTTP(s) with full-text search and visualizations are available.
LogDNA's pricing packages depend on the retention period in days and the number of users. For starters, you can get LogDNA for free for one user and without any logs retention and unlimited saved views.
Main Benefits of LogDNA:
- Pay-as-you-go pricing model
- Well designed UI
Log Monitoring from Dynatraces portfolio allows you to access and monitor logs of all your mission-critical processes. Creating custom log metrics is easy and will enable you to oversight and comprehend log data in the context of the rest of your infrastructure in real-time.
Logs can be filtered based on keywords or timeframe and processed using AI, which correlates log messages with problems and uses this correlation in root-cause analysis. You can use Log Monitoring v1 or Log Monitoring v2 if you use Dynatrace as SaaS. Dynatrace's documentation covers all the nuances. However, Dynatrace is not easy to jump into and requires more learning.
Dynatrace offers either a full-stack monitoring solution or multiple individual plans.
Main benefits of Dynatrace:
- The AI-assisted full-stack monitoring solution
- More than 560 supported technologies
- Solutions also cover security, Digital Experience or even Business Analytics
Graylog operates under multiple models. You can choose from either Graylog open - their open-source solution, Graylog Small Business, or Enterprise. The last option is Graylog cloud, offering the same experience as Graylog Enterprise, however, hosted on the cloud, saving you the funds needed for your own infrastructure.
Graylog gets the job done when parsing logs from any data source, data visualization, or analysis. It is based on Elasticsearch and MongoDB. The Dashboard comprises widgets, each providing you with different information coming from different datatypes. You can see counts, charts, graphs, views, and more.
Thanks to Graylog's multiple deployment options, you can run and manage it on your own, or have it hosted, which gives you more flexibility and control. The UI is definitely much better looking. However, Graylog's websites are not definitely a designer's paradise.
Main Benefits of Graylog:
- Even the free edition provides multiple functions
- Ability to search for different criteria without having to filter out the data manually
- Open-source option available
9. New Relic
New Relic's infrastructure monitoring offers faster visibility and troubleshooting. New Relic offers an all-in-one data observation tool capable of correlation or drill-down from Kubernetes to specific log tracing in only a few steps.
New Relic is highly adjustable, so it does not matter if you run from one or multiple clouds on-premise; you will have access to specific, accurate, and custom metrics in real-time and on a limitless scale. New Relic is an open and flexible integration network supporting all the most popular integrations like AWS, Azure, GCP, MYSQL, NGINX, Kafka, and more. If you find an integration that is not supported, you can build it from scratch with NewRelic's Flex integration builder.
You can get New Relic for free and access the basic logs management and analyzing features. The rest of the packages are priced depending on your usage, where you pay for everything you over-used over the free plan.
Main Benefits of New Relic:
- Kubernetes monitoring Pixie
- Multiple by use case solutions
Splunk is a relatively new and modern log management and monitoring solution. You can also use it on mobile, and it provides support for augmented reality.
Apart from log management, Splunk provides you with searching, filtering, diagnosing, indexing, and reporting features. It also offers intuitive and user-friendly dashboards which can be divided into multiple relevant sections. Splunk uses distributed tracing, a method to monitor events, failures, or performance issues.
Splunk is fast when searching for short-time data. However, it stays behind when getting data from a longer period of time or when identifying trends. Splunk provides multiple additional features on the other hand. These include live logging, S3 backup, Heroku support, Github integration, JIRA integration, and more.
Main Benefits of Splunk:
- Support for various features like S3 backup, live, logging, Heroku, Github, and more
- Flexible GUI, support for a query language
- Complex, suitable for an enterprise solution
In this article, we took a closer look at the Elastic stack. We reviewed its individual products - Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana and then analyzed how they work in synergy and also, where they lack. Then we proposed a list of the best Elastic stack alternatives.
Other useful resources to explore:
10 Log Analysis Tools in 2023
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10 Log Management and Aggregation tools in 2023
A good Log Management Solution improves security, observability and monitoring, or helps with evidence-based planning.Comparisons
10 Best Log Monitoring Tools in 2023
Log monitoring will give you insight into occurring problems and help you understand how your software performs over time, where it excels, and where it fails.Comparisons
Top 10 Logstash Alternatives in 2023
Logstash is available for free, and you can get it on Github. However, the real pricing issue emerges with hosting and scaling issues, where Logstash, just like the rest of the ELK stack becomes quite expensive.Comparisons
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