Splunk vs ELK

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Do you have any knowledge?

What’s your application is doing? Is it working smoothly? In the age of services, every application does not have a UI to show you the screen of death. How is your application being used?

All the above question will be solved by introducing logging into our applications. There is a plethora of tools for logging and storing, processing of machine data. But in the log analytics field Splunk & ELK are the biggest enterprise grade solution.

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What is Splunk and ELK?

Splunk: It’s a Big data tool that have functionality for users, administrators, and developers to search all data generated by applications, servers and network device in the IT infrastructure. Splunk Enterprise takes input the valuable machine data and convert it into powerful operational intelligence by providing real time insight to our data through charts, alerts, reports etc.

ELK stack: Elk stack is a combination of Elastic search (the log search tool), Log stash (data router) and Kibana (data visualization tool). Together they perform as a full analytical tool. Although They made individual project by the open source vendor Elastic to perform separately also.

Splunk VS ELK


Splunk: It is bit pricey but having excellent benefits.

If you think the cost in the perspective of "total" cost- Software, hardware resources required, implementation, maintenance, HW (mainly storage). Storage isn't cheap, so they are taking the cost as per your requirement.
If you are using Splunk for basic logging, then you should be using shareware or "free" solutions or use Splunk Light.

Elk: As its open source its totally free. If anyone needs for their professional support, then you must pay accordingly.

Elk requires a little more storage and hardware resources because it does not compress data as compared to Splunk.

Frequently Asked Splunk Interview Questions & Answers

Features and implementation:

Splunk and elk are two tools having different approach for analyzing data. They are providing many similar features but when it comes to head to head comparison Splunk takes the priority.

Parsing Model:

Splunk: When searches are executed Splunk does the parsing.

ELK: Event parsing done by ELK when the data is ingested.

Injecting Data:

Splunk: GUI of Splunk is very user friendly and intuitive. Injecting data is so easier in Splunk as compare to ELK.

ELK: In ELK, you must get the configuration right before data gets indexed by ES.0


Splunk: Here Splunk individually enough to analyze data.

ELK: Must maintain 3 tools in ELK stack.


Splunk: Having good feature to make dash boards.

ELK: Kibana has Its built-in aggregators that will help to create the dashboards quickly. Here you should give the correct data types only otherwise many good aggregators will not work.

Log Filtering:

Splunk: Log filtering is not advanced as compare to ELK.

ELK: Log filtering functions are more advance then Splunk.

Log search capability:

Splunk: Splunk has its own language for creating search queries. Its more flexible and have many advance options.

ELK: As compare to Splunk in log search Elk don’t have much option.

Features Splunk ELK
Searching Available Integration needed
Analysis Available Integration needed
Visualization Dashboard Available Integration needed
SaaS Setup Available Available
On Premise Setup Available Available
Plugins & Integration Available Available
Input any data type Available Plugin needed
Customer Support Available Available
Documentation & Community Available Available

Integration and Plugins:

Splunk: Splunk having very good setting up for integrations with other tools. Splunk having around 600 plugins for IT operations, security and other needs.

ELK: Although ELK also having many available plugins but it does not support as many integrations as Splunk does. Logstash which is responsible for the data on boarding in ELK, has only around 160 plugins at present and work is ongoing for more integrations.

Support and documentation:

For implement and run mission-critical IT monitoring tools, then proper support level agreements (SLAs) and enterprise-level engineering processes are mandatory.
Splunk: Splunk having integrated indexing and analytics package with good enterprise-level support from both Splunk, Inc. and the huge Splunk developer community. Splunk has operating a secure support infrastructure.

ELK: ELK now offers paid support, SLAs, etc. Open source community of ELK is very active with support but there are no data confidentiality, security or IP protections when sharing an issue with the ELK community. This lack of IP protection does not pass stringent financial, healthcare or defense industry requirements.

Related Page: Gaze Into Splunk’s 2017 Predictions: Whats Next For Cloud, IoT, DevOps, Machine Learning And Cybersecurity

Final thoughts:

As Splunk and ELK both are great analytic tools choosing one of them depends upon user’s requirements, infrastructure size and cost. If user has a small or medium infrastructure and have low budget, then we recommend ELK but if you are an enterprise then Splunk will be the good choice.

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