Elasticsearch is rapidly gaining popularity as a distributed search engine within the development community because of its schema-free JSON documents, RESTful interface and ability to share and replicate indexes. But what is the real secret of its success?

Quite simply, Elasticsearch provides a juggernaut solution for all of you data extraction issues. It gives a single developer the ability to find high-value needles in your log data haystacks. This frees up your team of data scientists to work on other projects.

Elasticsearch is definitely a software solution that is worth taking your time to understand so you can recognise the benefits it will give your business both inside and outside of the IT department. These advantages include:

1. Real-time data and analytics - working as part of the ELK stack, you will benefit from real-time data insights with the ability to perform incredibly fast data extractions from a range of structured or unstructured data repositories. In other words, Elasticsearch gives you both the speed and power to provide meaningful insights into your log data.

2. Availability and scalability - Elasticsearch can expand as your business grows as it is built as a cluster solution that scales horizontally and works out of the box. There is no need to buy unnecessary hardware that you may never require. As your capacity increases, simply add an extra node and the cluster will automatically reorganise itself to accommodate and use the additional hardware. The Elasticsearch cluster also has ability to automatically detect and remove node failures, making it highly resilient. You can easily set up multiple indices and query each one in combination or independently.

3. Full text searching - Elasticsearch provides the most powerful open source full-text search abilities available by utilising Lucene behind the scenes. The search features include an extensive query language, multilingual support, geolocation support, auto-completion and context-sensitive suggestions.

4. Document orientation - Elasticsearch allows you to store real-world, complex entities as structured JSON documents. Every field has a default index, and you can use all indices in a single query to obtain the most precise results as quickly as possible.