some 2012 elasticsearch highlights


Steven Schuurman Jan 14, 2013

Have you ever had that feeling when – due to sheer excitement – it’s hard to decide what to talk about first because there’s just too much to tell’ Well, that’s where I’m at right now… Please allow me to jump right in.

Adoption and Series-A Investment with Benchmark

One of the most illustrative news items of last year was around our download numbers: 2012 was without any doubt the year Elasticsearch took off like a rocket ship. Within a year, our download numbers went from around 50k/month to more than 200k/month and we surpassed the 1.5 million downloads mark. In all my years in open source, including my years at SpringSource, I have never witnessed anything as spectacular as the speed at which the world is adopting Elasticsearch. Personally, I believe the popularity of the product isn’t that hard to explain. I remember our investor Peter Fenton tweeting the following last November when we announced our Series-A with Benchmark:

“Jaw-dropping momentum, Big Data’s killer app has arrived:@elasticsearch Benchmark thrilled to back the team…”

I believe this statement to be spot on as Elasticsearch is groundbreaking in two very relevant aspects:

1) Its power to drive information out of extremely large volumes of data
2) Its user friendliness

These two design characteristics combined with Elasticsearch being fast, real-time and highly scalable make that it lives up to Peter’s aforementioned claim. Here’s what I wrote about our Series-A investment from Benchmark, Rod Johnson and Data Collective last November.

Elasticsearch in the Wild

Another set of important highlights (which get us really fired up, and provide for very rewarding reading material) are the use cases we encounter in the wild. We now know Elasticsearch is literally used everywhere there’s data – and as we all know – companies are accumulating more data every day. To put it in perspective, Wired recently described Elasticsearch at “Your Own Private Google.” The article provides for an interesting read, so I recommend checking it out.

However, there are many more use cases for Elasticsearch, and though out 2012 many people have been kind enough to share their experiences with us. To pick a few, here are some publications that are interesting to everyone considering making a move on Elasticsearch as their search & analytics runtime of choice.

  • SoundCloud
    SoundCloud wrote an amazing piece about completing the overhaul of their search infrastructure and elaborating why they chose to go with Elasticsearch. This blog contains useful insights on for example how the Elasticsearch user experience compares to other products out there.
  • McGraw-Hill
    On the other side of the market vertical spectrum, McGraw-Hill released a highly illustrative presentation on how they realized significant innovation of learning aids using Couchbase and Elasticsearch.
  • GOV.UK
    Earlier last year, we were happy to learn that GOV.UK, the Government Digital Services group tasked with transforming the UK government’s digital services, migrated to Elasticsearch as well. This post was written by Rob Young, and focuses on why GOV.UK migrated to Elasticsearch.
  • Envato
    Jack Chen from Envato wrote a detailed piece describing why and how the Envato marketplaces migrated to Elasticsearch. Jack’s blog features some very well done graphs on query performance and CPU usage.
  • Foursquare
    Prominent startup Foursquare also moved to Elasticsearch after having worked with various other open source search and/or NoSQL solutions. This blog post from the Foursquare engineering group elaborates on their reasoning. Foursquare mainly moved to Elasticsearch to ensure performance would never be compromized, even when data volumes continue to grow.
  • Obamaromneytweetbattle
    Lastly, one of my personal favorite Elasticsearch demos – because it’s such a graphical representation of Elasticsearch’s capabilities: the tweet battle between Obama and Romney that lasted until the very end of the 2012 US presidential elections.

If you’re interested in sharing some of your Elasticsearch war-stories, we’d love to hear about it. Or, you can of course just follow us on Twitter and tweet about your findings.

At Elasticsearch we’re grateful for all those wonderful stories that are being shared online by so many people. It’s great inspiration for the entire Elasticsearch team and undoubtedly also for people considering test-driving Elasticsearch for a bit.

So thank you very much for sharing – and we look forward to hearing more from you in 2013.

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