AWS Cloudsearch vs Elasticsearch

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In this blog, we will compare AWS Cloudsearch vs Elasticsearch and will give a conclusion on which is best according to requirement.

ElasticSearch is a free open-source engine that is used to search logs and data in general. AWS has made it easier for you as a Service to create it in a cloud. You can use it for several reasons, not only for searching logs or data but we can connect to our cloud watch and use it for monitoring.

In comparison, AWS CloudSearch is a fully managed service from AWS that implements search over data. It can be in numerous formats but the most common that I use is JSON. We supply JSON documents to AWS cloud service and indexes on that document and that we feed it the data we want.

aws cloudsearch vs elasticsearch

Elastic search is more in-depth and you have control over infrastructure when it comes to AWS cloud search we don’t have same control as elastic cluster or elastic search.

Why use AWS CloudSearch if it is just effectively an abstracted elastic search service which is an abstract elastic cluster?

In CloudSearch you lose control of granularity, you also lose some of the ability that you would have around the likes of Kibana. The only thing that you get in CloudSearch is making your data searchable.

Import & Export Data: AWS CloudSearch vs ElasticSearch

In order to import data in ElasticSearch, you can simply use the river plugin that can import data in ElasticSearch. There are many river plugins such as elasticsearch–river- mongodb, elasticsearch-river-couchdb, Elasticsearch-jdbc etc. While in CloudSearch you can use pushed using batches or S3.

Updation : AWS CloudSearch vs ElasticSearch

If any updates come in ElasticSearch then you can simply update by replacing the lib folder of the older version with a newer version. While in CloudSearch update is taken care of by AWS. There is no responsibility for the user. But sometimes it can delay the process from AWS.

Backup: AWS CloudSearch vs ElasticSearch

In ElasticSearch you can use a backed up module using Snapshot and Restore Module. Curator is a tool that basically runs cron and takes backup periodically. It automates the Backup process in ElasticSearch. Whereas in CloudSearch it automatically takes backup and there is no responsibility of the end-user to take backup.

Client Library : AWS CloudSearch vs ElasticSearch

In ElasticSearch there are many Restful APIs that clients can use to integrate. Whereas in CloudSearch it has both SDK and Restful APIs.

Cost: AWS CloudSearch vs ElasticSearch

In ElasticSearch it requires manual setup of infrastructure, cost of deployment and many more. While in CloudSearch you don’t need to set up anything. Its price varies from Search Instance Size. For Multiple Availability Zone, the extra cost will be added and if the index is partitioned then the extra cost is added in CloudSearch.

Below is the price comparison for CloudSearch

aws cloudsearch vs elasticsearch

Summary on AWS CloudSearch vs ElasticSearch

If you don’t have to worry about the overhead of running the cluster or configuring the index for your self then AWS CloudSearch is a Service for you. If you need more control over that ELK stack then you have to go for something like AWS ElasticSearch Service. If you don’t need that granular control especially with infrastructure and you just want your data to be indexed and get on with searching then AWS CloudSearch is the service for you.


When we want to search over our data but we don’t want that overhead of managing the infrastructure and indexes completely ourselves then go with Cloud Search.

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