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Comparison Of SPLUNK And ELK Stack!

Updated: Aug 27, 2021

In the modern IT world every company is looking for operational intelligence tools to get insight in their big data and procure the most value out of it. As we know , a lot of technologies are emerging in the market. Choosing the right one among them is critical and the crucial task. In this blog we will discuss rather compare two top rated tools among them. The Splunk and ELK.

Both Splunk and ELK Stack are the widely used enterprise solution in the Log analysis. Splunk came first in the market in 2003 while Elasticsearch released in 2010.

Even though both tools are using the same basic principles of log analysis like shipping the real data to a tool for analysis, Splunk offers the commercial solution with a 15 days of trial period while Elasticsearch is a free open source.


Splunk basically is a search tool that offers users, administers and developers the ability to search instantly all data generated by the application, servers and network devices in the IT infrastructure. Splunk Enterprise takes valuable machine data and turns it into powerful operational intelligence by providing real time insight to your data through charts alerts reports.

ELK Stack

The Elk stack is mainly a combination of Elasticsearch, Log stash and Kibana. They together perform a fully working real-time data analytical tool.

Both Splunk and ELK offer a variety of adapters and add-ons for users to stream data from a diverse set of sources. This ranges from the classic use case of reading from a log-file concurrently written to by a process to add-ons that enable streaming data from modern cloud logging services such as AWS Cloud watch or Google monitoring.


Splunk has its own language for log searching. It is more flexible and has many options than ELK. Elasticsearch is highly distributed, but it takes time to tune, so you get the right performance out of your cluster.

Feature & Implementation

Both Splunk and ELK provides similar features . But if we are doing a head to head comparison then Splunk comes out on top than ELK

One of the major difference between the two is Parsing model. ELK does event parsing when data is ingested while Splunk does parsing when search are executed. So once data is indigested you cannot perform event parsing.

Injecting data: Far easier in Splunk than ELK. GUI of Splunk is very user-friendly and innate. For ELK, you must get the configuration right before data gets indexed by Elasticsearch.

Log Filtering: In this ELK leads. Log filtering features are more advanced than in Splunk.

Log search capability: Splunk has its own special language for create search queries which is more flexible and have many options. Compared to Splunk ELK has limited options for Log search.

Support And Documentation:

Splunk is a fully integrated indexing and analytics package with enterprise-level support from both Splunk, Inc. and the huge Splunk developer community. Buying a Splunk license provides these critical support items. Splunk has supported thousands of installations worldwide.

The ELK open source community 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. ELK now offers paid support, SLAs, etc. These services are not free and essentially push ELK into a premium free model.


Splunk and ELK are great tools. The primary aim of both tools is to monitor, analyze, aggregate, and visualize machine log files. A comparison and choosing among them depends upon the requirements of the user, the size of the infrastructure and the cost. If you have a small or medium infrastructure with a low budgeting plan, then ELK will be the best option. But if it’s a large scale enterprise then go for Splunk.


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