Amazon Announces OpenSearch
Friday, 16 April 2021

Amazon has announced an open source search and analytics suite. OpenSearch is an open source fork of Elasticsearch and Kibana.

Elasticsearch is a distributed open search and analytics engine for all types of data, including textual, numerical, geospatial, structured, and unstructured. Elasticsearch is built on Apache Lucene, and is used for a variety of applications and visualization tools including Kibana, Elastic’s analytics and visualization platform.

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Earlier this year, Elastic moved the licensing model for Elasticsearch to dual licensing using the Server Side Public License (SSPL) and its own Elastic License. This was seen making Elastic no longer open source. A major driver for the move was Elastic's unhappiness with the way AWS was using the service.

At the time, Elastic CEO Shay Banon said the change wouldn't affect most users:

“This change in source code licensing has no impact on the overwhelming majority of our user community who use our default distribution for free. It also has no impact on our cloud customers or self-managed software customers.”

The change would, however, prevent Amazon using the open-source version of Elastic stack as their AWS Elasticsearch managed service.

Amazon's reaction to the move is OpenSearch, which they describe as an open source fork of Elasticsearch and Kibana. Amazon says:

"We are making a long-term investment in OpenSearch to ensure users continue to have a secure, high-quality, fully open source search and analytics suite with a rich roadmap of new and innovative functionality."

OpenSearch is derived from Elasticsearch 7.10.2, and includes OpenSearch Dashboards (derived from Kibana 7.10.2). The project is also the new home for Amazon's previous distribution of Elasticsearch (Open Distro for Elasticsearch), which includes features such as enterprise security, alerting, machine learning, SQL, and index state management.

While Amazon is the main driver behind the new project, a number of other big name companies have given it their backing, including Red Hat, SAP, Capital One and Logz.io.

Amazon is keen to point out this isn't just a way to avoid paying to use the Elastic software, saying:

"Our goal with the OpenSearch project is to make it easy for as many people and organizations as possible to use OpenSearch in their business, their products, and their projects. Whether you are an independent developer, an enterprise IT department, a software vendor, or a managed service provider, the ALv2 license grants you well-understood usage rights for OpenSearch. You can use, modify, extend, embed, monetize, resell, and offer OpenSearch as part of your products and services."

The Amazon OpenSearch Service APIs will be backward compatible with the existing service APIs. The current version of OpenSearch is described by Amazon as an alpha version, with plans for a beta version within a couple of weeks and a stable production-ready version by early summer. 

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More Information

OpenSearch on GitHub

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Last Updated ( Friday, 16 April 2021 )