How To Solve Issues Related to Log – Blocking operation due to expired license. Cluster health; cluster stats and indices stats n

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Updated: Jan-20

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Troubleshooting background

To troubleshoot Elasticsearch log “Blocking operation due to expired license. Cluster health; cluster stats and indices stats n” it’s important to understand common problems related to Elasticsearch concepts: filter, license, plugin. See detailed explanations below complete with common problems, examples and useful tips.

Filter in Elasticsearch


A filter in Elasticsearch is all about applying some conditions inside the query that are used to narrow down the matching result set.

What it is used for

When a query is executed, Elasticsearch by default calculates the relevance score of the matching documents.  But in some conditions it does not require scores to be calculated, for instance if a document falls in the range of two given timestamps. For all these Yes/No criteria, a filter clause is used.

Examples

Return all the results of a given index that falls between a date range:

GET my_index/_search
{
  "query": {
    "bool": {
      "filter": {
        "range": {
          "created_at": {
            "gte": "2020-01-01",
            "lte": "2020-01-10"
          }
        }
      }
    }
  }
}

Notes
  • Queries are used to find out how relevant a document is to a particular query by calculating a score for each document, whereas filters are used to match certain criteria and are cacheable to enable faster execution.
  • Filters do not contribute to scoring and thus are faster to execute.
  • There are major changes introduced in Elasticsearch version 2.x onward related to how query and filters are written and performed internally.

Common Problems
  • The most common problem with filters is incorrect use inside the query. If filters are not used correctly, query performance can be significantly affected. So filters must be used wherever there is scope of not calculating the score. 
  • Another problem often arises when using date range filters, if “now” is used to represent the current time. It has to be noted that “now” is continuously changing the timestamp and thus Elasticsearch cannot use caching of the response since the data set will keep changing.

license in Elasticsearch

What is it

Elasticsearch offers various licenses with different sets of features, ranging from Open Source Basic, Gold, Platinum and Enterprise. The default is set to basic. The basic license is a forever free plan but lacks many advanced x-pack features, such as alerts and advanced security. The following parameter is used inside elaticsearch.yml file to set a license type:

xpack.license.self_generated.type: basic

Plugin in Elasticsearch

What it is

A plugin is used to enhance the core functionalities of Elasticsearch. Elasticsearch provides some core plugins as a part of their release installation. In addition to those core plugins, it is possible to write your own custom plugins as well. There are several community plugins available on GitHub for various use cases.

Examples:
  • Get all the instructions for the plugin usage
sudo bin/elasticsearch-plugin -h
  • Installing S3 plugin using URL for storing Elasticsearch snapshots on S3
sudo bin/elasticsearch-plugin install repository-s3
  • Removing a plugin
sudo bin/elasticsearch-plugin remove repository-s3
  • Installing a plugin using the file path
sudo bin/elasticsearch-plugin install file:///path/to/plugin.zip

Notes:
  • Plugins are installed and removed using the elasticsearch-plugin script, which ships as a part of Elasticsearch installation and can be found inside the bin/ directory of the Elasticsearch installation path.
  • A plugin has to be installed on every node of the cluster and each of the nodes has to be restarted to make the plugin visible.
  • You can also download the plugin manually and then install it using the elasticsearch-plugin install command, providing the file name/path of the plugin’s source file.
  • When a plugin is removed, you will need to restart every elasticsearch node in order to complete the removal process.

Common Problems:
  • Managing permission issues during and after plugin installation is the most common problem. If Elasticsearch was installed using the deb or rpm package then the plugin has to be installed using the root user, or else you can install the plugin as the user that owns all of the Elasticsearch files.
  • In case of deb or rpm package installation, it is important to check the permission of the plugins directory after plugin installation and update the permission if it has been modified using the following command:
chown -R elasticsearch:elasticsearch path_to_plugin_directory 
  • If your Elasticsearch nodes are running in a private subnet without internet access, you cannot install a plugin directly. In this case, you can simply download the plugins at once and copy the files inside the plugins directory of the Elasticsearch installation path on every node. The node has to be restarted in this case as well.


To help troubleshoot related issues we have gathered selected Q&A from the community and issues from Github , please review the following for further information :

1 License Expired  

2 Github Issue Number 39136    

Encountered An Unexpected Error Sub


Log Context

Log ”Blocking [{}] operation due to expired license. Cluster health; cluster stats and indices stats n” classname is SecurityActionFilter.java
We have extracted the following from Elasticsearch source code to get an in-depth context :

         /*
         A functional requirement - when the license of security is disabled (invalid/expires); security will continue
         to operate normally; except all read operations will be blocked.
         */
        if (licenseState.isStatsAndHealthAllowed() == false && LICENSE_EXPIRATION_ACTION_MATCHER.test(action)) {
            logger.error("blocking [{}] operation due to expired license. Cluster health; cluster stats and indices stats \n" +
                    "operations are blocked on license expiration. All data operations (read and write) continue to work. \n" +
                    "If you have a new license; please update it. Otherwise; please reach out to your support contact."; action);
            throw LicenseUtils.newComplianceException(XPackField.SECURITY);
        }







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