Elasticsearch Management Solutions: Comparing ECE vs ECK vs OMC

By Opster Team

Updated: Apr 16, 2023

| 3 min read

Introduction 

Elastic Cloud on Kubernetes (ECK), Elastic Cloud Enterprise (ECE) and Opster Management Console (OMC) are three popular solutions for managing Elasticsearch. 

ECK is a Kubernetes Operator for deploying and managing Elasticsearch clusters on Kubernetes. There is both a free and paid version of ECK, with some important features being available solely on the paid version through Elastic Enterprise. However, there is no UI available for either version, making this option less comfortable for some users.

ECE is a commercial, multi-cloud platform for deploying and managing Elasticsearch, Kibana, and other components of the Elastic Stack with a user interface. ECE is a paid platform, with the price ranging between $1,500 to $2,500 per month per node, depending on your resources. You can run ECE on premise or in your own cloud (AWS, GCP, Azure, etc).

OMC is a free and powerful tool used to orchestrate, manage, and monitor OpenSearch and Elasticsearch (support for ES coming soon) on any Kubernetes environment. Unlike the other 2 options above, OMC also supports OpenSearch as well as Elasticsearch. All OMC features are available for free from an easy-to-use interface. 

Comparing ECK vs ECE vs OMC

All 3 options provide users with the ability to provision & manage multiple clusters, upgrade versions, scale cluster resources (memory, disk and CPU), configure node roles and manage certificates. 

The primary differences between ECK, ECE and OMC are:

ECK *ECEOMC
CostFree & paid versionPaidFree
Technology supportedElasticsearchElasticsearchElasticsearch + OpenSearch
Technology environments neededKubernetesApache ZooKeeper, Docker & Linux required to operate. Can run on any docker (I).Kubernetes
Easily manage deployments from a single console (UI)NoYesYes
Operational complexityMedium
ECK does not have a UI for easy operation
Difficult
Though it comes with a UI, it has many requirement & is considered hard to operate
Easy
Provision & manage multiple clustersYesYesYes
Easily upgrade versionsYesYesYes
Scale cluster resources (MEM, CPU, Disk) and configure node rolesYesYesYes
Security - Default secured settings and easily manage certificatesYesYesYes
AutoscalingOnly in paid ECK versionYesYes
Built-in Grafana and Prometheus integrationNoNoYes
Built-in API terminal to execute commands against the clusterNoYesYes
Easy plugin integration out-of-the-boxNoYes
However plugins must be hosted behind a URL
Yes
Integration to AutoOps to optimize performance & reduce costsYesYesYes, native
Infrastructure support (i)Can purchase Elastic support and/or Opster support.Can purchase Elastic support and/or Opster support.Can purchase Opster support, connected to your cluster through AutoOps.
Real-time support for search & indexing performance (i)Not available through Elastic. Can purchase Opster support.Not available through Elastic. Can purchase Opster support.Can purchase Opster support.

Opster’s support team uses AutoOps to assist with any issue related to search & indexing performance
Proactive supportNot available through Elastic. Can purchase Opster support.Not available through Elastic. Can purchase Opster support.Can purchase Opster support.

The team constantly monitors, prevents & resolves issues in your clusters.
Administrative resources requiredNone3 clusters are required to run ECE: logging & metrics, admin and security clustersNone

*This table compares the ECK free version, unless mentioned otherwise.

Cost

OMC is entirely free. ECK has both a free and a paid version, with the paid version being available through Elastic Enterprise. The free version of ECK does not have all features, as some are only available in the paid version, which costs about the same as ECE. ECE is a paid solution, with the price ranging between $1,500 to $2,000 per month per node, depending on your resources. There are additional fees for maintaining 3 additional clusters which are needed to manage ECE (as detailed in “administrative resources” below).

Technologies supported

ECK and ECE only support Elasticsearch, while OMC supports both Elasticsearch & OpenSearch.

Technology environments needed

For both ECK and OMC, the clusters operate on Kubernetes, meaning users should have at least a basic familiarity with Kubernetes. 

ECE can run on any Docker. However, to manage their clusters successfully, users actually need to have knowledge in Apache ZooKeeper, Docker & Linux. If you do not have experience with Docker/ZooKeeper, you’ll likely encounter trouble. To see all of the technologies needed to run ECE and learn which configurations are supported, see here

User interface

ECK does not have a user interface, while ECE and OMC do. To run ECK you need to perform every move through the Linux terminal, and due to the lack of UI, it’s of great importance to have a solid background in Kubernetes.

Operational complexity

ECK does not have a user interface which can make it more complex to operate. ECE on the other hand, has a UI but comes with so many other technological requirements that can be considered difficult to operate. OMC is very easy to operate with an intuitive interface and no other requirements.

Provision & manage multiple clusters 

All 3 options enable you to provision and manage multiple clusters.

Easily upgrade versions 

All 3 options provide easy steps for upgrading versions.

Scale cluster resources and configure node roles 

ECK, ECE and OMC all enable users to scale cluster resources and configure node roles.

Security – default secured settings and easily manage certificates

All 3 options are secure by default and provide easy paths for managing certificates.

Autoscaling

The free version of ECK does not enable autoscaling, while the paid version does. ECE and OMC both enable autoscaling.

Built-in Grafana and Prometheus integration

OMC has built-in Grafana and Prometheus integration. ECK and ECE do not have this option.

Built-in API terminal

OMC has a built-in API terminal to execute commands directly against the cluster, as does ECE. This is not provided by ECK.

Plugin integration

ECK does not support plugin integration out-of-the-box, while both ECE and OMC do. However, with ECE the plugins must be hosted behind a URL, while OMC simply supports plugin integration as is. 

Integration to AutoOps

All 3 solutions can easily be integrated to AutoOps in order to optimize performance and reduce costs. With OMC, there is the added advantage of this integration being native, making the process even simpler.

Infrastructure support

These 3 solutions do not come with infrastructure support built-in. For ECK and ECE, you can purchase Elastic support, and/or Opster support. For OMC, you can purchase Opster support and it has the added benefit of connecting directly to your cluster through AutoOps.

Real-time support for search & indexing performance

Elastic does not offer support for search & indexing performance. Opster support does, so for all 3 options you can purchase Opster support. When using OMC, there is the added benefit of Opster’s support team using AutoOps to assist with any issue related to search & indexing performance.

Proactive support

Solely available through Opster support for all 3 solutions. Opster’s team constantly monitors, prevents and resolves issues in your clusters.

Administrative resources required

OMC does not require any administrative resources, nor does ECK. ECE, on the other hand, requires 3 clusters dedicated specifically to: logging & metrics, admin and security clusters. 

Try the OMC for free

If you’d like to get started with the Opster Management Console, try it out here.

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