Elasticsearch Elasticsearch Disaster Recovery: Strategies and Best Practices

By Opster Team

Updated: Nov 7, 2023

| 2 min read

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Elasticsearch is widely used for various applications due to its scalability and flexibility. However, like any other system, Elasticsearch is not immune to failures. Therefore, having a robust disaster recovery plan is crucial to ensure the continuity of services and minimize data loss. This article will delve into the strategies and best practices for Elasticsearch disaster recovery.

Understanding the Importance of Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery is a critical aspect of any IT infrastructure. It involves preparing for and recovering from a disaster that could potentially harm the system. In the context of Elasticsearch, a disaster could be anything from a node failure, network outage, data corruption, to a complete cluster failure.

The primary goal of disaster recovery is to minimize downtime and data loss. It ensures that your Elasticsearch cluster can quickly recover and continue to provide services in the event of a disaster. Without a proper disaster recovery plan, you risk losing valuable data and facing extended periods of service disruption, which could have significant business implications.

Disaster Recovery Strategies for Elasticsearch

There are several strategies you can employ for Elasticsearch disaster recovery. The choice of strategy depends on your specific requirements, such as the acceptable data loss and recovery time.

1. Regular Snapshots

One of the most effective strategies for Elasticsearch disaster recovery is taking regular snapshots. A snapshot is a backup taken from a running Elasticsearch cluster. You can take snapshots of individual indices or an entire cluster.

To create a snapshot, you first need to register a snapshot repository. This repository can be a shared file system, Amazon S3, HDFS, Azure, Google Cloud Storage, or any other blob store. Once the repository is registered, you can use the `PUT /_snapshot/my_backup` API to create a snapshot.

Remember to take snapshots regularly to minimize data loss. The frequency of snapshots will depend on your data and business requirements.

2. Replication

Elasticsearch provides built-in support for data replication. By default, each index in Elasticsearch is divided into shards, with each shard having one or more copies known as replicas. These replicas provide high availability and protect against data loss.

You can control the number of replicas using the `index.number_of_replicas` setting. For disaster recovery purposes, it’s recommended to have at least one replica for each shard.

3. Cross-Cluster Replication

For more robust disaster recovery, you can use cross-cluster replication (CCR). CCR allows you to replicate indices from one cluster to another, either in uni-directional or bi-directional way. This is particularly useful for disaster recovery as it provides a live backup of your data.

To use CCR, you need to set up a remote cluster and then use the `PUT /_ccr/auto_follow/my_auto_follow_pattern` API to configure auto-follow patterns.

It is worth noting that the cross-cluster replication feature requires at least a Platinum license. However, you can still try this feature by converting your basic license to a trial one, which gives you access to all features for 30 days.

Best Practices for Elasticsearch Disaster Recovery

Here are some best practices to follow when implementing Elasticsearch disaster recovery:

  1. Test Your Disaster Recovery Plan: Regularly test your disaster recovery plan to ensure it works as expected. This will help you identify and fix any issues before a real disaster occurs.
  2. Monitor Your Cluster: Use the Elasticsearch monitoring features to keep an eye on your cluster’s health. This can help you detect potential issues early and take corrective action.
  3. Keep Your Cluster Updated: Regularly update your Elasticsearch cluster to the latest version to benefit from the latest features and improvements, including those related to disaster recovery.
  4. Secure Your Cluster: Implement security measures such as encryption, user authentication, and access control to protect your cluster from security threats that could tamper with your data.


In conclusion, having a robust disaster recovery plan is crucial for any Elasticsearch deployment. By taking regular snapshots, using replication, and following best practices, you can ensure that your Elasticsearch cluster can quickly recover from a disaster and continue to provide services with minimal disruption. 

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