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Elasticsearch versus OpenSearch

Elasticsearch is an search and analytics engine, initially released in 2010 by Elasticsearch BV (now part of Elastic NV). OpenSearch is a community-driven, open-source search and analytics engine, forked from Elasticsearch by AWS in 2021 after Elastic NV changed the license for some of its code.

Timeline of the major events:

  • 2010: Elasticsearch is first released as an open-source search and analytics engine.
  • 2015: a commercial version of Elasticsearch called X-Pack is released, which adds features such as security, alerting, and machine learning.
  • 2018: Elastic NV changes the license for X-Pack. Prior to that, Elasticsearch was available under the Apache 2.0 license, which is a permissive open-source license that allows for the free use, modification, and distribution of the code. This change in licensing caused some controversy in the open-source community, as it was seen as a departure from Elasticsearch's roots as an open-source project.
  • 2021: AWS announces that it will fork Elasticsearch and Kibana to create OpenSearch and OpenSearch Dashboards, after Elastic NV changed the license for some of its code.
  • 2021: OpenSearch and OpenSearch Dashboards are released under the Apache 2.0 license, with contributions from AWS and the open-source community.

Today, Elasticsearch and OpenSearch are both powerful search and analytics engines that are widely used in a variety of applications, including log analysis, e-commerce, and enterprise search.
While Elasticsearch and OpenSearch have some differences in their features and licensing, they share many similarities in their underlying technology and community-driven development.


Author: Maximilian Pfisterer

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