Review of ElasticSearch Server

James Turnbull bio photo By James Turnbull

One of my recent passions has been ElasticSearch. I like searching things and I especially like being able to dump data into a custom search engine and then use its rather neat API to find the items I want.

Part of this interest was sparked by writing a book about LogStash where I had to give myself a crash course in how to use ElasticSearch. I found the ElasticSearch documentation quite easy to use but finding a lot of the practical and configuration nuances like scaling or tuning required Googling for examples and blog posts.

So when the team at Packt asked me to review their new ElasticSearch Server book I was pleasantly chuffed because it was excellent timing for me. I am not normally enamoured of Pakt books but this one was well written and engaging. It provides most of the information needed for both people who have to administer ElasticSearch and those who have to develop for it.

The book provides a good introduction to the conceptual layer of ElasticSearch, how to install it, how search works, indexing, mapping and querying. It has a good section, albeit a little high-level in parts and not quite detailed enough, on administoring an ElasticSearch cluster and a solid trouble-shooting chapter. I thought there could have been a bit more on scaling as this is a challenge a lot of people struggle with but overall it’s an excellent book.