AWS Elasticsearch Service:

  • Automatically replaces failed nodes
  • Add/remove nodes through an API
  • Manage access rights via IAM
  • Daily snapshots to S3 are included
  • CloudWatch monitoring included

Elasticsearch over EC2:

  • On demand equivalent instances are cheaper by ~29%
  • Change more index settings
  • Change more cluster-wide settings
  • Access to all other APIs such as Hot Threads, which is useful for debugging
  • Supports Clusters of more than 20 nodes if required
  • Supports a more comprehensive Elasticsearch monitoring solution


  • m4.large instance, AWS ElasticSearch is 0.151/hr USD for on demand while EC2 is $0.10/hr USD.
  • AWS Elasticsearch service charges $0.135/gb/month for gp2 storage while with EC2 it is $0.10/gb/month.

Final Comments:

I suggest to opt AWS Elasticsearch Service if below are our requirements:

  • Data-store < 1 TB
  • Small cluster size
  • Low Scaling requirement