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Navigating the Data Landscape: Unraveling Elastic and Splunk Data Tiers

Navigating the Data Landscape: Unraveling Elastic and Splunk Data Tiers

Navigating the Data Landscape: Unraveling Elastic and Splunk Data Tiers


Unraveling Elastic and

In the dynamic realm of data management, terms like Hot, Warm, and Cold often spark discussions about the best strategies for handling data efficiently. Today, we delve into the nuances of data tiers within Elastic and Splunk, aiming to demystify their differences and empower you to make strategic, cost-effective decisions for your data management needs.


Understanding Data Tiers: A Fundamental Overview

At its core, data tiers are distinct storage levels classifying data based on factors such as access frequency, cost efficiency, and performance needs. These tiers facilitate optimized data organization, aligning storage expenses with the evolving value of information over time. In platforms dealing with observability and security tools, where data volume is exceptionally high, effective data tiering becomes crucial.

Both Elastic and Splunk embrace a three-layered “data cake” approach:

Layer A:

The initial destination for data, offering optimal performance for indexing and search.

Layer B:

A tier with slightly reduced performance, serving as a searchable repository with automated backups.

Layer C:

A storage layer incurring no compute costs until actively indexed, requiring explicit user action for restoration.

Empowering users to choose the movement of data across layers is essential, enabling a balance between performance and costs aligned with budget and business requirements.


Data Tiers in Elastic and Splunk:

Now, let’s compare Elastic and Splunk’s on-premises solutions (Elasticsearch / Splunk Enterprise) and their cloud counterparts (Elastic Cloud / Splunk Cloud).


Comparison: Elasticsearch and Splunk Enterprise

While both platforms boast Hot, Warm, Cold, and Frozen tiers, their meanings differ significantly. Elastic’s five-tier structure contrasts with Splunk Enterprise’s four-tier approach:


Elastic’s Tiers:


  1. Hot: Optimal performance for freshly ingested data.
  2. Warm: Slightly less critical data on budget-friendly hardware.
  3. Cold: A single searchable copy with automatic recovery from object storage.
  4. Frozen: Houses less frequently accessed data with automatic restoration.
  5. Snapshots: Manual restorable data backups.


Splunk’s Tiers:


  1. Hot+Warm: Primary destination for freshly ingested data.
  2. Cold: Moves less frequently searched data to slower storage.
  3. SmartStore: Similar to Elastic’s Cold and Frozen, leveraging remote object storage.
  4. Frozen: Manual restorable data backups.


Data on Premises: Elastic’s Scalable Advantage

Elastic maintains a scalable Hot tier, easing the transition to Warm without compromising availability. In contrast, Splunk’s distinction between Hot and Warm is less pronounced, and its Cold tier aligns with Elastic’s Warm in terms of hardware utilization.


Elastic Cloud and Splunk Cloud: A Cloudy Distinction

In Elastic Cloud, data initiates its journey in the Hot tier, known for scalability and high availability. Splunk Cloud, however, lacks a direct Hot-Warm equivalent, opting for DDAS prioritizing cost savings.


Cloud Data Tiers: Elastic’s Flexibility vs. Splunk’s Limitations

Elastic Cloud’s flexibility shines as it provides a detailed list of instance types for AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure, allowing changes without downtime. Splunk Cloud, with limited options, prioritizes cost savings, potentially impacting speed.




Naming conventions can create confusion, but understanding the capabilities of Elastic and Splunk’s data tiers is crucial. This breakdown dispels misconceptions, empowering you to strategically organize data for optimal performance and cost benefits. Dive beyond names; comprehend the mechanics of each tier for a robust and efficient data strategy.

For a detailed comparison, explore the Elastic vs. Splunk Data Tiers Differences article.

Additionally, check out our recommended ElasticSearch expert for expert insights into optimizing your ElasticSearch deployment.

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