Elastic.on 2015


This week I was in San Francisco together with Sander attending elastic{on}. The goal was to learn about what elasticsearch is doing and is going to do in the coming period. We also wanted to hear from others using elasticsearch and speak to people that use elasticsearch. This week was a blast, we had great fun and learned a lot. The organisation was fantastic and we (Sander and me) were impressed with the size and professionalism of the organisation.

In this blog post I want to give you a very short impression of the conference. If you want more information and live in the Netherlands, come to the next GOTO night were I will present this experience with more details.

The main goal for me at a conference is to become inspired. If, at the end of a conference, there is nothing I would like to try out, the conference was not good. Before hand I can tell you, that is not the case for elastic.con 2015. The second goal is to meet interesting people and reconnect with people I haven’t seen for a while. Again I succeeded in this goal. Finally I want to have fun while being at the conference, this was no problem as well. In the next sections I go through some of the things I have done, talks I attended, things that got me inspired and people I have talked to.

Before the conference started

Saturday I took the plain from Amsterdam to San Francisco. On the airport I met up with Dajana Günther from Trifork Germany. This made waiting a lot better. The first person to catch up with. The flight was long, but ok. After my arrival, first a walk along the harbour and the piers to see the sea lions.see-lions

The next day was a day off and I went to Alcatraz. If you go to San Francisco I can highly recommend this, very nice trip and impressive. In the afternoon Sander arrived and we went walking across the piers again. The third day we set out for a walk across San Francisco and we went on a bike ride to Golden gate bridge. Very inspiring. Than the actual conference started with a reception. Had some good chats with lots of people. Among them the very proud CEO of Elastic, Steven Schuurman. Since he is my old boss I feel really proud about what he has accomplished with all the people that surround him.

The conference: day 1

After having a lot of fun, on Tuesday the conference started for real. The first session was the keynote hosted by Steven and Shy. They let others tak about highlights for Logstash and Kibana. There was also some great news. The first was the new name and logo.

The second item was that elastic has bought found, a cloud based search SAAS provider. Personally I like the new logo, bit the idea of creating a private cloud solution for elasticsearch sounds even better. It was a very nice keynote with a good indication of what was to come.

The first sessions I attended were about new features to come in elasticsearch, Kibana and logstash. The focus for elasticsearch is to prevent you from hurting yourself. They are introducing better warnings for configuration issues and sometimes even errors, stricter mapping rules for types and improving settings automatically based on feedback loops for things like thread pool size and other controls. I personally like what they are planning on doing with the re-index api. This is going to make my tool maintaining elasticsearch a lot easier. Finally I want to mention that the elastic team is working hard on making recovery a lot more efficient.

For Kibana they want to implement more graphs and better filters. Logstash is going to be extended with it’s own queue and will be giving access to Logstahs metrics.

Next I attended some partner sessions. They showed how big their clusters were, the amount of documents that we indexes and the amount of queries they executed. Some very impressive numbers like the ones from verizon: 500 Billion documents, 128 nodes.


Day one was closed with a very nice party. A lot of candles, music and some nice games. People were having fun, a lot of conversations. Took time to talk to old colleague of mine Luca Cavanna. Even the food was good, not bad for a group of around 1300 people.

Day two

We started of with the partner meetup. All the partners that were in San Francisco could here about what is to come for elastic partners. An interesting session with a lot of information to be used when talking to customers, so (future) customers be warned, we might me able to help you better now. I like the demo environment based on Docker.

Next the keynote for day 2, interesting conversation with a high representative for Goldman and Sachs followed by two very interesting presentations. One from Pablo Castro about how elastic is used within Microsoft. Especially the Azure options are really nice. The third and final presentation in the keynote came from NASA very inspiring how they used a cluster of 6 nodes to facilitate all employees of NASA to find the right internal information.

The next presentation I attended was about Shield. The security plugin for elasticsearch. I blogged about the plugin before, but it is good to hear from one of the main contributors what it is all about. I personally like the anonymous user that they implemented together with the plans to create an api around user management.

The final presentation I attended was about D3 and what is going to happen to Kibana. Th idea that we will get new visualisations like heat maps is really cool, but the idea for plugins that they have is even more impressive. The idea is to make it so easy to add visualisations that you do not need to have knowledge of all the Kibana internals. If you want to create something with another charting library, it should be possible.


Elastic{on} 2015 was one of the best conferences I attended, I learned a lot and I got inspired to try out new stuff for sure. If you want to hear more about Elastic{on} join me for the GOTO night at bol.com. If you want to hear more about elasticsearch and real-time data analysis, join me for the Luminis DevCon. If you have questions, use the comments or the contact form.