Splunk vs. ELK – Comprehensive Comparison in 2021

The debate between Splunk vs. ELK has long been going on in the business intelligence in the market. Here you will find all the information regarding this debate between Splunk vs. ELK, so you can make your mind on who is the winner.

If your daily life includes the work of IT operations, then you must have come across Splunk and ELK. These are some of the most widely used tools to solve log management issues in a much easier way. Although the market is filled with various software that promises to solve log management issues faster, Splunk and ELK managed to keep the job done effectively without losing any beat. For a small scale business or large scale, choosing a perfect software is a crucial factor in their organization. Splunk and ELK keep track of every little thing that goes down inside the infrastructure. They even do a good job of protecting the organization from various data breaches in security.

How Splunk and ELK provide benefits to an organization?

It has become common for an IT company to have either Splunk or ELK installed to protect its infrastructure and share the data with other departments of the building. So a deep analysis can be performed on the data to see the strengths and weaknesses of the institution. None of this would be possible without Splunk and ELK.

In the modern age, Splunk and ELK are also expanding in their field to get more features on their respective tables. With Splunk and ELK, the organization can now get reports, alerts, notifications in a visualization manner. Which would help the company to understand the data reading faster?

But the debate between Splunk vs. ELK always seems to be on-air. Both of these services are built to provide the same solution to an organization. But knowing which one will be more effective will help the company more to understand its function and use it effectively in their organization. Splunk vs. ELK is a legitimate debate because both of them are different from one another. It is not something new, the debate to decide which of them is more effective has long been going on in the industry, IN this article we are going to learn everything about Splunk and ELK and see why Splunk vs. ELK matter. So you can reach a better conclusion.

PS: here, you will learn more about the full Qlikview Vs. Qlik Sense comparison.

What is Splunk?


When it comes to the log management and analysis solution, nothing comes close to the level of Splunk.so what makes spunk so popular in the industry? One of the reasons is the sheer amount of features it has to provide to an organization. Not only can it handle log management and analysis requirements, but also Splunk is capable of security information and event management.


Splunk users can unify the log received from various systems across the IT environment and a record of security analysis to understand the company’s performance in these sectors fully. Splunk has its own search language, Search Processing Language (SPL), which handles the serving and execution of contextual queries of data sets. The story doesn’t end here, with Splunk, you are also going to get over 1000 apps and add-on designs. These add-ons will provide better handling of the software and more features to simplify your task.

PS: click here to get more best Splunk alternatives.

What is ELK?

Elastic Stack

Or as it is known as Elasticsearch, Logastah, Kibana. ELK is an opensource data analytics platform with multiple platforms installed inside to carry on the daily task of the organization. Each of these platforms helps the ELK to provide more than the features of one basic software. Elasticsearch provides a search & analytic engine, Logstash provides a data processing pipeline, and at the end, we have Kibana, to visualize the data recorded with the software. Combining all of these functions makes the ELK one of the best log management solutions software out there in the market.

Elastic Stack

Splunk vs. ELK

● Features

Having More features always represents a bigger bang for your bucks. Here both ELK and Splunk provide a sackful of features for the user filled with comprehensive log management and analysis tools. These tools have the ability to fulfill the most demanded operations at a faster time. Both Splunk and ELK are highly customizable to fit the user’s category rather than forcing a system to the user to follow. In short, in the debate between Splunk vs. ELK, in the features category, both of them offer the same amount of function to the organization. When it comes to providing features, they are equally the same.

● Ease of handling

Now there are multiple software promising to provide all the features that you will need for your enterprise, but handling them would require you to go through a thick manual book. That is not the case here; both Splunk and ELK provide much simpler dashboards with all the important features installed on the board. The user will have instant access to the features without having to waste any time looking for it. There has to be one winner between Splunk vs. ELK, Here Splunk dashboard provides more accessible features with refined configuration options compared to the dashboard that ELK has to offer.when you put Splunk against ELK, the ease of handling will be far better on Splunk than on ELK. Splunk is the clear winner in the ease of handling the benchmark.

● Learning Curve

Between Splunk vs. ELK, ELK has a flat learning curve because of the paid courses it has to offer to the user, Splunk, on the other hand, has a moderate learning curve, compared to ELK, Splunk’s courses are a bit expensive. ELK wins here by having you pay less for their course.

● Community

You can learn all the nuts and bolts required to know the function of both Splunk and ELK, but at some point, you will come across a problem so small or big, that you won’t have any idea how to resolve it. It is here where the community will provide you a helping hand to ease your stress and show you the right way of fixing it. ELK is an open-source, so it bound to have a better community around it than Splunk. The community of ELK is filled with users from different technical backgrounds and developers from the software. They would not only provide you with a great assist to your problem, but also they would have a lot of new additions that you can use to make your work go smoother on a regular basis. When it comes to Splunk vs. ELK, ELK is the winner here.

Splunk has over 12,000 customers from a wide variety of industries using the service on a regular basis. Splunk’s list includes the names of Adobe, BlackRock, Coca-Cola, ING, Tesco, AAA, staples, and many others. Not to be outdone, ELK has eBay, Verizon, Netflix, Cisco, Salesforce, Fico, Facebook. Both of the software have a stable foot in the market because they are known to provide excellent quality of service with effective results.

● Functions

Splunk is a single type of product without having the option of open source. But ELK merges other products to add more value to its product. Elasticsearch, Logstash, and kibana, these three are what makes the ELK work. Splunk uses a universal forwarder as an agent to collect the log file data from the servers, with ELK you have Logstash to carry out the same function.

Splunk uses proprietary technology for indexing, while ELK uses Apache Lucene for the indexing work. Proprietary technology in Splunk is developed in C++, apache Lucene has written in Java. To conclude all the functions that Splunk carries out with its function, ELK has a different variation of it written in another language. Splunk has over 1000 add ons and apps that are further categorized into six sections -DevOps, It operation, Security /Fraud/ Compliance, business analytics, Industrial data, and utilities. Don’t worry, ELK also has massive tons of plugins and integrations from the large community that you will have access to.

● Visualizations

The user interface of Splunk is equipped with all the options that you want on the main board of any software. Having the ability to choose a compatible customized dashboard, and the user can assess the same amount of features on a different platform, such as on mobile phones without losing anything which Makes Splunk one of a kind software. That gives you a great customize application while keeping the technology part in. With ELK, you have Kibana to do all the visualization tasks. Such as charts, tables, graph presentation, and much more available on the dashboard. But kibana doesn’t support user management, but Splunk has the option to carry out that function. In the battle between Splunk vs. ELK, Splunk takes the cake here.


RESTful API is part of the Splunk. Which contains more than 200 endpoints to access various features of Splunk. ELK’s Elasticsearch guard was made from RESTful APIS and JSON. Elastic search offers pre-built clients to make custom made apps in many programming languages that suit the user the most. They can be used from Java, Python,.NET, and many more.

● Cost

When it comes to cost, the argument between Splunk vs. ELK, ELK, takes the trophy hereby being opensource, which in technical terms for free. Splunk, however, comes with a price tag. There are various packages available in Splunk deciding what you can choose to prefer more to your organization use. The inclusion of cloud-based hosted system on both software is a welcome new addition that requires the computer to put no money towards hardware to run the software.

Made of a single productMade of a multi-product.
For data index – Proprietary Technology developed in c++Elk uses Apache Lucene developed in Java for data indexing
For Querying – Splunk Processing Language


Which is similar to SQL

For Querying – Query DSL and JSON syntax
Web-like User interface with accessibility to all the of the controlsElk USES Kibana to handle the visualization task
Not open-source, you have to pay a lot of money to get Splunk.Open Source – Free of cost
Installing is easier with SplunkHere we see the same deployment method. Much easier
Handling of the software will be easier hereIt would get difficult to grab on to the methods behind the elk
Here you will get many pre-built options to get you startedHere you will only get RESTful API and JSONB
Difficult to get into, you have to pay a lot of money to understand the deep system of SplunkBy being open-source, you will have access to a larger community.

Final Thoughts about Splunk vs. ELK

                            Splunk                                      ELK

Ease of handling5/54/5
Learning Curve3/55/5

It all comes down to you to seek the software that will be more useful to the enterprise. It doesn’t matter how you look at Splunk vs. ELK, both of them are excellent software that provides all the services that you need for organization, you will get some changes here and there, these changes come with a huge price tag for your organization. First, make what are the services you need from this software, and buy that package for your enterprise before stepping out buying the largest one because if your company doesn’t use that service, then it won’t be very worthy for the company and will not have any impact on the production rate.