Splunk vs. ELK – Comprehensive Comparison in 2024

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The debate between Splunk vs. ELK has long been going on in the business intelligence market.

Here you will find all the information regarding this debate between Splunk vs. ELK, so you can decide 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 much easier.

Although the market is filled with various software 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 the perfect software is crucial 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 building departments.

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 to get more features on their respective tables. With Splunk and ELK, the organization can now get reports, alerts, and notifications visualization. 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 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 will learn everything about Splunk and ELK and see why Splunk vs. ELK matters. So you can reach a better conclusion.

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.

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 will also 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 open-source data analytics platform with multiple platforms installed inside to carry on the daily task of the organization.

Each of these platforms helps the ELK provide more than one basic software feature.

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 in the market.

Elastic Stack

Splunk vs. ELK

● Features

Having More features always represents a bigger bang for your buck. 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.

Splunk and ELK are highly customizable to fit the user’s category rather than forcing a system to follow. In short, in the debate between Splunk vs. ELK, in the features category, both offer the same amount of function to the organization. When it comes to providing features, they are equally the same.

● Ease of Handling

There are multiple software promising to provide all the features you will need for your enterprise, but handling them requires 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 them.

There has to be one winner between Splunk vs. ELK Here, the Splunk dashboard provides more accessible features with refined configuration options than the dashboard that ELK offers.

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.

Here, the community will provide you with a helping hand to ease your stress and show you the right way to fix it. ELK is open-source, so it is bound to have a better community around it than Splunk. The community of ELK is filled with users from different technical backgrounds and developers of the software.

They would not only provide you with great assistance with your problem, but also they would have a lot of new additions that you can use to make your work go smoother regularly. 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 regularly. Splunk’s list includes Adobe, BlackRock, Coca-Cola, ING, Tesco, AAA, staples, and many others.

Not to be outdone, ELK has eBay, Verizon, Netflix, Cisco, Salesforce, Fico, and 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 the option of open source. But ELK merges other products to add more value to its product. Elasticsearch, Logstash, and kibana, three are that make 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++, and Apache Lucene has written in Java.

To conclude all the functions that Splunk carries out with its function, ELK has a different variation 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 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, 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 customized application while keeping the technology part in.

With ELK, you have Kibana to do all the visualization tasks. Such as charts, tables, graph presentations, and much more are 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 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 in Java, Python,.NET, and many more.

● Cost

When it comes to cost, in the argument between Splunk vs. ELK, ELK takes the trophy hereby being open source, which in technical terms for free.

Splunk, however, comes with a price tag. There are various packages available in Splunk; decide what you can refer to for your organization’s use.

A 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 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 onto 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 Splunk.By being open-source, you will have access to a larger community.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Q: Is Splunk only suitable for large enterprises? A: No, Splunk caters to organizations of all sizes, offering different editions to fit specific needs and budgets.
  2. Q: Can ELK handle real-time log monitoring? A: Yes, ELK’s components can be configured to collect and process logs in real-time for monitoring and analysis.
  3. Q: Are there any additional costs associated with ELK’s open-source components? A: While ELK itself is open-source and free to use, organizations may need to allocate resources for infrastructure, maintenance, and support.
  4. Q: Can Splunk and ELK be used together? A: Yes, it is possible to integrate Splunk and ELK in a hybrid setup, leveraging the strengths of both solutions for specific use cases.
  5. Q: Which solution is better for compliance management? A: Splunk’s enterprise-grade features and compliance-specific apps make it well-suited for organizations with stringent compliance requirements.

Final Thoughts

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 an 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 and 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.


Ten years of experience in information and computer technology. Passionate about electronic devices, smartphones, computers, and modern technology.

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