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ELK vs Seq: What are the differences?


ELK and Seq are both log management and analytics platforms that help businesses analyze and gain insights from their log data. However, they have key differences that set them apart in terms of their features and capabilities.

  1. Data Storage and Indexing: One of the key differences between ELK (Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana) and Seq is in their data storage and indexing approaches. ELK utilizes Elasticsearch as its storage and indexing solution, which is designed to handle large amounts of data and is horizontally scalable. On the other hand, Seq uses a proprietary columnar storage engine that offers fast and efficient querying capabilities.

  2. Querying Capabilities: ELK provides users with a wide range of querying capabilities, including full-text search, filtering, aggregation, and complex queries using the Elasticsearch Query DSL (Domain-Specific Language). It supports both structured and unstructured queries, making it versatile for log analysis. Seq, on the other hand, focuses on simplified querying with a powerful SQL-like query language that allows users to easily slice and dice log data.

  3. Ease of Use and Configuration: ELK requires more setup and configuration compared to Seq. It involves installing and configuring multiple components, such as Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana, which may require expertise and effort. In contrast, Seq offers a simpler setup, requiring only the installation of a single server or container. It has a user-friendly web-based interface that makes it easy for users to configure and customize their log pipelines.

  4. Alerting and Notifications: ELK offers built-in alerting and notification features through the use of plugins and integrations. Users can define conditions and triggers based on log data and receive alerts through various channels. Seq, on the other hand, does not have native alerting capabilities. However, it can be integrated with external systems or tools to enable alerting and notifications.

  5. Community and Ecosystem: ELK has a large and active community, with a wide range of plugins and integrations available. It has extensive documentation and community support, which makes it easier for users to find solutions to their problems. Seq is a newer platform with a smaller community, but it has been gaining popularity and has an active community forum for support.

  6. Licensing and Pricing: ELK is an open-source platform with a freemium model. The basic components (Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana) are open source, while additional features and support require a paid subscription. Seq, on the other hand, is a commercial product with a licensing model based on the number of events ingested. It offers both self-hosted and cloud-based options, with different pricing tiers based on usage.

In Summary, ELK and Seq differ in their data storage and indexing approaches, querying capabilities, ease of use and configuration, alerting and notifications, community and ecosystem, and licensing and pricing models.

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Pros of ELK
Pros of Seq
  • 13
    Open source
  • 3
    Can run locally
  • 3
    Good for startups with monetary limitations
  • 1
    External Network Goes Down You Aren't Without Logging
  • 1
    Easy to setup
  • 0
    Json log supprt
  • 0
    Live logging
  • 5
    Easy to install and configure
  • 5
    Easy to use
  • 3
    Flexible query language
  • 2
    Free unlimited one-person version
  • 2
    Beautiful charts and dashboards
  • 2
    Extensive plug-ins and integrations

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Cons of ELK
Cons of Seq
  • 5
    Elastic Search is a resource hog
  • 3
    Logstash configuration is a pain
  • 1
    Bad for startups with personal limitations
  • 1
    It is not free

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What is ELK?

It is the acronym for three open source projects: Elasticsearch, Logstash, and Kibana. Elasticsearch is a search and analytics engine. Logstash is a server‑side data processing pipeline that ingests data from multiple sources simultaneously, transforms it, and then sends it to a "stash" like Elasticsearch. Kibana lets users visualize data with charts and graphs in Elasticsearch.

What is Seq?

Seq is a self-hosted server for structured log search, analysis, and alerting. It can be hosted on Windows or Linux/Docker, and has integrations for most popular structured logging libraries.

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What companies use ELK?
What companies use Seq?
See which teams inside your own company are using ELK or Seq.
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What tools integrate with ELK?
What tools integrate with Seq?

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