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Solr and Elasticsearch, a performance study

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A performance study comparing two leading open source search engines, Apache Lucene/Solr and Elasticsearch

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Solr and Elasticsearch, a performance study

  1. 1. Elasticsearch and SolrCloud a performance comparison Tom Mortimer - Technical Director 27th November 2014 charlie@flax.co.uk www.flax.co.uk/blog +44 (0) 8700 118334 Twitter: @FlaxSearch
  2. 2. Who are Flax? We design, build and support open source powered search applications
  3. 3. Who are Flax? We design, build and support open source powered search applications Based in Cambridge U.K., technology agnostic & independent – but open source exponents & committers
  4. 4. Who are Flax? We design, build and support open source powered search applications Based in Cambridge U.K., technology agnostic & independent – but open source exponents & committers UK Authorized Partner of
  5. 5. Who are Flax? We design, build and support open source powered search applications Based in Cambridge U.K., technology agnostic & independent – but open source exponents & committers UK Authorized Partner of Customers include Reed Specialist Recruitment, Mydeco, NLA, Gorkana, Financial Times, News UK, EMBL-EBI, Accenture, University of Cambridge, UK Government...
  6. 6. Who are Flax? We design, build and support open source powered search applications Based in Cambridge U.K., technology agnostic & independent – but open source exponents & committers UK Authorized Partner of Customers in recruitment, government, e-commerce, news & media, bioinformatics, consulting, law...
  7. 7. Who are Flax? We design, build and support open source powered search applications Based in Cambridge U.K., technology agnostic & independent – but open source exponents & committers UK Authorized Partner of Customers in recruitment, government, e-commerce, news & media, bioinformatics, consulting, law...
  8. 8.  Open source search server based on Lucene  Created in 2004 by Yonik Seeley  Became an Apache project in 2006  Merged with Lucene in 2011  Web API  XML config, XML/JSON data formats  SolrCloud features added in 2012  Uses Apache ZooKeeper for cluster management
  9. 9.  Open source search server based on Lucene  Created in 2010 by Shay Banon  RESTful Web API  Everything is JSON  Distributed and NRT by design  Own Zen Discovery module for cluster management
  10. 10. vs.  Both have large, dynamic communities  Well-funded commercial backing  Widely used in many diverse projects  Elasticsearch easier to setup and configure  Elasticsearch query DSL  But: is Elasticsearch as tolerant of network faults? (Jepsen tests by Kyle Kingsbury)  How does performance compare?
  11. 11. vs.  Both have large, dynamic communities  Well-funded commercial backing  Widely used in many diverse projects  Elasticsearch easier to setup and configure  Elasticsearch query DSL  But: is Elasticsearch as tolerant of network faults? (Jepsen tests by Kyle Kingsbury)  How does performance compare?  Note that we don't have a preference...we use both!
  12. 12. Why does performance matter?  Won't it be the same, as they both use Lucene?  Can't you just throw hardware at it?  Hardware is cheaper than developers
  13. 13. Why does performance matter?  Won't it be the same, as they both use Lucene?  Can't you just throw hardware at it?  Hardware is cheaper than developers  Well, no.
  14. 14. Why does performance matter?  There's a lot more to them than just a web API on top of Lucene.  Several of our customers have fixed hardware budgets  May have to use limited internal resources  With large indexes or complex queries, need to squeeze every last bit of performance out of the hardware
  15. 15. Why does performance matter?  There's a lot more to them than just a web API on top of Lucene.  Several of our customers have fixed hardware budgets  May have to use limited internal resources  With large indexes or complex queries, need to squeeze every last bit of performance out of the hardware
  16. 16. What performance studies are out there?  Not many found by a Google search. http://blog.socialcast.com/realtime-search-solr-vs-elasticsearch/  Solr much faster than Elasticsearch, except for NRT searches with concurrent indexing (where situation was reversed).  But: This was over 3 years ago, before SolrCloud
  17. 17. Our experience  Client with complex filtering requirements for content licensing, 10Ms of documents, limited hardware budget, no NRT requirement.  Performed tests 18 months ago on EC2.  Solr was approximately 20 times faster!  More recently, Solr was 4 times faster for a project requiring geospatial filtering  What about now?
  18. 18. This study  Recent versions of Elasticsearch (1.4.0) and Solr (4.10.2)  Concentrated on indexing performance, query times with and without concurrent indexing, QPS, filters and facets.  Hardware kindly provided by BigStep.com  Full Metal Cloud (real instances, not VMs)  Optimised for high performance  Can be faster than your own dedicated hardware!
  19. 19. The results?
  20. 20. The results?  Not really very interesting
  21. 21. The results?  Not really very interesting  SolrCloud and Elasticsearch were both very fast  Similar performance with concurrent indexing or not  Solr could handle higher QPS
  22. 22. Cluster configuration  Two machines, each with 96GB RAM  Two instances of SolrCloud or Elasticsearch on each  Each instance has 24GB JVM heap  Four shards  No replicas
  23. 23. Cluster configuration in BigStep
  24. 24. Data  40M documents created by using a Markov chain on a seed document (on Stoicism) from gutenberg.org “Below planets. this Below lay this the lay infinite the void infinite without void beginning, without middle, beginning, or middle, end, or this end occupied...”  Small (5-20 word) and larger (200-1000 word) docs  Randomly assigned ints for “source” and “level”, to simulate licensing filters and for facets.
  25. 25. Indexing  Python script and requests library  Single process for small index, four processes for larger index  Single process for indexing concurrent with search
  26. 26. Searching  Python and requests  Each query time logged for analysis  Single process for query time testing  Multiple processes to test QPS  All tests performed warm  Queries consisted of three randomly chosen terms combined with OR  Filters randomly generated  Facets / Elasticsearch aggregations
  27. 27. 40M Small documents  Elasticsearch indexed them in 30 minutes  Total index size was 8.8 GB (easily cacheable)  Solr indexed them in 43 minutes  Total index size was 7.6 GB
  28. 28. 40M Small documents (concurrent indexing) Elasticsearch: 0.01s mean, 99% < 0.06s Solr: 0.01s mean, 99% < 0.10s
  29. 29. 40M Large documents  Elasticsearch indexed them in 179 minutes  Total index size was 363 GB (not completely cacheable)  Solr indexed them in 119 minutes  Total index size was 226 GB
  30. 30. 40M Large documents (search with facets) Elasticsearch: 0.21s mean, 99% < 0.75s Solr: 0.25s mean, 99% < 0.84s
  31. 31. 40M Large documents (with 10 filters) Elasticsearch: 0.21s mean, 99% < 0.72s Solr: 0.09s mean, 99% < 0.50s
  32. 32. 40M Large documents (concurrent indexing) Elasticsearch: 0.16s mean, 99% < 0.86s Solr: 0.09s mean, 99% < 0.46s
  33. 33. 40M Large documents (QPS)
  34. 34. Conclusions  SolrCloud seems to be slightly faster. However, performance was acceptable in all cases.  SolrCloud can apparently support a significantly higher number of queries per second (tested without concurrent indexing, however).
  35. 35. Limitations and problems  Validity of generated documents?  Validity of random queries?  Searches did not fetch any document data  Did not test highlighting, range facets, geolocation, etc. etc...  Only tested one type of cluster configuration (Elasticsearch is very flexible about node role).  Did not tune JVM parameters  Did not perform profiling to identify reasons for differences
  36. 36. What's next  Would have also liked to have compared BigStep with Amazon EC2.  If there is any interest, I hope to address some of these problems in the near future.  We'll open source the code (next week?) on www.github.com/flaxsearch
  37. 37. What to take away from this?  Elasticsearch and Solr are both awesome  They currently seem very close in terms of performance (according to this limited study)
  38. 38. What to take away from this?  Elasticsearch and Solr are both awesome  They currently seem very close in terms of performance (according to this limited study)  However, all search applications are different  Solr and Elasticsearch may have quite different performance characteristics in certain cases.  Hard to predict.  If performance is important to you, it will pay to try both.
  39. 39. Thanks!  To you, for listening  To for the use of Full Metal Cloud  Any questions? - tom@flax.co.uk

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