Stephen E. Arnold: Elasticsearch: 70:30 Odds as the Next Big Thing in Search — and Open Source Tool to Boot

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Stephen E. Arnold
Stephen E. Arnold

Elasticsearch: 70:30 Odds as the Next Big Thing in Search

We learned on March 26, 2014  suggesting that the German search vendor Intrafind has been looking for the next big thing. The company may have found it, and we expect that this low profile vendor will be plugging into the Elasticsearch power cable. Wikipedia already has, joining hundreds of other firms looking for a solution to doggy indexing in some other open source centric solutions.

Elasticsearch repackager SearchBlox has rolled out Version 8 of its hosted Elasticsearch system, according to Timo Selvaraj, Co-Founder/VP Product Management of SearchBlox.

As if these two recent developments were not enough, GoveWizely, a Washington, DC engineering services firm, has added Elasticsearch to its arsenal. GovWizely, operated by Erik S. Arnold (yep, that’s my boy) has moved adroitly to capitalize on the surging interest in Elasticsearch’s high performance system.

Contrast Elasticsearch’s rise as the go to open source enterprise search system with the struggles of other open source search vendor and some commercial outfits. LucidWorks has ingested $2 million in venture funding, according to Crunchbase. Elasticsearch has received $34 million in funding. Parity, right?

Not so “fast”. (A gentle nod to the fascinating proprietary system shoe horned by Microsoft into SharePoint.) Elasticsearch seems to be catching up to LucidWorks or winning the critical struggle for developers. Here’s the Elasticsearch pitch:

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Understated and quiet, according to my engineering team. Could the developments at Intrafind, SearchBlox, and Adhere Solutions, among others, are an early warning system, Elasticsearch certainly could be the “next big thing” in search, enterprise and otherwise.

What’s this mean for the proprietary and non open sourcey vendors like Coveo, Funnelback, Lexmark ISYS, and Hewlett Packard? I would suggest that these firms’ management have to adapt to what appears to an emergent and disruptive force in information processing. If Elasticsearch does emulate the growth of the pre HP Autonomy, the likelihood that the millions of venture funding pumped into search funding and search acquiring may never be repaid. Chilling thought for some stakeholders who may have jumped on the wrong horse and seem compelled to continue to feed the nag fresh, expensive, non recoverable “clover.” (Think millions in hard cash funding with little to show that a payback is imminent or even possible.)

Consider the impact on IBM and HP if Elasticsearch grows adds functionality and features. What happens if Elasticsearch’s rip through the market continues? What happens if Elasticsearch continues to attract developers like iron filings to a ceramic magnet? The billions IBM and HP, arguably aging tech giants, are now betting on content processing may vaporize.

I do not believe that comparatively tiny Elasticsearch can out think, out market, or even out litigate the towering management intellects at IBM and HP. But I find it interesting to consider the “elastic” pain IBM and HP might experience along with the dozens upon dozens of smaller search firms will have to endure as a consequence of Elasticsearch’s market presence. Has Elasticsearch just punched the right buttons or is the company enjoying the benefit of being in the right place at the right time?

Free of the management trouble at many of its competitors, Elasticsearch seems to be stable and surfing at high speed. One open source enterprise search firm has ripped through senior managers with abandon, forcing out such high profile search experts as Marc Krellenstein and Brian Pinkerton. Giants like IBM and HP have their share of management churn in their search divisions.

What’s behind this “emergence”?

I will make available a profile of Elasticsearch, originally prepared for IDC and published with significant edits that “reshaped” the original ArnoldIT analysis of Shay Banon’s company in 2012. The IDC report (originally IDC report #237410)  has been taken down at my attorney’s request. IDC was selling this chimera with my name on it for a breathtaking, credulity straining $3,500. Do you want the original Elasticsearch analysis my team assembled without the sunglasses mid tier consulting firms fit to their reports?

I will make available the full Elasticsearch report in April 2014. That original report will be free. Click it and get it.

The Elasticsearch report will become number 13 in the series available at www.xenky.com/vendor-profiles. Why am I making a high value report available without charge? The same reason I am making four minute videos about enterprise search available; for example, observations about managing costs of an enterprise search project at http://bit.ly/1gxJHns.

Why not?

Stephen E Arnold, March 28, 2014