Elasticsearch and OpenSearch

Elasticsearch and OpenSearch are supported as storage. The storage provider is elasticsearch. This storage option is recommended for a large scale production environment, such as more than 1000 services, 10000 endpoints, and 100000 traces per minute, and plan to 100% sampling rate for the persistent in the storage.


OpenSearch is a fork from ElasticSearch 7.11 but licensed in Apache 2.0. OpenSearch storage shares the same configurations as ElasticSearch. In order to activate OpenSearch as storage, set the storage provider to elasticsearch.

We support and tested the following versions of OpenSearch:

  • 1.1.0, 1.3.10
  • 2.4.0, 2.8.0


NOTE: Elastic announced through their blog that Elasticsearch will be moving over to a Server Side Public License (SSPL) and/or Elastic License 2.0(ELv2), since Feb. 2021, which is incompatible with Apache License 2.0. Both of these licenses are not OSS licenses approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI). This license change is effective from Elasticsearch version 7.11. So please choose the suitable ElasticSearch version according to your usage. If you have concerns about SSPL/ELv2, choose the versions before 7.11 or switch to OpenSearch.

By default, SkyWalking uses following indices for various telemetry data.

  • sw_management (All SkyWalking management data, e.g. UI dashboard settings, UI Menu, Continuous profiling policy)
  • sw_metrics-all-${day-format} (All metrics/meters generated through MAL and OAL engines, and metadata of service/instance/endpoint)
  • sw_log-${day-format} (Collected logs, exclude browser logs)
  • sw_segment-${day-format} (Native trace segments)
  • sw_browser_error_log-${day-format} (Collected browser logs)
  • sw_zipkin_span-${day-format} (Zipkin trace spans)
  • sw_records-all-${day-format} (All sampled records, e.g. slow SQLs, agent profiling, and ebpf profiling)

SkyWalking rebuilds the ElasticSearch client on top of ElasticSearch REST API and automatically picks up correct request formats according to the server-side version, hence you don’t need to download different binaries and don’t need to configure different storage selectors for different ElasticSearch server-side versions anymore.

For now, SkyWalking supports ElasticSearch 7.x, ElasticSearch 8.x, and OpenSearch 1.x, their configurations are as follows:

Notice, ElasticSearch 6 worked and is not promised due to end of life officially.

  selector: ${SW_STORAGE:elasticsearch}
    namespace: ${SW_NAMESPACE:""}
    clusterNodes: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_CLUSTER_NODES:localhost:9200}
    protocol: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_HTTP_PROTOCOL:"http"}
    trustStorePath: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_SSL_JKS_PATH:""}
    trustStorePass: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_SSL_JKS_PASS:""}
    user: ${SW_ES_USER:""}
    password: ${SW_ES_PASSWORD:""}
    secretsManagementFile: ${SW_ES_SECRETS_MANAGEMENT_FILE:""} # Secrets management file in the properties format includes the username, password, which are managed by 3rd party tool.
    dayStep: ${SW_STORAGE_DAY_STEP:1} # Represent the number of days in the one minute/hour/day index.
    indexShardsNumber: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_INDEX_SHARDS_NUMBER:1} # Shard number of new indexes
    indexReplicasNumber: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_INDEX_REPLICAS_NUMBER:1} # Replicas number of new indexes
    # Specify the settings for each index individually.
    # If configured, this setting has the highest priority and overrides the generic settings.
    specificIndexSettings: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_SPECIFIC_INDEX_SETTINGS:""}
    # Super data set has been defined in the codes, such as trace segments.The following 3 config would be improve es performance when storage super size data in es.
    superDatasetDayStep: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_SUPER_DATASET_DAY_STEP:-1} # Represent the number of days in the super size dataset record index, the default value is the same as dayStep when the value is less than 0
    superDatasetIndexShardsFactor: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_SUPER_DATASET_INDEX_SHARDS_FACTOR:5} #  This factor provides more shards for the super data set, shards number = indexShardsNumber * superDatasetIndexShardsFactor. Also, this factor effects Zipkin traces.
    superDatasetIndexReplicasNumber: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_SUPER_DATASET_INDEX_REPLICAS_NUMBER:0} # Represent the replicas number in the super size dataset record index, the default value is 0.
    indexTemplateOrder: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_INDEX_TEMPLATE_ORDER:0} # the order of index template
    bulkActions: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_BULK_ACTIONS:1000} # Execute the async bulk record data every ${SW_STORAGE_ES_BULK_ACTIONS} requests
    flushInterval: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_FLUSH_INTERVAL:10} # flush the bulk every 10 seconds whatever the number of requests
    concurrentRequests: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_CONCURRENT_REQUESTS:2} # the number of concurrent requests
    resultWindowMaxSize: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_QUERY_MAX_WINDOW_SIZE:10000}
    metadataQueryMaxSize: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_QUERY_MAX_SIZE:5000}
    segmentQueryMaxSize: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_QUERY_SEGMENT_SIZE:200}
    profileTaskQueryMaxSize: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_QUERY_PROFILE_TASK_SIZE:200}
    oapAnalyzer: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_OAP_ANALYZER:"{\"analyzer\":{\"oap_analyzer\":{\"type\":\"stop\"}}}"} # the oap analyzer.
    oapLogAnalyzer: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_OAP_LOG_ANALYZER:"{\"analyzer\":{\"oap_log_analyzer\":{\"type\":\"standard\"}}}"} # the oap log analyzer. It could be customized by the ES analyzer configuration to support more language log formats, such as Chinese log, Japanese log and etc.
    advanced: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_ADVANCED:""}
    # Set it to `true` could shard metrics indices into multi-physical indices
    # as same as the versions(one index template per metric/meter aggregation function) before 9.2.0.
    logicSharding: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_LOGIC_SHARDING:false}
    # Custom routing can reduce the impact of searches. Instead of having to fan out a search request to all the shards in an index, the request can be sent to just the shard that matches the specific routing value (or values).
    enableCustomRouting: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_ENABLE_CUSTOM_ROUTING:false}

ElasticSearch With Https SSL Encrypting communications.


  selector: ${SW_STORAGE:elasticsearch}
    namespace: ${SW_NAMESPACE:""}
    user: ${SW_ES_USER:""} # User needs to be set when Http Basic authentication is enabled
    password: ${SW_ES_PASSWORD:""} # Password to be set when Http Basic authentication is enabled
    clusterNodes: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_CLUSTER_NODES:localhost:443}
    trustStorePath: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_SSL_JKS_PATH:"../es_keystore.jks"}
    trustStorePass: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_SSL_JKS_PASS:""}
    protocol: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_HTTP_PROTOCOL:"https"}

Daily Index Step

Daily index step(storage/elasticsearch/dayStep, default 1) represents the index creation period. In this period, metrics for several days (dayStep value) are saved.

In most cases, users don’t need to change the value manually, as SkyWalking is designed to observe large-scale distributed systems. But in some cases, users may want to set a long TTL value, such as more than 60 days. However, their ElasticSearch cluster may not be powerful enough due to low traffic in the production environment. This value could be increased to 5 (or more) if users could ensure a single index could support the metrics and traces for these days (5 in this case).

For example, if dayStep == 11,

  1. Data in [2000-01-01, 2000-01-11] will be merged into the index-20000101.
  2. Data in [2000-01-12, 2000-01-22] will be merged into the index-20000112.

storage/elasticsearch/superDatasetDayStep overrides the storage/elasticsearch/dayStep if the value is positive. This would affect the record-related entities, such as trace segments. In some cases, the size of metrics is much smaller than the record (trace). This would improve the shards balance in the ElasticSearch cluster.

NOTE: TTL deletion would be affected by these steps. You should set an extra dayStep in your TTL. For example, if you want to have TTL == 30 days and dayStep == 10, you are recommended to set TTL = 40.

Secrets Management File Of ElasticSearch Authentication

The value of secretsManagementFile should point to the secrets management file absolute path. The file includes the username, password, and JKS password of the ElasticSearch server in the properties format.


The major difference between using user, password, trustStorePass configs in the application.yaml file is that the Secrets Management File is being watched by the OAP server. Once it is changed manually or through a 3rd party tool, such as Vault, the storage provider will use the new username, password, and JKS password to establish the connection and close the old one. If the information exists in the file, the user/password will be overridden.

Index Settings

The following settings control the number of shards and replicas for new and existing index templates. The update only got applied after OAP reboots.

    # ......
    indexShardsNumber: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_INDEX_SHARDS_NUMBER:1}
    indexReplicasNumber: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_INDEX_REPLICAS_NUMBER:1}
    specificIndexSettings: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_SPECIFIC_INDEX_SETTINGS:""}

The following table shows the relationship between those config items and Elasticsearch index number_of_shards/number_of_replicas. And also you can specify the settings for each index individually.

index number_of_shards number_of_replicas
sw_ui_template indexShardsNumber indexReplicasNumber
sw_metrics-all-${day-format} indexShardsNumber indexReplicasNumber
sw_log-${day-format} indexShardsNumber * superDatasetIndexShardsFactor superDatasetIndexReplicasNumber
sw_segment-${day-format} indexShardsNumber * superDatasetIndexShardsFactor superDatasetIndexReplicasNumber
sw_browser_error_log-${day-format} indexShardsNumber * superDatasetIndexShardsFactor superDatasetIndexReplicasNumber
sw_zipkin_span-${day-format} indexShardsNumber * superDatasetIndexShardsFactor superDatasetIndexReplicasNumber
sw_records-all-${day-format} indexShardsNumber indexReplicasNumber

Advanced Configurations For Elasticsearch Index

You can add advanced configurations in JSON format to set ElasticSearch index settings by following ElasticSearch doc

For example, set translog settings:

    # ......
    advanced: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_ADVANCED:"{\"index.translog.durability\":\"request\",\"index.translog.sync_interval\":\"5s\"}"}

Specify Settings For Each Elasticsearch Index Individually

You can specify the settings for one or more indexes individually by using SW_STORAGE_ES_SPECIFIC_INDEX_SETTINGS.

NOTE: Supported settings:

  • number_of_shards
  • number_of_replicas

NOTE: These settings have the highest priority and will override the existing generic settings mentioned in index settings doc.

The settings are in JSON format. The index name here is logic entity name, which should exclude the ${SW_NAMESPACE} which is sw by default, e.g.


This configuration in the YAML file is like this,

    # ......
    specificIndexSettings: ${SW_STORAGE_ES_SPECIFIC_INDEX_SETTINGS:"{\"metrics-all\":{\"number_of_shards\":\"3\",\"number_of_replicas\":\"2\"},\"segment\":{\"number_of_shards\":\"6\",\"number_of_replicas\":\"1\"}}"}

You could add the following configuration to elasticsearch.yml, and set the value based on your environment.

# In tracing scenario, consider to set more than this at least.
thread_pool.index.queue_size: 1000 # Only suitable for ElasticSearch 6
thread_pool.write.queue_size: 1000 # Suitable for ElasticSearch 6 and 7

# When you face a query error on the traces page, remember to check this.
index.max_result_window: 1000000

We strongly recommend that you read more about these configurations from ElasticSearch’s official documentation since they directly impact the performance of ElasticSearch.

About Namespace

When a namespace is set, all index names in ElasticSearch will use it as the prefix.