Hosted ElasticSearch (2017 edition)

ElasticSearch offers an excellent alternative when you need to implement a better alternative to MySQL FULLTEXT search, with nice features such as related results, facets, “did-you-mean” and many, many options to control exactly what you need to get from it.

Unfortunately, as your data grows it also becomes harder to host on your own and keep focusing on your product rather than the operation of your search cluster, which it’s why there are several services that can take care of this.

Here’s some of them and their main differences.


Bonsai offers Shared, Dedicated and Enterprise services, with different configurations for each kind of service.

They have a free shared tier for up to 10k documents, and are hosted on the Amazon Web Services cloud.


You can choose your cloud provider among AWS, RackSpace or SoftLayer, which they configure and manage.

Their pricing varies mostly based on the provider and amount of dedicated RAM. All of their plans include 24/7 support.


They’re based on Berlin, Germany, so it might be interesting if you need a more privacy-oriented approach.


Their plans go from $9 USD/month for 200 MB of storage and 3 indices up to $ 799 USD/month for 60 GB and 44 indices — there’s also a starter plan.

You can choose between multiple ElasticSearch versions.

Elastic Cloud

The official offering from the creators of ElasticSearch, so they obviously know their stuff.

They’re hosted on the AWS cloud; you can choose the region, memory+storage and high availability configuration.


Hosted on their own cloud (obviously); they claim that one of their advantages it’s a tight integration with other Amazon Web Services.

Their pricing varies according to the instance type you choose and the EBS volume, if needed. They keep 14 days of autmated snapshots for free.


An IBM company that provides “production grade [hosted] databases”.

They have a very broad product catalog, which includes MongoDB, Redis, Postgres and even MySQL.

Pricing starts at USD $45/month and 204 MB of RAM, and scales with 0.1 GB of RAM for every 1 GB of storage, with 3 node cluster and automatic backups.


ObjectRocket it’s a RackSpace company focused on hosted “data services”, such as MongoDB, Redis, and of course, ElasticSearch.

Their cheapest plan costs USD $33/month for 8GB of storage and two 512 MB data nodes. You can mix different kinds of servers.

As you might expect with a Rackspace service, their support it’s one of their selling points: email/phone support with DBAs and financially backed SLAs on all plans.


This is specially focused on WordPress Search; built by 10up, one of the world’s top WordPress shops.

They have three plans, starting at USD $299 — which is rather expensive, but might be justifiable for being a more specialized service.