AWS ElasticSearch: The Red-Status Challenge

Kacper Bąk
2 min readSep 9, 2023

As software developers and engineers, we often find ourselves embroiled in challenges that test our limits. This story revolves around one such enigmatic endeavor: trying to turn an AWS-hosted ElasticSearch Cluster to a RED status solely via Kibana Dev Tools. The version in question? ElasticSearch 6.7.

Diagram showcasing the journey to red-status an ElasticSearch cluster
A step-by-step representation of our audacious attempt to make an ElasticSearch Cluster cry out in RED.

For the uninitiated, ElasticSearch clusters can often take on the ‘Green’, ‘Yellow’, or dreaded ‘Red’ statuses, with each color indicating the health of the system. The mission seemed simple: Drive our cluster to a ‘Red’ status. But as every coder knows, simple tasks often hide intricate challenges.

Our initial game plan leveraged the powers of Kibana Dev Tools. The logic was to inundate the storage, hoping the cluster would relent and turn RED. But ElasticSearch 6.7, combined with AWS’s robust infrastructure, proved a formidable opponent. Despite numerous attempts, the resilient architecture of AWS ElasticSearch consistently thwarted our efforts.

A potential ally emerged in the form of aws-es-curl, allowing us to send direct requests. Yet, the intricacies of AWS, from regional scopes to signature mismatches, erected barriers at every turn. These obstacles were emblematic of a larger realization: AWS's rigorous security mechanisms. Every attempt to bypass or trick the system was met with unwavering resistance. In other words, without appropriate AWS permissions, this mission was doomed from the start.

To complicate matters further, certain direct diagrammatic tools like Mermaid were unavailable. Thus, while the diagram above provides a visual representation of our journey, the challenges faced during its creation mirrored those experienced with AWS.

Conclusion: Setting an ElasticSearch Cluster on AWS to RED status, especially version 6.7, using only Kibana Dev Tools, is akin to scaling a fortified castle without a ladder. It’s a lesson in the importance of access rights and the strength inherent to AWS’s design.

To any developer eager to embark on similar quests, remember this tale. Proper permissions are not just gatekeepers; they’re the very foundations of our digital fortresses.