Elastic has released Elastic 8.0.0-beta 1, offering Elastic users a preview of the changes coming in the next big release of the Elastic Stack — including simplified security, support for third-party NLP models in Elastic machine learning, and an upgrade assistant to help with user migration.
Announcing the release on the Elastic blog, the firm claimed that release 8.0.0 is set to be the most performant, secure, and scalable Elastic Stack to date. Elastic 8.0.0-beta 1 is the first in a series of preview releases designed to let users test the features and changes it will introduce.
Elastic warns that indices created with this beta may not be compatible with the final release version of Elastic 8.0.0, and it should not be deployed in a production environment.
One of the key features in Elastic 8.0.0 is that security will be on by default. Elastic said it has spent the last year working to simplify the steps to enable security so that no Elastic clusters should be run without it. This starts with the setup, which has been simplified through features such as in-product assistance and auto-generated tokens and certificates that help speed the configuration process.
With security on by default, users must provide credentials and role-based access control governs requests. Kibana Spaces are enabled to provide separate partitions for different teams or user groups. Internal communication between cluster nodes is now secured via TLS, as is communication between Elasticsearch, Kibana, Logstash and any client.
This release of the Elastic Stack is also getting support for support for third-party natural language processing (NLP) models in Elastic machine learning, starting with PyTorch support for BERT models. However, this support will be in technical preview for Elastic 8.0.0 and is set for full general availability in a future release.
Users get a method of importing third-party models for native use within Elasticsearch, bringing modern NLP capabilities to the Elastic Stack. This will unlock the ability to do name entity recognition (NER), semantic text embedding, emotion and sentiment analysis, or text classification and zero-shot classifications to enhance search use cases, Elastic said.
Elastic is also developing an Upgrade Assistant tool to help users prepare their Elastic clusters to upgrade to Elastic 8.0.0. This tool is expected to debut in the upcoming Elastic 7.16 release, according to the firm, and will lay out which steps need to be completed prior to upgrading clusters and identifies any deprecated settings in the user’s 7.16 configuration.
The Upgrade Assistant can guide users through the process of resolving any issues and will also provide additional context to help decide how best to move forward. More detail is available on the Upgrade Assistant in an ElasticON session that users can register to view.