CTO Talk: Comparing Elasticsearch and Rockset Streaming Ingest and Query Performance

In this tech talk, Rockset CTO Dhruba Borthakur and founding engineer and architect Igor Canadi go under the hood of Elasticsearch and Rockset to compare and contrast their performance and architectures for workloads spanning from real-time analytics to text search and vector search.

They’ll describe key architectural design differences including:

  • Apache Lucene vs. RocksDB: Elasticsearch uses Lucene, an open-source immutable search engine library written in Java, whereas Rockset uses RocksDB, an open-source mutable key-value store developed at Meta.
  • Tightly Coupled vs. Decoupled Architectures: Elasticsearch tightly couples compute and storage to achieve fast performance. In contrast, Rockset adopts a loosely coupled architecture with compute-storage and compute-compute separation for isolation and resource efficiency.
  • Search vs. Converged Indexing: Both Elasticsearch and Rockset rely on indexing for high-performance queries. Elasticsearch uses a search index which is ideal for needle-in-the-haystack queries commonly found in text search and log analytics. Rockset has a Converged Index which combines a search index, columnar store and row store for search, aggregations and joins in real-time analytics.
  • The talk will conclude by sharing streaming ingestion and query performance results from real-life customer applications.


Dhruba Borthakur
Dhruba Borthakur is the CTO and co-founder of Rockset. He was an engineer on the database team at Facebook, where he was the founding engineer of the RocksDB data store. Earlier at Yahoo, he was one of the founding engineers of the Hadoop Distributed File System.
Igor Canadi
Igor Canadi is a founding engineer and architect at Rockset working on the distributed SQL query engine and cloud-native architecture. Previously, Igor was an engineer at Facebook, working on the database engineering and product infrastructure teams, where he contributed to RocksDB, developed MongoRocks and MongoDB with RocksDB storage engine, drove RocksDB open source initiatives, worked on core GraphQL infrastructure for Facebook’s Android application, and owned GraphQL developer tooling for hundreds of developers. Igor holds a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Zagreb. In his free time, he likes sailing and snowboarding.

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