Querying multiple individual elasticsearch installation and combining results

We are evaluating elasticsearch to be used in a line of business application. This customers are already using elasticsearch which is incorporated into their document management system. We would like to provide the users the ability to search documents stored in the DMS (because documents related to data in the line of business applications are stored there).

We would like to avoid to having to index them again in our internal elasticsearch catalog, but would like to be able to include the other existing elasticsearch as a contributor to the search results. If that is not possible we would need to pull the documents from the DMS to index them.

Is it possible to combine "third-party" elasticsearch services as a life results provided for searches? Or do we need to index the content of the "third-party" elasticsearch into ours?

Thank you for any pointers.


Depending on the version, you can use a Tribe Node or the newer Cross-Cluster Search functionality (available in 5.3+).

Cross-cluster search is preferable over the tribe node if you're on a supported version, as the tribe node has limitations and oddities. This blog article is a good overview: https://www.elastic.co/blog/tribe-nodes-and-cross-cluster-search-the-future-of-federated-search-in-elasticsearch

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