Open Distro for Elasticsearch Anomaly Detection

The Open Distro for Elasticsearch Anomaly Detection plugin enables you to leverage Machine Learning based algorithms to automatically detect anomalies as your log data is ingested. Combined with Alerting, you can monitor your data in near real time and automatically send alert notifications . With an intuitive Kibana interface and a powerful API, it is easy to set up, tune, and monitor your anomaly detectors.


Anomaly detection is using Random Cut Forest (RCF) algorithm for detecting anomalous data points.

Anomaly detections run a scheduled job based on job-scheduler.

You should use anomaly detection plugin with the same version of Open Distro Alerting plugin. You can also create a monitor based on the anomaly detector. A scheduled monitor run checks the anomaly detection results regularly and collects anomalies to trigger alerts based on custom trigger conditions.

Current Limitations


Please see our documentation.


  1. Checkout source code of this package from Github repo.
  2. Launch Intellij IDEA, Choose Import Project and select the settings.gradle file in the root of this package.
  3. To build from command line set JAVA_HOME to point to a JDK 14 before running ./gradlew

    • Unix System
    • export JAVA_HOME=jdk-install-dir: Replace jdk-install-dir by the JAVA_HOME directory of your system.
    • export PATH=$JAVA_HOME/bin:$PATH
    • Windows System
    • Find My Computers from file directory, right click and select properties.
    • Select the Advanced tab, select Environment variables.
    • Edit JAVA_HOME to path of where JDK software is installed.


This package uses the Gradle build system. Gradle comes with excellent documentation that should be your first stop when trying to figure out how to operate or modify the build. we also use the Elastic build tools for Gradle. These tools are idiosyncratic and don't always follow the conventions and instructions for building regular Java code using Gradle. Not everything in this package will work the way it's described in the Gradle documentation. If you encounter such a situation, the Elastic build tools source code is your best bet for figuring out what's going on.

Currently we just put RCF jar in lib as dependency. Plan to publish to Maven and we can import it later. Before publishing to Maven, you can still build this package directly and find source code in RCF Github package.

Building from the command line

  1. ./gradlew build builds and tests
  2. ./gradlew :run launches a single node cluster with the AD (and job-scheduler) plugin installed
  3. ./gradlew :integTest launches a single node cluster with the AD (and job-scheduler) plugin installed and runs all integration tests
  4. ./gradlew :integTest --tests="**.test execute foo" runs a single integration test class or method
  5. ./gradlew spotlessApply formats code. And/or import formatting rules in .eclipseformat.xml with IDE.

When launching a cluster using one of the above commands logs are placed in /build/cluster/run node0/elasticsearch-<version>/logs. Though the logs are teed to the console, in practices it's best to check the actual log file.

Building from the IDE

Currently, the only IDE we support is IntelliJ IDEA. It's free, it's open source, it works. The gradle tasks above can also be launched from IntelliJ's Gradle toolbar and the extra parameters can be passed in via the Launch Configurations VM arguments.


Sometimes it's useful to attach a debugger to either the ES cluster or the integ tests to see what's going on. When running unit tests you can just hit 'Debug' from the IDE's gutter to debug the tests. To debug code running in an actual server run:

./gradlew :integTest --debug-jvm # to start a cluster and run integ tests
./gradlew :run --debug-jvm # to just start a cluster that can be debugged

The ES server JVM will launch suspended and wait for a debugger to attach to localhost:8000 before starting the ES server.

To debug code running in an integ test (which exercises the server from a separate JVM) run:

./gradlew -Dtest.debug :integTest 

The test runner JVM will start suspended and wait for a debugger to attach to localhost:5005 before running the tests.

Advanced: Launching multi node clusters locally

Sometimes you need to launch a cluster with more than one Elasticsearch server process.

You can do this by running ./gradlew run -PnumNodes=<numberOfNodesYouWant>

You can also debug a multi-node cluster, by using a combination of above multi-node and debug steps. But, you must set up debugger configurations to listen on each port starting from 5005 and increasing by 1 for each node.

Interested in contributing to the Anomaly Detection plugin

We welcome you to get involved in development, documentation, testing the anomaly detection plugin. See our contribution guidelines and join in.

Code of Conduct

This project has adopted an Open Source Code of Conduct.

Security issue notifications

If you discover a potential security issue in this project we ask that you notify AWS/Amazon Security via our vulnerability reporting page. Please do not create a public GitHub issue.


See the LICENSE file for our project's licensing. We will ask you to confirm the licensing of your contribution.


Copyright 2020, Inc. or its affiliates. All Rights Reserved.