Elasticsearch to OpenSearch Migration: Snapshot/Restore

In this article we show you how to migrate your data from Elasticsearch to OpenSearch by using the Snapshot/Restore APIs.

The easiest and fastest way to migrate data from Elasticsearch to OpenSearch is using the snapshot/restore APIs. A snapshot is a backup of your indices and can (optionally) also include the entire cluster state, like cluster settings, node settings, and metadata. While snapshots are commonly used for backup and recovery, you can also use them to migrate data from one cluster to another.
Migrating your data using snapshots is faster than using the Reindex API, and much safer than using the shared data directory approach, which we will cover in the following articles.
It’s fast because you move your data using a compressed, binary data format. The Reindex API, on the other hand ,will read each document on your Elasticsearch cluster and then send it to OpenSearch. OpenSearch then needs to index the document again. This can take a substantial amount of time for large volumes of data.
It’s safe because you take a backup from your Elasticsearch cluster and apply it to a independent running OpenSearch cluster. The data on your Elasticsearch cluster is not altered in any way. If something goes wrong, you can just repeat the complete process over again.


OpenSearch can read snapshots from Elasticsearch 6.0.0 up to Elasticsearch 7.11.2 directly.
If you use a version before 6.0.0, we recommend upgrading to an Elasticsearch version > 6.0.0 first. Ideally, this would be Elasticsearch 7.10.2 since this is the version OpenSearch is forked from.
Unfortunately, snapshots taken with Elasticsearch 7.12.0 and above are not compatible with OpenSearch. If you use a version above 7.12.0, we recommend using the Reindex or the shared data directory approach, which we will cover in the following articles.

Migrating your Data with Snapshots

In this article, we will use a snapshot repository location that is shared between Elasticsearch and OpenSearch via a mounted directory. We assume this directory to be accessible via mnt/repository on both clusters.
Of course, you can use any repository location supported by both Elasticsearch and OpenSearch. This includes AWS S3, Google Cloud Storage, Azure and many more.

Create the Snapshot Repositories

First, let’s create a snapshot repository on our Elasticsearch cluster, like:
PUT localhost:9200/_snapshot/my_repository
  "type": "fs",
  "settings": {
    "location": "/mnt/repository",
    "compress": true
This will create a repository that stores snapshots in the /mnt/repository directory on the local machine and additionally compresses the snapshot.
Given that we have access to the same mounted directory on our OpenSearch cluster, we can execute the same command again. Et voilà - both clusters now have access to the same snapshot repository.
If you cannot set up a shared mounted repository on your infrastructure, you can create local repositories and copy the snapshot data manually.

Take an Elasticsearch Snapshot and Restore it to OpenSearch

We can start the migration now that we have set up the repositories for both clusters.
First, we create a snapshot on the Elasticsearch cluster:
PUT _snapshot/my_repository/my_snapshot
 "indices": "*",
 "ignore_unavailable": true
Since Elasticsearch and OpenSearch share the same snapshot repository, we can import the data on our OpenSearch cluster like:
POST _snapshot/my_repository/my_snapshot/_restore
 "accepted": true
You can observe the status of the import by calling the recovery endpoint like:
GET cat/recovery?active_only=true

Other Methods

In the upcoming articles we will cover how to migrate your data via:
    Reindex API (upcoming)
    Shared data directory with Rolling Restart or Full Cluster Restart (upcoming)
Also, check out our last article about migration prerequsites and general considerations.
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