How to connect an external OpenSearch Dashboard to AWS Opensearch Domain with Helm

Miguel Ángel Chuecos, Site Reliability Engineer of Dare Planet Technology, tells us how to connect external OpenSearch Dashboards to AWS Opensearch Domain with Helm.

In the following article, we will look at how an OpenSearch domain works, the requirements of the environment and your AWS account, and finally the steps you will need to take to make the connection.

Last year, AWS announced the change from Amazon ElasticSearch Service to Amazon OpenSearch Service. Becoming in the successor to the distributed search and analysis cluster service.

Table of Contents

Reasons for the change

On January 21, 2021, Elastic NV announced that they would change their software licensing strategy and not release new versions of Elasticsearch and Kibana under the permissive ALv2 license.

Instead, Elastic is releasing Elasticsearch and Kibana under the Elastic license, with source code available under the Elastic License or Server Side Public License (SSPL). These licenses are not open source.

Because of this, Amazon decided to create and maintain a fork from the last ALv2 version of Elasticsearch and Kibana. The fork is called OpenSearch and is available under ALv2.

The update policy is available in the official documentation.

How it works?

When you create an OpenSearch domain, you are creating a cluster. This cluster is composed of several EC2 instances, which are equivalent to a node. Each node stores data and processes query requests.

For productive environments, there are master nodes that manage the operations of the nodes. They manage the status, health of each node, shards distribution…

However, you won’t see any EC2 instances in the EC2 service. This is due to OpenSearch Service is a managed service (SaaS) by AWS for that reason you will only be able to edit the cluster configuration (number of nodes, instance types…).

Requirements to Connect an external OpenSearch Dashboard to AWS OpenSearch Domain with Helm

These are two types of requirements to do the connecting.

Your enviroment

  • Git
  • Visual Studio Code or another similar code editor tool
  • kubectl and the kubeconfig of the EKS cluster configured. You can check more about it in the Kubernetes documentation
  • Helm

Your AWS account

  • An OpenSearch domain created
  • HTTPS connection enabled between the SGs of the OpenSearch domain and the EKS nodes of the different VPCs


Once the requirements for the connection have been established, these are the steps to be carried out.

The first step is to clone the OpenSearch Helm chart repository.

Then, open the project with Visual Studio Code and go to the helm-charts/charts/opensearch-dashboards/ directory to edit the values.yaml file.

Before going into the details of the helm chart configuration, it is important to create a secret in the namespace where OpenSearch Dashboard will be deployed which will contain the user and password to access the portal.

					kubectl create secret generic opensearchdashboards-auth --from-literal=username="myfirstuser" --from-literal=password="myfirstpasswd" [OPTIONAL: -n opensearch]

Once realized, open the file values.yaml and apply the following configuration:

Sets the domain endpoint of the Amazon OpenSearch service as the value for the opensearchHosts parameter. You can get it from General Information panel.

					opensearchHosts: ""

Then set the name and the version of the OpenSearch Dashboards docker image. The following example uses the official image obtained from Docker Hub but you can use one from a private repository (ECR, Artifactory, NexusOSS…).

					image: "opensearchproject/opensearch-dashboards"
imageTag: "1.2.0"
imagePullPolicy: "IfNotPresent"

Define the name of the secret which contains the username/password credentials created in the previous steps to link it to the dashboard:

  secret: "opensearchdashboards-opensearch-auth"
    enabled: false

Finally, as an optional step, you can configure your ingress to enable external service to the pod. In the following example, Traefik has been used as a reverse proxy and balancer in the cluster.

  enabled: true
  annotations: traefik
    - host:
        - path: /

In case you don’t want to configure this part, you can enable access from your local environment using the command. After running the following command, you will be able to check the dashboard access from localhost:8080 (must be deployed first).

					kubectl port-forward -n opensearch [OS_DASHBOARD_POD_NAME] 8080:5601

Once the helm chart has been configured with the correct values, it is time to open a terminal at the same level as the values.yaml file and execute helm install to deploy the OpenSearch Dashboard chart in your EKS cluster.

					helm install opensearchdashboards . -n opensearch [OPTIONAL: --create-namespace]

After a few seconds, you will see that it has been successfully deployed and you will be able to access the OpenSearch dashboard from the browser:

Now, it will be time to synchronise with the domain indexes and start visualising and processing the data.

Do you have any questions?

We encourage you to contact us through our contact page or through the form below.

We hope you found this article useful!

Do you want to tell us something?


Did you like it? Then share it!