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> I've heard ES isn't that much of a PITA to manage on its own

I just run ES for my logstash setup, and ES is lovely and rock-solid... except when it isn't. For example ES deciding to just silently refuse input when its disk is 90% full - that was a bit hard to find when it happened. ES looked alive, but hunting down the reason why it stopped wasn't trivial. I've had a couple of similar but lesser gotchas as well.

I guess you could say of my experience that it's not that much of a PITA (as you say), but it is still a bit of a PITA.

Disclaimer: if these things weren't a bit of a PITA, there'd be no need for us sysadmins, so I should be grateful...

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