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How to provision a Bonsai Cluster via the Bonsai App.
Last updated
June 19, 2023

Hold Up!

Bonsai clusters can be provisioned in a few different ways. These instructions are for users who want to be billed directly by Bonsai. If you are a Heroku customer and are adding Bonsai to your app, then you will not need these instructions. Instead, check out:

Creating an account on Bonsai is the first step towards provisioning and scaling an Elasticsearch cluster on demand. The following guide has everything you need to know about signing up.

  1. Fill out account details
  2. Describe your project
  3. Set up your cluster details
  4. Confirm your email
  5. FAQs

1. Fill out account details

To start the sign up process, head to our Sign up page, where you’ll begin by providing account information. Click Create Account to continue.

2. Describe your project

In this section, you can provide some extra project details to allow our project team to best support your cluster. We have a few questions for you to answer to tailor your experience when using Bonsai.

Click Next to move on.

3. Set up your cluster details

Fill out your cluster name, then select a release and a region. All hobby and testing clusters are provisioned with the latest version. More information about our version and region support can be found here.

You don’t have to sign up with payment details - your first testing cluster is on us! If you wish to provision or upgrade to a larger cluster with more resources, you’ll need to add a credit card after confirming your email.

Click Provision Cluster to complete your signup.

4. Confirm your email

If everything checks out, you should receive an email from us shortly with a confirmation button.

Navigate to your email client and click on Confirm email.

You’re all set! Thank you for signing up.

If you don't receive the sign up email, please check your Spam folder. You can also reach out to us for help.

5. FAQs

Q: How does Bonsai validate emails?

A: We validate emails using RFC 2822 and RFC 3696. If you have a non-conforming email address, let us know at

Q: Do you have tips for creating a strong password?

A: Yes! We’re a security-conscious bunch, but we don’t have any arcane rules about what kinds of characters you must use for your password. Why? We’ll let xkcd explain it, but the tl;dr is our password policy simply enforces a minimum length of 10 characters. We also reject common passwords that have been pwned. Sadly, correct horse battery staple appears in our blacklist.

We also highly recommend using a password manager like 1Password to generate unique, secure passwords.

Q: What happens if I try to sign up with an email address that I used before or that is taken?

A: If you have signed up for Bonsai in the past using this email address, you will receive an email directing you to log in using it.

Q: Do you have tips on picking a cluster region?

A: You will want to select a region that’s as close to where your application is hosted as possible to minimize latency. Doing so will ensure the fastest search and best user experience for your application.

Bonsai is built on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and we run clusters in several of their regions. Users are able to provision clusters in the following regions:

Amazon Web Services
  • us-east-1 (Virginia)
  • us-west-2 (Oregon)
  • eu-west-1 (Ireland)
  • ap-southeast-2 (Sydney)
  • eu-central-1 (Frankfurt)
Google Cloud Platform
  • gcp-us-east4 (Virginia)
  • gcp-us-east1 (South Carolina)
  • gcp-us-central1 (Iowa)
  • gcp-us-west1 (Oregon)

These regions are supported due to broad demand. We can support other regions as well, but pricing will vary. Shoot us an email if you’d like to learn more about getting Bonsai running in a region not listed above.

Q: How should I approach naming clusters?

A: Users are able to manage multiple clusters through their Bonsai dashboard once they have confirmed their email. Not only is the cluster name a label for you to distinguish between different applications and environments, but it’s also used as part of the cluster’s unique hostname.

For example, if you name your cluster “Erin’s Exciting Elasticsearch Experiment,” that will be the name of your cluster. The host name of your cluster URL will be automatically generated into something like erins-exciting-elasticsea-123456.

Cluster names can be changed later, but the host name that is generated when the cluster is first created is immutable.

Anything not listed here?

As always, feel free to email us at if you have further questions.

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