Cloud Search: Amazon’s New Role for the A9 Search Engine
Search is perhaps the most popular application on the Internet, and in this Google reigns supreme. So influential is Google in this field that the word “googling” has entered the popular lexicon as a synonym for online search, in the same way that brand names like Xerox and Kleenex are synonymous with photocopying and sanitary wipes. Yes, Yahoo and Bing do get a substantial share of the traffic, but I’ve never heard people say, “Bing it” or “Yahoo it.” On the other hand, “Google it” is something I hear often.
However, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has stolen a march on Google as regards company-specific search with its new CloudSearch service, currently in beta. CloudSearch, which builds on Amazon’s A9 search engine that services customers of its e-commerce division, offers companies the ability to add search functionality to applications hosted on AWS servers.
This seems to be simple to implement. As per the website, “developers simply create a search domain, upload the data they want to make searchable to Amazon CloudSearch, and the service then automatically provisions the technology resources required and deploys a highly tuned search index.” Amazon claims “near real-time” indexing on content uploaded into the service, with the company taking care of maintenance and upgrades.
“For many organizations, search plays a major role in how their customers experience their product or service – businesses need a sophisticated search capability to help their customers find the right information quickly. Implementing rich search functionality has traditionally been very expensive and time consuming due to the complexity of the technology required,” said AWS Vice President Adam Selipsky. “Amazon CloudSearch frees customers from worrying about all of these complexities so they can easily launch powerful search functionality and pay only for the resources they use.”
Of course, this service will not come for free. Although there are no setup costs, pricing will be assessed on the following four parameters (prices for US East region, the only region where the service is available):
- Search instances
- Document batch uploads
- $0.10 per 1,000 Batch Upload Requests (the maximum size for each batch is 5 MB)
- IndexDocuments requests
- $0.98 per GB of data stored in your search domain
- Data transfer
Considering that search functionality was something that AWS customers had to develop in-house earlier (or buy from a third-party developer like Amazon rival Google), CloudSearch can definitely add value, both to the customer and itself.
By Sourya Biswas