Amazon Launches ‘Powerful’ CloudSearch

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CloudSearch offers a managed search service that can scale well, just like other Amazon services

Amazon Web Services has launched CloudSearch, a cloud-based service to add search to websites, open to customers regardless of whether they use Amazon’s cloud.

CloudSearch is designed as a quick and easy replacement for in-house designed search functions, and Amazon says customers just need to create a search domain, upload the data they want searchable and the resources will be provisioned. As with its other cloud offerings, like S3 and EC2, Amazon has promised an easily scalable system to accommodate for searchable data increases or spikes and slumps in query rate changes.

Amazon is hoping to attract companies who waste valuable time and expense on engineering search services.

Freeing customers

cloud computing © Beboy - Fotolia.com“Implementing rich search functionality has traditionally been very expensive and time consuming due to the complexity of the technology required,” said Adam Selipsky, vice president of Amazon Web Services. “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.”

For pricing, Amazon has opted to bill users for hourly instance charges. There are three types of search instances: Small, Large and Extra Large, costing $0.12 per hour, $0.48 per hour and $0.68 per hour respectively. “Pricing is per instance-hour consumed for each search instance, from the time a search instance is launched until it is terminated. Each partial instance-hour consumed is billed as a full hour,” Amazon explained.

Customers are also charged for the total number of document batches uploaded to their search domain, at $0.10 per 1,000 batch upload requests. If webmasters want to make changes to indexing, they will have to make an IndexDocuments request, which will cost $0.98 per GB of data stored in their search domain. For other potential charges, see Amazon’s guidance here: http://aws.amazon.com/cloudsearch/pricing/

Obviously, Amazon’s big rival here will be Google, which already offers some enterprise search functions, its top one being Site Search. This includes customisable features like top results biasing and on-demand indexing.

Google charges on an annual basis for its service, starting at $100. For larger businesses, costs go up to as much as $2000.

Earlier this year, Amazon launched a managed NoSQL service known as DynamoDB, as it looks to cater for companies’ cloud needs.

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