Amazon Web Services has announced the launch of a new cloud-hosted service designed to give firms the ability to host search services on their sites or access data stored within their applications quickly and easily.
The CloudSearch tool can be integrated into applications and websites and allows developers to specify which datasets should be searchable, and then the system automatically provisions the resources required and deploys the search indexes needed, the firm explained.
Writing on a blog post, the chief technology officer for AWS, Werner Vogels, said that search is becoming integral to all sorts of services that businesses use and offer customers.
"Search is an essential part of many of today's cloud-centric applications. Many organisations have large collections of documents, structured and unstructured, that can benefit from a specialised search service," he said.
"With this in mind, our customers have told us that a cloud-based managed search service is high on their wish lists. Their main motivation is that existing search technologies, both commercial and open source, have proven to be hard to manage and complex to configure."
Vogels said the launch of the CloudSearch service would offer a huge benefit to developers and website owners.
"Amazon CloudSearch will have democratisation effect as it offers features that have been out of reach for many customers. With Amazon CloudSearch, a powerful search engine is now in the hands of every developer, at our familiar low prices, using a pay-as-you-go model," he said.
"It will allow developers to improve functionality of their products, at lower costs with almost zero administration. It is very simple to get started; customers can create a Search Domain, upload their documents, and can immediately start querying."
Amazon said that the price paid will be based on the computing resources consumed. Prices for small search instances start at $0.12 per hour, rising to $0.68 for large instances.
The service is available now with more details available on the dedicated AWS blog site.
Kyle Hilgendorf, principal research analyst at Gartner, told V3 the service underlined AWS's innovative status in the market and would likely appeal to firms looking to improve their current internal search services.
"They have taken yet another step in be first to market with a scalable, elastic search service that integrates with a large portion of their existing cloud infrastructure," he said.
"Enterprise customers struggle greatly with comprehensive search functionality. Current market appliances provide inconsistent experiences, and very few deployments exist for indexing/crawling cloud based data."
However, Hilgendorf added that there could be some initial drawbacks as the system would only work with existing AWS infrastructure.
"CloudSearch currently only searches and indexes data stored at AWS, it cannot search and index any data in another cloud environment or on-premises data," he explained.
"This can lead to additional fees and lock in as customers must move/upload data sets to AWS (if they are not already there) thereby incurring storage fees."
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