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Amazon to challenge Google with AWS CloudSearch

By Sean Ludwig | VentureBeat.com,

In a clear shot at Google, Amazon has launched a new service called CloudSearch that Amazon Web Services (AWS) users can embed into their applications and websites, the company announced Thursday.

CloudSearch’s technology is based on the same tech that powers search for Amazon.com, and aims to make life easier for web developers who want to integrate search into their AWS-hosted sites. Using the tool, developers can create a search domain and then upload any data they want searchable. CloudSearch then automates the process of allocating resources and indexes that are needed to process searches.

“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 BVP Adam Selipsky, in a statement. “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.”

It appears CloudSearch wants to steal some of Google’s thunder in internal site search. Ideally, Amazon wants its AWS customers to use this tool instead of Google for customized searches on their sites rather than Google or Bing. Amazon makes setting up and managing CloudSearch easy by making it accessibly through the AWS Management Console and offering CloudSearch APIs.

However, the cost of using CloudSearch could cause some small-time developers to question deploying it. CloudSearch users are billed on a monthly basis for search instances. Instance types come in small, large and extra large, and cost 12 cents, 48 cents, or 68 cents per hour. In a pricing example, Amazon said if you host a paltry 100MB of data in your search domain, the minimum you’d pay for small instance use would be $86.94 per month. Now imagine if you start storing large data sets with “extra large” instances and you can imagine the costs adding up.

Amazon Web Services users can check out the CloudSearch beta now.

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