The time has come — you are finally ready to move your Solr search application to the cloud using a managed Solr-as-a-Service solution. Moving from a physical infrastructure to the cloud is the ideal way to deal with the massive growth in both data creation and search query volume. The cloud allows you to scale up or down your deployments based on usage or data size and is a great way to accelerate the development timelines of your projects so you can increase your competitive advantage.
Having your Solr infrastructure in the cloud comes with a set of challenges as configuring, managing and scaling Solr in the cloud is not a trivial matter.
Your Choices for a Moving Solr to the Cloud
Companies have three options for moving Solr to the cloud:
- Build the necessary software and manage it yourself
- Gather a handful of vendors that offer some of the services you will need – and stitch it together by yourself
- Choose a Solr-as-a-Service solution and eliminate all of your pains
From a cost standpoint, the first two options of the Do-it-Yourself or DIY will take valuable time and effort that could be devoted to more customer-focused tasks like building a better customer search experience. In our Managed Solr Search vs. Do-it-Yourself blog post, we estimated a range of cost savings resulting from going with the SearchStax solution as follows:
- Setting up Solr – $9,000 to $47,000
- Ongoing Solr support – $23,000 to $72,000
This is time and money that could be repurposed to delivering a better experience for your customers.
7 Things to Consider in a Managed Solr-as-a-Service Solution
With that as an introduction, here is a list of the 7 things you should consider for any managed Solr-as-a-Service solution you are considering:
1. Robust automation and management software
Typically, companies will stand up many Solr instances across their enterprise to solve departmental use cases, but often these separate instances are deployed differently, which makes it challenging to get a bird’s eye view of all the deployments. In addition, the provider should have tools or plugins to make Solr setup easier.
2. Control but not lock-in
It’s great to have strong software features, but you also don’t want to be locked in to either a proprietary API built on top of Solr or to a specific Cloud provider. You want options to deploy on all of the major cloud platforms (AWS, Azure and Google) in all of their regions, and you should be able to deploy on public or private clouds.
3. Separation and isolation from other customers
As a Solr-as-a-Service customer, you are likely one of many clients for your provider. You want to ensure that you are insulated and isolated from other companies’ deployments and traffic to ensure your application’s performance, availability, and uptime.
4. Detailed monitoring and proactive alerting
During development, triaging performance issues or keeping an eye on your search infrastructure, comprehensive monitoring is really important, but that takes an enormous amount of time. Ensure your Solr-as-a-Service provider has a solid solution around monitoring and alerting. Their solution should include a dashboard that lets you manage notifications, receive alerts, and create graphs to visualize what’s going on and to identify trends.
5. Disaster recovery and backup options
Machines and technology fail, natural or man-made disasters occur, and networks go down – and website or application outages caused by any of these situations are going to happen. You want to make sure your provider has multiple Disaster Recovery and backup options for your Solr infrastructure. The Disaster Recovery options should include Hot, Warm and Cold options and have RTOs and RPOs that meet your business needs. From a Backup standpoint, you want to have on-demand and scheduled backups plus the ability to create, schedule, restore and view current backups.
6. Security and compliance capabilities
Security and compliance requirements must be met for many companies looking for cloud solutions. Ideally, your SaaS company should have “system and organization controls” or SOC controls which are a series of standards designed to help measure how well a given service organization conducts and regulates its information. When it comes to working with the cloud and related IT services, such performance and reliability is absolutely essential and increasingly required by regulators, examiners, and auditors.
7. Service level agreement (SLA) for uptime and support
Finally, you’ll want to be sure your provider has strong SLA’s and warranties for breakage, outages and support coverage. For added security and reassurance – ensure that your Solr-as-a-service solution has capable and around the clock support for when things do go wrong.
When you consider the different options available to you your Solr application move to the cloud, it becomes pretty clear that a Solr-as-a-Service solution is the right one. Our complete Solr-as-a-Solution whitepaper provides more details to help you make the best decision for your organization.