Let’s say that you have a Sitecore 9 instance. You just finished the installation, and you are basically starting a completely new project. There is nothing fancy on that little Sitecore server yet. It is pretty standard, right? Guess what? You may not be aware, but you already have fourteen Solr indexes created and ready to give you some fun.
If you are using Sitecore on Azure, be prepared to have a few extra Azure resources for Solr. At least one for CM and another one for CD. That’s money, but more important than that, that’s your time being spent on managing things that really do not bring real business value to your customers.
What Should You Do About It? I Suggest SearchStax – Solr as a Service
SearchStax offers what they call Solr-as-a-Service, which is basically perfect. Instead of having to install, configure, and maintain your Solr servers, you just let them do this and use the Solr endpoint they give to you on your ConnectionStrings.config file. It is really that plug-and-play.
And it doesn’t matter if you are using Coveo for content indexes (and you guys already know that I love their product), you still must have Solr indexes for internal search on Sitecore.
How Easy It Is To Configure It?
The first part is 100% on their Cloud platform. You need to create a user profile with them, and after doing that, it’s a matter of creating a new Cloud Deployment. They give you a lot of different deployment options. You can choose between using Azure, AWS, or even Google Cloud to host your indexes. You can also use low-cost deployments, which can be used to Dev or Testing environments, and also high-availability deployments for your Production environment. The final cost depends on all those parameters.
Those guys at SearchStax are really making it easy for us, Sitecore developers. We don’t even need to worry about changing our configuration to deal with their Solr Cloud endpoint. They’ve created a PowerShell script that does all that for you. It’s a matter of editing the script parameters and running as an administrator and you are done. More time to troubleshoot that issue on Unicorn.Datablast library, right?
After connecting the dots as described above, all you need to do is use the old fashion Sitecore Indexing Manager to populate Solr schema and rebuild the index. Again, totally transparent that you are no longer using a managed Solr.
The cost is low when compared to the total project budget. It gives your development team more time to really develop new features and focus on what brings business value to your customer. It’s a win-win. Since I’ve first met this product, I try to add it as part of any project I’m involved as the Head of the Search department. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but I’m doing what is right. And you guys should give it a try too.
I hope you guys enjoyed this content and please feel free to send me any questions related to SearchStax or any other subject that I may help with. Follow me on twitter for more content like this and have a great week, you all!