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LinkedIn Buys Real-Time, Hosted Search Startup IndexTank (techcrunch.com)
77 points by rksprst on Oct 11, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 45 comments

I want to believe that my own post is more interesting than the TC article :)


Congrats! If you have any customers in APac you need taken care of, drop me an email.

congrats indextank, i always believed you had a very good business case. But can someone explain me why Linked-in is interested in such a business?

"IndexTank says that LinkedIn has agreed to maintain the IndexTank service running for the next six months"

So, the Heroku plugin goes away and customers like Reddit have to make other arrangements. Interesting that they would shut down a viable business - I don't understand that.

Wow, we were thinking about integrating with IndexTank. Glad we didn't.

Yeah, we had decided to go that way too, but now I don't know. Congrats to the team, and I'll be interested to see what they open source.

The Heroku plugin will not go away, neither will the IndexTank service if everything goes as planned.

Pre-acquisition and post-acquisition are two different worlds. Unless there is a direct connection to LinkedIn's business model it's hard to believe IndexTank's offerings won't be radically transformed in the next year.

Congrats to the LinkedIn and IndexTank folks for the successful exit/acquisition.

Apologies for tooting my own horn here, but for anyone wondering about alternatives for hosted search, there's always Apache Solr and fizx's and my hosted service at http://websolr.com/. We're bootstrapped, profitable, and going on two years old. And we intend to be around for a while!

Feel free to hit me up with questions!

I contemplated websolr recently but went with IndexTank simply due to the free storage they provided. It's nice to test out the service in dev mode to see if it's a good fit before committing to paying for it. Any chance Websolr offers an option like this down the road?

Plus, Solr just seemed to struggle with geo search. I used Sunspot as my search interface and had to specify a minimum precision of 6 (supposedly a 6+ mile bounding box) to get any results, even those that were less than a mile away. I know Solr uses geohashing, but it just appeared wildly inaccurate...at least for me.

> Plus, Solr just seemed to struggle with geo search.

I hear you on that. Solr only relatively recently got a decent, official Spatial search API with its version 3 release. We've got a Solr 3 cluster up at Websolr (with lots of other tasty stuff, like real-time updates), but Sunspot is lagging behind a bit.

I'm one of the maintainers of Sunspot and we're pushing out a new 1.3 maintenance/bugfix release within the next few days, which should clear the way for Solr 3 support -- and much better spatial search -- in Sunspot 1.4.

Fantastic. I just sent the email. I'll be on the lookout for Sunspot 1.4 and its improvements in geo search. Thanks!

> Any chance Websolr offers an option like this down the road?

We're definitely open to adding easier free trials. As a developer myself, I respect when a service meets you half-way on that initial integration cost.

In the mean time, we're pretty liberal with trials. Hit me up at info@onemorecloud.com if you're interested and I'll hook you up with a free month to try things out.

You list Java as supported on this page, but the link 404s. http://websolr.com/guides/solr/clients Do you guys support Java integration?

I don't work for websolr, but I do quite a bit of work with Apache Solr. I'd imagine Java integration is supported through the native Java client, http://wiki.apache.org/solr/Solrj, which is maintained by the Solr team. There are also a number of Solr client libraries for Python, Ruby, PHP, etc. All searches against a Solr index take place over HTTP through an RPC interface, so building an API for a specific language relatively straightforward.

Thanks for the heads up on that 404, I'll take care of that. See cedrichurst's comment for what I ought to be linking to.

I'm kind of curious as to what sort of performance improvements your normally able to get for people?

Performance improvements relative to... what?

We do get a surprising number of people who are upgrading from SQL LIKE queries. In a situation like that, you might see queries that take a few seconds to scan through a table in SQL get cut down to a few dozen milliseconds to fetch results from an index. That's just a good example of using the right tool for the job.

It would be a little tricky to compare performance to self-hosting, given the myriad of variables involved. And as far as other services go, perhaps someone else can speak to that. Or maybe you have a more specific scenario in mind?

Super happy for you guys, congrats!! :)

Super not happy to find a new search solution in the next six months. :(

Yep, founders+investors win. Customers lose.

I guess that's the new way to run a business. Exit > customers.

I am honestly and seriously committed to help our customers as much as time permits. I don't want this to be another "cloud provider gets acquired, users unhappy." Part of our team will be dedicated to personally helping out each and every one of our customers find the best solution over the next six months.

Ideally we'll get other providers to implement the IndexTank API for a seamless transition. I will post updates about this.

It is not like that. Check our FAQ out: https://indextank.com/documentation/faq2. We're talking to several interested parties who would like to take over the service.

Thanks for doing the right thing, we've really enjoyed the service. I'll look forward to the source release -- maybe we'll bring search back in house. Again -- congrats! :)

Can someone list some alternatives to IndexTank? We rely on them pretty heavily and this is going to leave us, and I imagine quite a few other companies, in a bind.

IndexTank have already said that they'll open source their code so others can take up the mantle. Another alternative is the excellent open source Apache Solr search engine, discussed elsewhere in this thread.

Sphinx and Solr are both options to consider, and there are few Search as a Service providers that you can use. Flying Sphinx and WebSolr are two of the more popular ones.

We use Flying Sphinx and it's worked out well.

Great to see a fellow startup get acquired.

But, I wish they held off on the acquisition until other "cloud providers" were willing and ready to implement these services that will be open sourced. Or at least keep your service up until then. This is great for the IndexTank team, but screws all of their customers (of which I am one).

We are going to do exactly what you described. If everything goes as planned, IndexTank will continue to live on.

"If everything goes as planned" is not something any business can rely on.

I believe it is not uncommon for businesses to rely on plans.

It is common for a business to rely on it's own plans. It is uncommon (or at the very least a bad business decision) for a business to reply on the plans of another business.

I am really psyched to see IndexTank open source their technology (as notes mentions).

Very intrigued to know which specific components of their technology will they open source - and how they fit within linkedin sna different projects http://sna-projects.com/sna/ and lucene / other open source projects at large.

Really curious to know if any IndexTank / linkedin team member reading.

I'm reading. :)

So what specifically are you guys open sourcing and how does that complement existing open source search technologies like Lucene and the things that the folks over at Linkedin SNA have open sourced (e.g., Bobo, Sensei)?

It is our intention to open-source what the next provider will need to keep the service running. It's too early to tell what that exactly will be or how it will complement other SNA projects.

Congrats to the team!

That said, it proves once again that entrepreneurs should not feel discouraged by the presence of competitors in their field. Continue to build your own great product. Your biggest, most successful competitor may be the next one to fail for whatever reason or, hopefully for them, have an early exit which clears the field for your product/service.

IndexTank acquired by LinkedIn, Sapus Media's Cocos2D acquired by Zynga, two examples of excelent and very focused Argentinian products. Hope to see more from the south in the near future. It shows that there is light and a lot of value beyond software factories.

Congrats to Diego!

Darn. I wanted to integrate IndexTank into our service next week, now I need to look at alternatives. The sooner you can confirm what happens next, the better.

Email support at indextank dot com, happy to help you out.

Just got the email. Congrats guys! You're one of my favorite start-ups, and I'm really glad to see you guys succeed.

When's the party? :-)

Muy contento por la noticia :)

me sumo! felicitaciones Diego & Team.

Gracias! :)

I suppose this means that LinkedIn is moving away from Lucene NRT Search?

Congrats to IndexTank team!

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