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anyone know what it is underneath the covers? elasticsearch?



It says it is based on the same search that powers Amazon.com, so presumably it is A9: http://a9.com/

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Just like they said AWS is the infrastructure that powers Amazon when AWS started out. I'd read this with a pinch of salt.

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This is false. Amazon only recently started using+moving some of its services/fleets to AWS. To this day, a vast majority run on dedicated fleets.

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Amazon never claimed this.

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Here's the initial announcement of EC2: http://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/whats-new/2006/08/24/announc...

> run on Amazon’s proven computing environment

Yes, Amazon never explicitly stated, "We run our site on a fleet of EC2 instances, and you should too," but they certainly weaseled a connection with their main site that didn't exist.

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This says that EC2 runs on Amazon, not the other way around.

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What does running on Amazon mean (in 2006)? Remember, the company is officially Amazon.com, Inc., i.e. the ecommerce site turning tens of billions in revenue.

Here's an excerpt from the Businessweek cover story[1] a few weeks after EC2's launch:

> Amazon is starting to rent out just about everything it uses to run its own business, from rack space in its 10 million square feet of warehouses worldwide to spare computing capacity on its thousands of servers, data storage on its disk drives, and even some of the millions of lines of software code it has written to coordinate all that.

Weeks later Bezos discussed the $2 billion investment in Amazon.com's infrastructure [2]. In effectively the same breath he mentioned 200,000 developers signed up for AWS. This is deliberately deceptive. Bezos linked AWS with Amazon.com's infrastructure, when the two are totally separate.

Signs point towards EC2 coming about through the intransigence of a couple people [3], not through a deliberate effort by top brass to rent out Amazon.com's infrastructure. Implicating the main site was a tactic to inspire confidence and provoke experimentation. It's unclear whether EC2 would have found the same success had Amazon not papered over the inchoate AWS architecture by invoking the Amazon brand.

I love AWS. Their blog is the only corporate blog I subscribe to, because everything they post is so friggin' cool. Sentences like these...

> If you have ever searched Amazon.com, you've already used the technology that underlies CloudSearch.

...are weasely and unnecessary. Maybe CloudSearch is functionally identical to Amazon.com search or maybe it isn't. Everyone understands there are tradeoffs to be made. I just wish Amazon were more transparent about its architecture.

[1]: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_46/b4009001.... [2]: http://aws.typepad.com/aws/2006/09/we_build_muck_s.html [3]: http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/cloud-computing/am...

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> If you have ever searched Amazon.com, you've already used the technology that underlies CloudSearch.

I don't see what is "weasely and unnecessary" about this. It's vague, sure, because "technology" is a vague word. But it seems a bit of an overreaction to believe this statement is actively trying to deceive. I read it as "we use this technology to run the amazon.com website", implying that it is up to the task of running your own web service. Time will tell if that actually proves to be true.

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It's not like they built new DCs, networks, and fleet management tools for EC2 hosts. It's all running in the same computing environment.

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yes, CloudSearch uses/wraps around the search stack developed at A9. The CloudSearch team is also actually at A9.

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The A9 website says "Developed by A9, Amazon CloudSearch is built with the same innovative technology that powers search for Amazon.com."

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And we all know how awesome Amazon.com search is......

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From the article: Amazon CloudSearch has a number of advanced search capabilities including faceting and fielded search

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This has actually went into a wrong place; should be an answer to the question about facets.

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