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Amazon CloudSearch vs. Elasticsearch

A High-Level Overview of Features and Benefits

At Search Technologies, we value a vendor-neutral approach. We avoid telling our customers that one search engine is generally better than another. We aim to present an overview of various search engines to help you gain better insights during your search engine selection process. 

In this post, we discuss Amazon CloudSearch's and Elasticsearch's features and benefits as a general guideline. If you are also evaluating other search engines, read more about Elasticsearch vs. Solr or CloudSearch and Solr.



  • Elastic logoA relatively new open source search engine, Elasticsearch is being developed with a focus on not only search but also big data analytics. This is also a reason why Elasticsearch was not included in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Search.
  • Elasticsearch is also a component of the ELK stack (Elasticsearch, Logstash, Kibana), which is increasingly being used for big data log analytics use cases, such as IT security, e-commerce shopper behavior analytics, market intelligence, risk management, and compliance.
  • As an open source solution, Elasticseach requires no up-front licensing costs while offering the flexibility for complex customization. But it also requires experienced internal developers or third-party partners for sophisticated, custom functionalities.
  • From a technical perspective, Elasticsearch makes it relatively easier to create and implement enterprise-scale search and analytics systems. With many commercial solutions, such as Spunk, developers need to be power-users of proprietary technology to really get the most out of the solution. Get an insider's look on ELK vs. Splunk.
  • Elasticsearch is schema-free and document-oriented. For many business applications, these are important technical innovations compared to legacy enterprise search engines.
  • Elasticsearch works with a wide range of data connectors that are readily available or custom-built, enabling you to search across multiple repositories efficiently.
  • Elastic – the commercial company of Elasticsearch – offers support packages with complementary technologies - Marvel, Shield, Watcher, and Found for added security, monitoring, hosting, and alerting capabilities, all of which are critical in today’s business IT systems.
  • Elasticsearch supports multilingual search in 33 languages currently. Check out the complete list here.



  • Amazon CloudSearch logoCloudSearch is now based on Apache Solr, the leading open source search engine. But it isn’t exactly Solr. For example, a few Solr functions are not included in CloudSearch. The API is a little different too, so that CloudSearch fits alongside other AWS services.
  • CloudSearch is a fully-maintained service and AWS already enjoys a good reputation for support within many organizations.
  • The majority of CloudSearch applications continues to be web-facing, such as media & publishing or e-commerce search. But it can also be deployed for intranet or enterprise search applications, and we do this using add-on technologies, such as data connectorscontent processing, and query processing. Add a flexible, audience-focused UI and you’ll have a functional, highly cost-effective enterprise search platform.
  • Like Elasticsearch, CloudSearch also supports a wide range of data types, enabling it to be applied to a variety of search applications. 
  • CloudSearch’s readily available packages, which include hardware, software, maintenance, and support, may offer a predictable cost structure.
  • CloudSearch provides hit-centric summaries, with search keyword highlighting. This is a key feature for when the source data lacks reliable structure.
  • New or enhanced features for sophisticated search requirements were added in the 2014 upgrades, including proximity searching, native geo support, term boosting, multiple query parsers, etc.
  • You can control over how your CloudSearch application will scale, as load is applied. 
  • CloudSearch supports 35 languages – see the full list here. Support includes multilingual text analytics and both algorithmic and dictionary support for stemming. 



We can provide strategic search guidance by understanding your business goals and search requirements through a comprehensive Search Application Assessment. Then, based on the evaluation of your current IT infrastructure and user requirements, we recommend the search engine that would work well for your circumstances.

Search Technologies is an Elastic implementation partner and reseller. We also offer a full range of implementation services and custom data connectors for CloudSearch. 


Contact us to discuss your search requirements and how we can help optimize your application performance.

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