While Amazon Web Services made a name for itself by providing raw computing power and data storage at rock-bottom prices, the company has been moving toward providing services that do more of the heavy lifting for developers and administrators in exchange for a higher price.
Amazon Elasticsearch Service is a new product in that vein that's designed to make it easier for developers to implement the popular Elasticsearch open-source search and analytics engine that lives in the AWS cloud. Users can set up an Elasticsearch service cluster using the AWS Management Console, command-line tools, or the Amazon Elasticsearch Service API. They can set up parameters like instance count and what sort of storage their search instance should use.
The Elasticsearch service can be set up either to use storage on the instance that's running it or to provision and connect to a separate storage volume like Amazon's Elastic Block Store.
Once the cluster is set up, users can load information into the storage that's tied to their Elasticsearch cluster and begin querying it and visualizing the data using a tool like Kibana. The Elasticsearch service also integrates with Amazon's CloudWatch Logs monitoring service. Users can set up an Elasticsearch Service domain and then navigate to their CloudWatch console and use a wizard to connect the two services.
Amazon's new service is available in nine regions beginning Thursday. People who qualify for AWS's free tier can use a t2.micro.elasticsearch node for up to 750 hours a month.
Services like these are key to AWS's future profitability, since Amazon charges more for them than for just the raw compute instances that they run on in the company's cloud. That price increase may be justified ease of use if developers and administrators don't have to spend time setting up the same system from scratch.