Azure Create Search Service and Scale Replicas and Partitions

In one of my previous articles AZURE SEARCH AS A SERVICE we have learned about the following related to Azure Search.

  • What is Azure Search?
  • What are Azure Search advantages?
  • What are Azure Search features?
  • Process of creating and using the Search function
  • What data sources are supports?

In this article, let’s discuss about the 1st step Create Azure Search – highlighted in the below diagram using the Azure Management portal.

0_workflow
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Navigate to the Azure Management portal and select “Azure Search” as shown below.

1_new_azureserch

Clicking on the Azure Search in the above screen capture, you will be taken to the following New Search Service blade.

2_createsearch

You need to provide the following details.

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Field NameDescription
URLA unique URL will be created based on the value that provide in this textbox. In this example, I have provided “smartazuresearch”. So, the URL will be https://smartazuresearch.search.windows.net . This is the URL that you would be using in the API’s that you use for pushing the data to Search indexes. You will learn more about this in the upcoming articles. Please note that you cannot change this URL once you create it.
SubscriptionSelect the subscription in which you would like to create the service.
Resource GroupChoose the existing resource group in which your related applications are created. It’s a good practice to have all the services of a given project’s environment (Production / Staging / Dev) in the same Resource Group
LocationSelect the Data Center location where you would like to have Azure provision the Search Service. Please make sure that all the applications that consume your Search Service are also hosted in the same location to avoid latency issues.
Pricing TierIn this example, I have chosen StandardS1 tier. Unlike App Service Plan’s tiers, you CANNOT do an in-place updating of the pricing tier of the Search Service. In case if you would to scale-up from Free to Standard, you need to re-create everything and migrate the index data (we will discuss more about indexes in the upcoming articles).

Once you are ready with all the details, click on Create to create the Azure Search service. Below is the screen capture of the service that we have created.

3_searchlisting
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Below are the features that different tiers offer as of this writing.

 FreeBasicStandard – SStandard -S2Standard – S3S3 High-Density
Indexes35502002001000
Documents10K1M15 M60M120 M200 M
Storage (GB)50 MB2 GB25 GB / Partition100 GB / Partition200 GB / Partition200 GB / Partition
InfraSharedDedicatedDedicatedDedicatedDedicatedDedicated
Scaling (Search Units)None336363636
Replicas (Load Balancing)None312121212
PartitionsNoneNone1212123
High Density EnabledNoNoNoNoNOYes

We will learn more about all the above specified features in-detail in the upcoming articles.

Scaling – Azure Search could be scaled in the following two broader ways.

  • Replicas – Replicas distribute workloads across the service. You need 2 or more replicas to support high availability (applies to Basic and Standard tiers only).
  • Partitions – Partitions allow for scaling of document counts as well as faster data ingestion by spanning your index over multiple Azure Search Units (applies to Standard tiers only).

Navigate to Settings blade and click on Scale as shown below.

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4_scale

By default, each service that you create has 1 replicate and 1 partition. We can scale up / down using the Scale blade as shown below. In the above screen capture, I scaled up the replicas to 2.

In production environment, you should look at having a minimum of 3 replicas to avail 99.9% availability.

Summary: In this article, we have learned the following.

  • How to create an Azure Search service using Azure Management Portal.
  • How to scale-up replicas and partitions to increase the availability of the Search Service.

Hope you enjoyed reading the article. Your feedback is highly appreciated.

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