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Argus media & amazon cloud search

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Argus media & amazon cloud search

  1. 1. Argus Media & CloudSearch Chris Fosberry, CTO Argus Media
  2. 2. About Argus • Leading international and independent price reporting organisation • Founded in 1970 — over 40 years experience • Today over 120 publications and services • Almost 500 employees and 40 freelancers (news journalists) • Customers in 110 countries • Annual revenues ~£100mn (2013) • London HQ. Nineteen offices around the globe • One of top 50 fastest growing UK registered companies (Sunday Times)
  3. 3. The problem we had • Over the past 40 years, Argus has accumulated a wealth of content including; • 75,000 • 400,000 • 16,500 Historic publications stored across multiple file systems News Stories Commodity prices of which many update daily • Search was very slow and in some cases results could take over a minute to appear • User experience was very basic with no support for faceted search or synonyms. Often users could not locate what they were looking for • As new data sources were acquired it was time consuming to make this content available to Argus customers
  4. 4. Why we chose Amazon CloudSearch • Amazon model allowed a proof of concept to be delivered quickly • Amazon has a reputation for releasing new features regularly • No need to consider infrastructure requirements • Resilience supported through hosting across multiple availability zones • Scaling happens seamlessly as user demand increases • Pricing model based on usage
  5. 5. Implementation Experience Positives • • • • Amazon provided support where required Documentation provided is very good Implementation against the API was relatively painless No stability concerns raised to date Negative • Some search requests would fail validation checks for unknown reasons. Whilst the reasons were valid, the detail returned by the search service was not always helpful Not having to worry about environment construction and configuration has undoubtedly saved us hundreds of man hours in systems administration activity
  6. 6. Current Status & Business Benefits • Amazon CloudSearch is now live across Argus premium online channels • Customer feedback has been extremely positive with particular focus on performance and the use of faceted search • • The queries that took over a minute to execute are now sub 1 second Staff who have access to all content believe they are working more efficiently

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