About 20 months ago, at Acquia, we began working on a hosted offering for Apache Solr, an open source enterprise search platform from the Apache Lucene project. Exactly one year ago, we launched it commercially as Acquia Search. Time and the public reaction have proven that we made the right choice. In the past year, Apache Solr has received a tremendous amount of traction in the Drupal community. Most large sites launched recently use Apache Solr because it provides a faster, more scalable search solution, as well as improved search accuracy and more features than the built-in search features of Drupal's core.
If you want to install, run and maintain Apache Solr yourself — assuming you have the resources required — you can of course do so. However, many organizations lack the technical expertise to deploy, maintain and scale Java applications. Even if they do have the resources, it's often cheaper to use Acquia Search. Acquia Search has been part of our overall plan to sell simplicity and enhance the experience of using Drupal. Today, the majority of our customers that subscribe to the Acquia Network, which includes very large Drupal sites, actively use Acquia Search instead of maintaining their own or using Drupal core's built-in search. In the past three months we have handled about 20 million search requests on behalf of our customers. These are important proof-points of our strategy.
The growth in popularity of Apache Solr and the story of Acquia Search haven't finished, though. This week we released some excellent new features for Acquia Search which we believe will further help drive adoption of Apache Solr and Acquia Search. We added support for attachment indexing (e.g. search PDF and Word documents), multi-site search (i.e. search multiple Drupal sites at once), and other additions. For more details on this latest release of Acquia Search, check out Peter Wolanin's blog post on the subject. I think our customers will be quite pleased at the improvements we've made in this release. And if you're not using Apache Solr or Acquia Search, you should seriously consider implementing it. It's cool stuff. :-)