FAST search service from Toronto firm competes with Amazon

A Toronto-based IT consultant firm is now offering a cloud-based enterprise search product based on Microsoft Corp.’s FAST Search Server 2010 for Sharepoint.

ACIS Consulting Inc. has launched to offer its fully managed search service for large businesses. The service is run on a Tier 3 data center in Canada and can be deployed to any hosting service provider or enterprise in-house data centre as well, the company announced July 16. The service competes with Amazon Web Services CloudSearch service launched in April, which focuses on enabling developers and businesses to add search to their applications.

CloudSearchPortal will allow its customers to offer a search feature for their in-house enterprise apps and databases. It’s billed on volume pricing and can be scaled up to larger capacity as needed. It can be managed via remote administration, has multi-language support, and includes content promotions management, ACIS says.

Microsoft Corp. acquired Oslo-based Fast Search & Transfer (FAST) for $1.2 billion in 2008. It’s taken the high-end search tool, with the capability to handle billions of files across multiple servers, and integrated it into SharePoint Server. The CloudSearchPortal service makes Microsoft FAST Server 2010 for Sharepoint features available via a software-as-a-service model to its customers.

ACIS is a Microsoft partner that specializes in knowledge discovery. It was founded in 1992 as a reseller and systems integrator for FAST. Its clients include the New York Times, the Ontario Government, and Canwest Global.

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