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Don’t let network latency ruin the search experience of your international users

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At Algolia, we allow developers to provide a unique interactive search experience with as-you-type search, instant faceting, mobile geo-search and on the fly spell check.

Our Distributed Search Network aims at removing the impact of network latency on the speed of search, allowing our customers to offer this instant experience to all their end-users, wherever they may be.

Every millisecond matters

We are obsessed with speed and we’re not the only ones: Amazon found out that 100ms in added latency cost them 1% in sales. The lack of responsiveness for a search engine can really be damaging for one’s business. As individuals, we are all spoiled when it comes to our search expectations: Google has conditioned the whole planet to expect instant results from anywhere around the world.

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We have the exact same expectations with any online service we use. The thing is that for anyone who is not Google, it is just impossible to meet these expectations because of the network latency due to the physical distance between the service backend that hosts the search engine and the location of the end-user.

Even with the fastest search engine in the world, it can still take hundreds of milliseconds for a search result to reach Sydney from San Francisco. And this is without counting the bandwidth limitations of a saturated oversea fiber!

How we beat the speed of light

Algolia’s Distributed Search Network (DSN) removes the latency from the speed equation by replicating your indices to different regions around the world, where your users are.

Your local search engines are clones synchronized across the world. DSN allows you to distribute your search among 12 locations including the US, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Russia, and Singapore. Thanks to our 12 data centers, your search engine can now deliver search results under 50ms in the world’s top markets, ensuring an optimal experience for all your users.

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How you activate DSN

Today, DSN is only accessible to our Starter, Growth, Pro and Enterprise plan customers. To activate it, you simply need to go in the “Region” tab at the top of your Algolia dashboard and select “Setup DSN”.

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You will then be displayed with a map and a selection of your top countries in terms of search traffic. Just select our DSN data centers on the map and see how performance in those countries is optimized.

Algolia will then automatically take care of the distribution and the synchronization of your indices around the world. End-users’ queries will be automatically routed to the closest data center among those you’ve selected, ensuring the best possible experience. Algolia DSN delivers an ultra low response time and automatic fail-over on another region if a region is down.

It is that simple!

Today, several services including HackerNews, TeeSpring, Product Hunt and Zendesk are leveraging Algolia DSN to provide faster search to their global users.

Want to find out more about the Algolia experience ?
Discover and try it here!

  • http://www.marketingtechblog.com Douglas Karr

    Congratulations!

  • Brian Tobin

    Which DSN would be best for improving China search speeds- Hong Kong, Japan, or Singapore? Any possibility of having a DSN inside China’s firewall?

    • Adam Surak

      For China, I definitely recommend Hong Kong. We have a link form Hong Kong to Beijing and very good latency from inside China. You can test it by ping to latency-dsn.algolia.net and let me know the results. We are currently exploring the options of putting DSN (even multiple locations) inside China, but it is a long process – we definitely want!

  • Christian Bundy

    With the circumference of the Earth being 40,075 km, and the speed of light being 299,792,458 m/s, it takes light a minimum of 66.837 ms to reach the other side of the world. Getting searches done in 50ms is literally faster than the speed of light. Congrats!

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