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Google Brings a New Search Option to Its Cloud

April 6, 2017, 4:00 PM UTC

It might seem counterintuitive, but Google—the kingpin of Internet search engines—is adding a new search service to its cloud platform.

The company is working with Elastic to add a new managed search and related analytics services to the Google Cloud Platform, the business that rents out computing, storage, and networking power to corporate customers.

The services being added include Elasticsearch search and Kibana data visualization tools. Elastic’s technology is open source, meaning that the software code is freely available for anyone to download, examine, and use. Elastic makes money selling a supported version of that software with additional commercial features.

Google launched Google Cloud Search in February to handle content created and stored in its G Suite desktop applications to meet the need for document search for business users. Elasticsearch, however, opens up a broader set of applications for corporate IT professionals.

“My biggest beef, historically, is that search has been devalued to mean just enterprise search, like the technologies offered by Endeca, Fast, and others,” Shay Banon, co-founder and chief technology officer for Elastic, tells Fortune. (Endeca and Fast Search & Transfer were two search companies acquired years ago by Oracle (ORCL)and Microsoft (MSFT), respectively.)

He argues that there is much more to search than finding documents. Many customers use Elasticsearch to examine computer logs—the esoteric files that are generated any time a computing action takes place—to find out quickly what’s happening in their IT infrastructures. Or they use it to examine the logs from their Web servers to see how people are using their Internet sites. In those cases, Elastic competes with companies like Splunk (SPLK) more than it would with something like the search engine that consumers use or Google Cloud Search.

This partnership is another example of Google adding a cloud product to appeal to the corporate customers it is wooing with GCP. Google and Elastic claim joint customers including The New York Times, Verizon (VZ), and Quizlet, a provider of online study tools.

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Amazon Web Services, the market leader in public cloud, offers its own Elasticsearch service. Customers can opt for an Elastic-managed version of Elasticsearch on AWS. IT professionals can can also download and deploy Elasticsearch themselves on an Amazon (AMZN) infrastructure.

Google and Elastic will offer a fully managed search service, which in theory means it will be easy to set up and deploy without a lot of tweaking.

“We’d been thinking about which cloud to work with next,” Banon tells Fortune. “We liked our interactions with Google. I met with [Google’s senior vice president for cloud] Diane Greene, and they were good to go.”