StarFlare is our new catalog search module for Magento Open Source that removes the requirement having Elasticsearch running on Magento 2.4+. Elasticsearch will still need to be installed, but the requirement for it to be in a running active state will be removed.
Our StarFlare module is currently in Beta testing, and is standard for a majorty of our stacks for Magento. You can experience it live on our demo server.
A Star is Born
Many of us didn’t like the requirement of Magento’s 2.4 release to force the requirement of Elasticsearch [ES]. ES has introduced new complex requirements for the end business owner or administrator, and from our experience with our customers, has been very prone to crashing and high memory usage.
Another potential problem is encountered when you patch the OS, i.e., Ubuntu, and a new ES release is pulled. The result is ES won’t start. This is because the ES Magento plugins also need to be updated. Additionally, Adobe/Magento is usually behind ES with release versions. So you’ll potentially need to rollback every time you patch the OS to a tested, and supported version of ES.
ES requires a lot more resources on the server. Prior to Magento 2.4, you could even run Magento on a t3-small [2GB RAM], and still get very good performance. Now, with ES you need at least a t3-large.
If Elasticsearch crashed for any reason, then you also have issues with products displaying and indexing. [Basically your store goes offline.] Plus, the complexity of maintaining Elasticsearch is out of reach for many admins, and it has no user friendly dashboard.
Many of our customers are using 3rd party search modules to supplement the difficulties surrounding ES, but the unfortunate design of many of these is that they still require ES to run. Plus, they add considerable cost to your monthly operating expenses. For example, a large catalog of about 1 million items with a single store view is about ~$500 per month if you used the popular Algolia search.
Note: The StarFlare, dev code named B24, module is designed only to run on aMiSTACX. It is built to use Open Source Apache Solr, and we very pleased to be working with this amazing framework.
This video shows deployment and speed testing w/ Magento’s LUMA sample data and aMiSTACX StarFlare.