We're happy to announce the release of our Azure Search for Umbraco package.
This is a replacement for Examine in Umbraco that allows you to search both the Umbraco back office and front end.
Much as you might put your media in Azure blob storage for larger Umbraco sites - this package stores your search indexes in a cloud based container which is scalable and replicable across geographic regions.
You gain access to advanced features of Azure search such as simple faceting and synonym support, but importantly you lose the overhead of having to build your Umbraco search indexes upon application startup. This is particularly important in an autoscaling situation where you'd like Umbraco to start up quickly. Building Examine indexes can be slow on large Umbraco sites - and particularly slow in Azure app services - due to slow underlying storages.
The package is available to download from our Umbraco - and is free and open source.