• 3 min read

New Azure Search tiers and Basic and Standard S2 general availability

We’re happy to announce a number of updates to our line of Azure Search service tiers.

This post was authored by Joseph Sirosh, Corporate Vice President, Data Group.

We’re happy to announce a number of updates to our line of Azure Search service tiers. Today, we are introducing into preview a high scale/high performance tier called Standard S3 as well as a SAAS & ISV focused tier called Standard S3 High Density. In addition, we are making Azure Search Basic and Standard S2 search tiers general availability (GA).

New tiers

Standard S3 preview for very large datasets with high query rates

Standard S3 is perfect for customers with large numbers of documents and extremely high query workloads. Since Standard S3 is backed by high performance CPUs as well as premium SSD storage, this service can support over one billion documents and can handle many hundreds of queries per second (QPS) at low latencies when scaled appropriately.

Standard S3 high density preview for ISV and Multi-tenant SaaS apps

The Standard S3 High Density (S3 HD) tier is ideally suited for ISV’s and SaaS enabled applications that need to support customers who need a large number of relatively small indexes. With a S3 HD search service, you are able to support up to 1,000 indexes in a single search service making this tier extremely cost effective for scenarios where you have smaller customer workloads or when you need to provide low-cost indexes for your customers.

Cymax Group is one customer who we have been working with to test this high density offering. Cymax is one of the fastest growing PaaS and online retailer for home furnishings, with annual sales exceeding $150 million. Cymax Group recently released their Constant Retail platform which allows any furniture store to provide an online presence while allowing them to keep costs low by leveraging Cymax’s technology, logistics and product catalogs.

“A key part of any successful ecommerce site is their search capabilities, as such our partnership with Microsoft Azure Search will enable Constant Retail customers to have access to leading search technologies that would only be available to large scale retailers. We chose the Azure Search platform because of its robust set of features and its ability to scale, perform and provide intelligent, meaningful results. The new S3 high density tier fits perfectly for our technology stack, our business model and of course with our customers, allowing each site to have its own unique and customizable search index”. – Rizwan Somji, VP of Technology, Cymax Group

In addition, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online has been leveraging the Azure Search HD tier to help transform their online search experience so end users can find what they are looking for quickly and easily even in the most complex customer applications.

“Leveraging Azure Search has helped us take our first huge leap down this path and pave the way for significant future innovation. The new HD SKU, in particular, makes it possible to deploy Azure Search in a serviceable and affordable way for many thousands of our online customers while maintaining our performance and functionality goals”. – Mike Carter, Principal Program Manager, Dynamics CRM

Support for a much larger number of indexes comes with a tradeoff in terms of documents per index. Whereas S3 has a maximum of 1.4 billion documents across all allowable partitions, an S3 HD index can have no more than one million documents per index, with combined storage across all indexes capped at 200GB per service. In addition, S3 HD does not currently support Indexers.

New generally available tiers

General availability of Basic

In March, we introduced into preview our Basic tier which filled a pricing gap between the Free and Standard tiers. The Basic tier addresses this gap by providing the production-class characteristics of Standard for scenarios that have lower capacity requirements. Today, we are making this tier generally available. To learn more about this Basic search service, please visit this page.

General availability of Standard S2

Standard S2 is our mid-range search service that is being made generally available today. During the preview, we’ve observed Standard S2 services supporting workloads with hundreds of queries per second while maintaining extremely low latency rates.

Azure Search tier summary

Here’s a table that summarizes the key aspects of each service tier:




Standard S1

Standard S2

Standard S3 Preview

Standard S3 HD Preview

SLA Available








50 MB

2 GB/service

25 GB/partition (max 300 GB)

100 GB/partition (max 1.2 TB)

200 GB/partition (max 2.4 TB)

200 GB

Max Indexes







Documents Hosted



15M/ partition (max 180M docs)

60M/partition (up to 720M million docs)

120M/partition (up to 1.4B docs)

1M/index (200 M Total)

Scale out Limits


Up to 3 units/service

Up to 36 units/service

Up to 36 units/service

Up to 36 units/service

Up to 12 replicas and 1 partition

Standard data transfer rates apply.

*Minimum two replicas for read-SLA, three replicas for read-write-SLA.

**Preview Azure Search services do not offer an SLA.

Try it out!

For more information on these new Azure Search tiers and pricing, please visit our pricing page or click here to create your own Search service.