Apache Solr High Performance

By Surendra Mohan
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About this book

Apache Solr is one of the most popular open source search servers available on the web. However, simply setting up Apache Solr is not enough to ensure the success of your web product. To maximize efficiency, you need to use techniques to boost Solr performance in order to return relevant results faster. You need to implement robust techniques that focus on optimizing the performance of your Solr instances and also troubleshoot issues that are prone to arise while maintaining Solr.

Apache Solr High Performance is a practical guide that will help you explore and take full advantage of the robust nature of Apache Solr so as to achieve optimized Solr instances, especially in terms of performance.

You will learn everything you need to know in order to achieve a high performing Solr instance or set of instances, as well as how to troubleshoot the common problems you are prone to face while working with single or multiple Solr servers.

This book offers you an introduction by explaining the prerequisites of Apache Solr and installing it, while also integrating it with the required additional components, and gradually progresses into features that make Solr flexible enough to achieve high performance ratings in various circumstances. Moving forward, the book will cover several clear and highly practical concepts that will help you further optimize your Solr instances’ performance both on single as well as multiple servers, and learn how to troubleshoot common problems that are prone to arise while using your Solr instance. By the end of the book you will also learn how to set up, configure, and deploy ZooKeeper along with learning more about other applications of ZooKeeper.

You will also learn how to handle data in multiple server environments, searches based on specific geographical co-ordinates, different caching techniques, and various algorithms and formulae that enable better performance; and many more.

Publication date:
March 2014


Chapter 1. Installing Solr

In this chapter, we will understand the prerequisites and learn how to install Apache Solr and the necessary components on our system. For the purpose of demonstration, we will be using Windows-based components. We will cover the following topics:

  • Prerequisites for Solr

  • Installing web servers

  • Installing Apache Solr

Let's get started.


Prerequisites for Solr

Before we get ready for the installation, you need to learn about the components necessary to run Apache Solr successfully and download the following prerequisites:


It is recommended that you choose the latest version of the preceding components due to the fact that the latest version has security patches implemented, which are lacking in the older ones. Additionally, you may use any version of these components, but keep in mind that they are compatible with each other and are secure enough to handle intruders.

Installing components

Once you have the previously mentioned installers ready, you may proceed with the installation by performing the following steps:

  1. Install XAMPP and follow the instructions.

  2. Install the latest Java JDK.

  3. Install Tomcat and follow the instructions.

  4. By now, there must be a folder called /xampp in your C: (by default). Navigate to the xampp folder, find the xampp-control application, and start it, as shown in the following screenshot:

  5. Start Apache, MySQL, and Tomcat services, and click on the Services button present at the right-hand side of the panel, as shown in the following screenshot:

  6. Locate Apache Tomcat Service, right-click on it, and navigate to Properties, as shown in the following screenshot:

  7. After the Properties window pops up, set the Startup type property to Automatic, and close the window by clicking on OK, as shown in the following screenshot:

  8. For the next few steps, we will stop Apache Tomcat in the Services window. If this doesn't work, click on the Stop option.

  9. Extract Apache Solr and navigate to the /dist folder. You will find a file called solr-4.3.1.war, as shown in the following screenshot (we need to copy this file):

  10. Navigate to C:/xampp/tomcat/webapps/ and paste the solr-4.3.1.war file (which you copied in the previous step) into the webapps folder. Rename solr-4.3.1.war to solr.war, as shown in the following screenshot:

  11. Navigate back to <ApacheSolrFolder>/example/solr/ and copy the bin and collection1 files, as shown in the following screenshot:

  12. Create a directory in C:/xampp/ called /solr/ and paste the ApacheSolrFolder>/example/solr/ files into this directory, that is, C:/xampp/solr, as shown in the following screenshot:

  13. Now, navigate to C:/xampp/tomcat/bin/tomcat6, click on the Java tab, and copy the command -Dsolr.solr.home=C:\xampp\solr into the Java Options section, as shown in the following screenshot:

  14. Now its time to navigate to the Services window. Start Apache Tomcat in the Services window.

  15. Now, you are done with installing Apache Solr in your local environment. To confirm, type http://localhost:8080/solr/admin/ and hit the Enter key on the keyboard. You should be able to see Apache Solr's dashboard.



In this chapter, we have learned about the prerequisites necessary to run Apache Solr successfully and how to install and configure XAMPP, Tomcat, the Solr server, and the Solr client. In the next chapter, we will learn the different ways to boost our search using query parsers and various robust function queries such as field references, function references, and function query boosting based on different criteria.

About the Author
  • Surendra Mohan

    Surendra Mohan, who has served a few top-notch software organizations in varied roles, is currently a freelance software consultant. He has been working on various cutting-edge technologies like Drupal, Moodle, Apache Solr, ElasticSearch, Node.js, SoapUI, and so on for the past 10 years. He also delivers technical talks at various community events like Drupal Meetups and Drupal Camps. To find out more about him, his write-ups, technical blogs, and much more, go to http://www.surendramohan.info/.

    He has also written the books Administrating Solr and Apache Solr High Performance published by Packt Publishing and has reviewed other technical books such as Drupal 7 Multi Site Configuration and Drupal Search Engine Optimization, as well as titles on Drupal commerce, ElasticSearch, Drupal related video tutorials, titles on OpsView, and many more.

    Additionally, he writes technical blogs and articles with SitePoint.com. His published blogs and articles can be found at http://www.sitepoint.com/author/smohan/.

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Apache Solr High Performance
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