What architecture does Algolia use to provide a high-performance search engine?
Algolia is powered by a search engine built from scratch, implemented in C++, and hosted inside an NGINX server, as an NGINX module. We originally designed the Algolia engine for mobile devices, as an offline, embeddable SDK, before transforming it into an online API. Building Algolia for mobile forced us to massively optimize for performance, given the limited amount of computing resources that smartphones had at the time. Now that the same technology runs on high-end clusters, it’s become even faster.