Hybrid search is the latest feature in SharePoint 2016. This new hybrid feature provide configuration to connect server to cloud, to combine features of both on-premises and cloud environments. Hybrid Search provide flexibility and capability to manage cloud and on-premise both on a single place. From user perspective, an interface that merged search results from cloud content which is less sensitive content to on-premise which is more sensitive content. Hybrid search provide Search from anywhere on-premises, office 365 content, access the content and also provide relevancy and deep refiners to get the combine result.
How does Hybrid Search works
On-premises content crawled and metadata from the content will be added to the online search index. Same in case of online, content crawled and metadata from the content will be added to online search index. There is a central search for both on-premise and online. This Search Center uses the default result source and gets the result from both on-premises and online content. So as you seen in above screen, content and search of on-premise and online are different but indexing will be always happened on online and search result will be a consolidated result of both the environment.
SharePoint Hybrid configuration and components
To start with you need to configure Cloud Search Service application to enable Hybrid search in SharePoint 2016 and this is same as SharePoint 2013 search application, but in SharePoint 2016 only crawling and parsing the content process works and the components do not process content processing component and indexing, SharePoint online will take care of this.
Below are the Search Service Components in SharePoint search architecture.
- Crawl and content processing
- Query processing
- Search administration
Advantages of Hybrid search
There are number of advantages of SharePoint 2016 Hybrid search which are listed below
- All the content of on-premise, cloud will be getting indexed in SharePoint online and content will be secured while transferring from On-Premise to online as it is secured with encryption technique.
- There is nothing to worry about the search index size as crawling needs to done on on-premise and the content processing and querying will be managed by SharePoint Online.
- Users will experience SharePoint online without upgrading the existing on-premise environment.
- At the time of next version upgradation user is not required to migrate the search index again.
Hybrid search allow users to get search result from both on-premises and online content, no matter even if company has legacy SharePoint Servers running in its data center. Hybrid search is compatible and flexible for both on-premises and Online environment. So ultimately searching has become easier as well as a lot of time is saved that was invested in content searching.