Trying to use sphinx search engine

We have used sphinx in a couple of projects and its pretty solid. You can also check apache solr ( )

and the acts_as_solr_reloaded ( ).

Thinking sphinx is the de facto standard if you use sphinx.

Hava a look at thinking sphinx manual for Q2 and Q3.

I don’t think that you will have any problems by having different development and deployment systems.

As for not using apache, I don’t think that has anything to do with the search functionality of your app.