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Google releases new version of Search Appliance

GB-7007 can index 10 million documents

Google has released a new version of its Search Appliance, which it claims can index 10 million documents, more than three times as many as the current model.

However, Google will continue to sell the new GB-7007 alongside the original version GB-1001, since GB-1001 can be clustered in configurations of either five or eight units, providing maximum capacity for up to 10 million or 30 million documents, respectively. GB-7007 can't be clustered.

Those interested in purchasing the new Search Appliance can place orders already, but Google will begin to deliver the product only next month.

Google sells the Search Appliance as a hardware box loaded with enterprise search software designed to let companies index and retrieve the data in their corporate systems, such as applications, document management tools, databases, web servers, files and the like.

The enterprise search market has traditionally been populated by sophisticated products that tend to be costly, difficult to implement for IT departments and complicated for end-users to master. The Search Appliance is considered a low- to mid-range product that stands out for its simple installation and maintenance, and for being comparatively less expensive.

Since introducing the Search Appliance in 2002, Google's strategy has been to attract the many companies that have held off on implementing an enterprise search system because of price and complexity.

With this new GB-7007 model, Google extends that strategy by removing the need to cluster the Search Appliance unless a company needs to index more than 10 million documents, said Brian Babineau, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.

"It makes enterprise search simpler for more customers," he said. "The Search Appliance offers an easy, plug-and-play solution that brings a lot of benefits."

There are a variety of options for enterprise search from players including Autonomy and Fast Search & Transfer, which Microsoft recently acquired, so IT managers need to make a clear assessment of their needs to find the right product, Babineau said.

For example, does the company want enterprise search for business intelligence, ediscovery or for making corporate information generally more easily available? IT managers also need to consider where the information to be indexed resides. In addition, they must determine available resources the IT department can put into implementation and maintenance, he said.

NEXT PAGE: More on Google's new Search Appliance for enterprise

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