Google boosts corporate search offerings
- By John K. Waters
Google Inc., Mountain View, Calif., took another step behind the corporate
firewall last week with the unveiling of a new high-end search product in its
new Google Search Appliance line. The product line, a group of integrated
hardware-software offerings that utilize Google's popular search technology,
aims to let employees and customers find information within corporate intranets
and Web sites; it was unveiled last spring.
The new GB-5005 is aimed at organizations requiring dedicated search service
of up to 3 million documents. The GB-5005, five clustered servers that can plug
into an existing corporate IT infrastructure, is described by Google officials
as ''ideal for dedicated, high-priority search services, such as customer-facing
Web sites and company-wide intranet applications.'' Other products in the product
line include the low-end, Linux-based GB-1001, designed for departments and
mid-sized companies, and the GB-8008, designed for centralized deployments
supporting global business units.
Google also unveiled enhancements to the earlier Search Appliance line
offerings. The enhancements include:
* Security updates that allow users to search information protected by basic
authentication or Microsoft NTLM. All documents from protected Web servers are
kept within the Google Search Appliance. Users performing searches see only the
documents to which they have access authorization in the search results.
* More timely results. Both the newly released GB-5005 and the top of the
line GB-8008 can now perform incremental updates designed to allow
administrators to create two layers of searchable information -- a fast-changing
top layer for important documents, updated hourly, and a larger base layer that
can be updated every day.
* Increased capacity: The GB-8008 can now search up to 7 million documents
from a single query, an increase of 75% over the previous software version,
according to company representatives. This increased capacity should make it
possible for administrators to speed up the time required to deliver search
results to the user.
Google Inc. jumped on the enterprise bandwagon earlier this year, expanding
into the corporate search business alongside a number of well-established
competitors, including Verity, Autonomy, Inktomi and CMGI Inc.'s AltaVista.
The company scored some early wins with the offering in the aerospace,
technology, broadcasting, retail and education markets. Its initial customer
list included The Boeing Company, Cisco Systems, PBS.org, National Semiconductor
Corp., Sur La Table and the University of Florida, among others.
Google updated that list last week, announcing new Google Search Appliance
customers in the government, health, education and biotech sectors. Among the
company's newest enterprise customers are the U.S. Department of Energy's
National Energy Technology Laboratory, the U.S. Department of Education, the
California Department of Transportation, the State of Indiana, Kaiser
Permanente, the University of Michigan College of Engineering and Medtronic
John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached