Google Launches Mini Version of Enterprise Search Box

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2005-01-13 Print this article Print

The company introduces an appliance targeted to smaller organizations, while also building support for more enterprise data into its traditional appliance.

Google Inc. took two more steps Thursday toward becoming as well-known in enterprise search as it is for finding information on the Web. The Mountain View, Calif., company launched a search appliance aimed at smaller organizations while expanding the types of enterprise data it supports on its higher-end appliances. Googles moves follow promises from its executives last year that it would invest more in enterprise products and expand its offerings for businesses.
Google introduced the Google Mini for use in organizations with up to about 1,000 employees or in departments of larger companies, said Matthew Glotzbach, business product manager for Googles enterprise group.
The Mini can index as many as 50,000 documents and sells for $4,995. Compare that to Googles main enterprise box, the Google Search Appliance. The three models of that appliance support indexes of between 1.5 million and 15 million and start at $32,000. "The challenge for these [smaller] companies is that larger enterprise solutions are too costly and unwieldy to manage," Glotzbach said. "This has been a market left unserved, predominantly." The Google Mini supports the indexing of Web-enabled content in more than 220 file types. It will only be available for purchase from the online Google Store, where the company also sells namesake T-shirts and lava lamps. The mainstay Google Search Appliance also gained new features, but ones aimed at large enterprise users. Google announced that it has added support for searching across enterprise relational databases in a software update to the appliance. Click here to read more about an earlier overhaul of the Google Search Appliance. With the update, the appliance natively supports databases from Oracle Corp., Microsoft Corp., IBM, Sybase Inc. and the open-source vendor MySQL AB, Glotzbach said. Essentially, a database crawler that can find information based on SQL queries will work alongside the existing Web-based crawler in the appliance. One of the Google appliances enterprise limitations had been that it only searches Web-based content sitting on a Web server and exposed through HTTP interfaces. The addition of database content means it can search across unstructured and structured data and provide users both types of results in a common interface, Glotzbach said. Click here to read about IBMs enterprise "Google" aspirations. The Google Search Appliance software update, Version 4.2, also provides an API (application programming interface) to allow administrators to feed data from other enterprise systems, such as legacy content management systems, into the appliances search index. "We see corporations with large corpuses of information that sit in a legacy system, and its valuable information that theyd like to search but theyve had no way to get the content in a searchable form," Glotzbach said. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.
Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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