Enterprise Search Needs Compel Google to Boost GSA

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2008-08-06 Print this article Print

Google today released a new General Search Appliance, a box that can index 10 million documents, or five times as many files as the previous GSA.

Matt Glotzbach, product management director of enterprise for Google, told me Google is trying to change the way companies and users think of enterprise software.

Traditionally, enterprise software companies, and this includes enterprise search software, take too much time innovating, with long release cycles over multiple years.

Google, Glotzbach said, is making major product enhancements to the enterprise search software that goes in its GSA every 6 months. Minor upgrades roll out every three months.

Google will have you think its unique in this respect. Google isn't special. The market compels it.

The upgrade, quite simply, was necessary due to knowledge workers' incredibly greedy desire for more video and other fat files in a time when Web application consumption is getting out of hand.

By regularly improving its search supplies, Google is merely keeping up with companies' desire for more powerful search, something that Microsoft's Fast, Vivisimo, Endeca and Autonomy have also released.

Vendors can never provide enough computing power or storage in this era of hungry, bandwidth-intensive applications. Google isn't setting the bar, but keeping up with the pack.

To Google's credit, the company has added a number of neat features in the GSA's software. Advanced reporting, advanced search analytics, alerts, and metadata biasing are in the latest software mix, which is available for free for existing customers.

But will Google ever obtain its most daunting goal in enterprise search: duplicating the power, scalability and feature set of its consumer search product for the enterprise?

Google already provides Universal Search for both the consumer and the enterprise, where both search engines can sift through URLs, blog posts, videos and other forms of media.

But mapping every little feature to GSA seems brutally hard when you consider the consumer search engine has at least a five-year head start on its enterprise search sister.

Google may regularly iterate on its GSA, but it's not improving it by the leaps and bounds necessary to keep up with its consumer search engine.

The folks powering Google.com, after all, aren't standing pat.

Not only does Google's Enterprise group have to compete with Microsoft, Vivisimo, Endeca and Autonomy, but with Google's own consumer search group.

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