Google released Google Search Appliance 6.0, the latest version of its rack-mounted device that can search through billions of documents on a large enterprise's intranet, on June 2.
The customizable device allows for searching across an entire organization, provided that multiple Search Appliances have been linked between different departments, and incorporates Google-style features such as query suggestions. Within the architecture of the new version, Google has also incorporated customizable security and the ability for users to fine-tune results' relevancy, utilizing ranking framework, node biasing and collection biasing.
As enterprises expand and globalize, the need to be able to sort through massive amounts of data becomes increasingly pressing.
"If you had to find a single piece of information by sorting through a billion documents, it would take you, on average, about 2,000 years," Cyrus Mistry, product manager for Google, wrote in a June 2 posting on the official Google blog. "Businesses and large organizations have tons of documents and other types of data-some even have a billion documents that need searching, and it's unlikely that employees have 2,000 years to dedicate to the hunt."
Google has upgraded Search Appliance in a variety of ways in the past.
In December 2008 the company announced that Google Enterprise Labs had added a Cross-Language Search feature to Google Search Appliance, allowing search queries for documents to be translated into any of 34 languages.
In August 2008, Google retooled the architecture of the Search Appliance to handle the indexing of up to 10 million documents in one device; the newest version of Search Appliance, by contrast, includes the GB-9009, a product model that searches up to 30 million documents, and the GB-7007, an enhanced architecture that supports search for 500,000 to 10 million documents.
Such continuous search updating is necessary, as Google isn't the only competitor in the enterprise search space. In addition to Microsoft, several smaller companies such as Vivisimo, Endeca and Autonomy also compete in that particular arena.