Google unveils powerful Search Appliance for businesses

2 Jun 2009

Google has introduced a new hardware device that reduces the search of one billion documents from 2,000 years to mere seconds.

The Google Search Appliance (GSA) 6.0 has been given a new architecture that enables new heights of scalability, customisation and search quality, and enables organisations to scale enterprise-search to thousands, millions, even billions of documents.

“So whether you own a small business with a few thousand docs or belong to a huge organisation with a billion, the GSA can search them all,” explained Cyrus Mistry, product manager for GSA at Google.

“Even if the content you need lives in a bunch of different departments or locations, in all kinds of formats, languages and repositories, the GSA makes searching within your organisation as simple as searching on It also has helpful features such as user-added results and query suggestions, so over time your co-workers’ input improves search results.

“The GSA 6.0 also is full of customisation features, as well as flexible security policies, so that each enterprise or large organisations can tweak the settings to suit its needs. We believe that setting your enterprise up with the GSA can save you tonnes of employee hours spent looking for data — letting you focus on the actual work to be done,” Mistry said.

His colleague Shamim Alpha, an enterprise search engineer at Google, cited the example of beta customer MTCSC, which was seeking geographic integration of all of its documents.

MTCSC was in the midst of deploying over 50 GSAs all over the world for a federal customer, connecting to over 2,500 data sources and consisting of data on websites, file shares, databases and SharePoint servers.

The new GSA 6.0 architecture is now helping the company integrate information from the varied data centers to provide users with a single, unified set of results.

“So imagine there is a database that might ‘live’ in Egypt, some documents in a data centre in Sydney and a fileshare whose home base is Los Angeles.

“The new GSA 6.0 integration can handle searching through all those data stores and gives the employee who is looking a simple page of search results – one that looks as easy to use as – even though the backend search is really complicated,” Alpha said.

By John Kennedy

Pictured: the Google Search Appliance