Google has upped its game in the enterprise search sandbox by launching a new search appliance, capable of scaling to up to 10 million documents in a single box.

Google Search Appliance Features

With its increased indexing capacity the new Google Search Appliance (GSA) could extend the vendor's reach into larger organizations. Previously, the GSA could only index three million documents and needed to be deployed in clusters to scale this high. Now, it contains some new features, including greater personalization capabilities, allowing for a more relevant output. There is also a new advanced biasing feature which allows users to bias results according to type of metadata. "We have always focused on making things simple for users and IT," said Robert Whiteside, Google's head of enterprise in the UK. This is to reiterate Google’s proposition to take the complexity away. Whiteside added that the new advanced reporting functionality provides information for administrators on search behavior, which can be used to tweak the settings and improve relevancy for users. The new product also features enhanced security, with native support for Kerberos, providing single authentication for Windows, SharePoint and non Windows-based content systems.

Google Enterprise Labs

Google has a site called The Google Enterprise Labs that works on developing innovative improvements to their search capabilities. Organizations can access this site to view the latest experiments so that they can evaluate the solution's fit for their organization. This is something every organization should look at before deciding on a Google search solution for their organization. Something that would be nice to see from all search vendors.

Google is Competitive

Google has been criticized for not having things like semantic search and more vendor product integration capabilities. But it is a solution that cost effectively supports a number of intranets and internets across the world -- particularly considering it's plug and play from a hardware perspective. The Google Search appliance is definitely a solution that should be carefully considered against other enterprise level products like Autonomy.