Google Search Appliance
The Google Search Appliance is a rack-mounted device providing document indexing functionality. The operating system is based on CentOS. The software is produced by Google and the hardware is manufactured by Dell and current generations are based on Dell's PowerEdge R710.
The device is supplied in two models: a 2U model (GB-7007) capable of indexing up to 10 million documents, and a 5U (2U plus 3U storage) model (GB-9009) that is capable of indexing up to 30 million documents. Sales are operated on a licensing scheme which starts as a two-year contract for maintenance, support and software updates.
The Google Search Appliance contains Google search technologies and a means of configuring and customizing the appliance. The appliance used to come with a T-shirt, but no longer contains one.
Software version 6.0 was released in June, 2009. This software runs on some hardware versions of the GB-1001 model (all units with an "S5" prefix in their "Appliance ID"), and all GB-7007 and GB-9009 models.
The Google Search Appliance can be purchased in two separate versions based on the number of documents being indexed. Model G100, a 2U appliance, can index up to 20,000,000 documents. The G500 5U appliance can index up to 100,000,000 documents.
Google used to sell a 2U appliance (GB-1001) capable of indexing up to 5,000,000 documents, a half-rack cluster (GB-5005) of five 2U nodes capable of indexing up to 10,000,000 documents, and a full-rack cluster (GB-8008) of eight and later twelve nodes capable of indexing up to 30,000,000 documents. Some models were based on Dell PowerEdge 2950 2U rackmount servers.
The Google Mini was a smaller and lower-cost solution for small and medium-sized businesses to set up a search engine that allowed them to index and search up to 300,000 documents. The Google Mini was discontinued beginning July 31, 2012.
Google Search Appliance virtual edition for developers
For a brief period in 2008 Google offered a virtual version of the Google Search Appliance aimed at developers. The virtual edition could be downloaded free of charge and index up to 50,000 documents. It was soon discontinued for unknown reasons.
The Google Search Appliance is available in the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, parts of Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and South America. If a person is interested in using the Google Search Appliance in another region, they can deploy the Google Search Appliance at a location or data center in the US, Canada, or Europe.
Retirement and Shutdown
Early in 2016 Google has sent a confidential letter to its business partners and customers that the GSA will not be available past 2018. It begins with the discontinuation of 3 years contracts in 2016, in 2017 there will be only 1 year renewal contracts and no hardware sales, and a complete shutdown in 2018. The customers are expected to migrate to a cloud-based solution, raising privacy and regulatory issues, as described below.
Some business analysts have suggested that Google Search Appliances may risk breaching privacy acts and exposing organizations to commercial security risks.
- Computerworld - Google Releases New Versions of Its Search Appliance
- "CAST42". Retrieved 2008-05-14.
- Google Mini Homepage
- Google official blog
- The official Google Code blog
- Forbes: So Long Google Search Appliance
- Short Analysis of advantages and risks in implementing Google Search Appliances inside Government agencies