Google bolsters search appliance

Google Inc. on Wednesday will release an updated version of its Google Search Appliance featuring expanded capacity and improved security.

The new 2U form factor Google Search Appliance GB-1001 supports five times the document capacity of the previous version, expanding its scale from 300,000 documents to 1.5 million, according to Dave Girouard, general manager of enterprise at Google.

"The new product is a 2U form factor that has significantly more powerful hardware in there. It is a bigger system that has better ventilation and cooling," Girouard said.

In addition, the updated version of the appliance can perform 300 queries per minute, according to Google officials.

New software enhancements include a continuous crawl feature that scans and indexes content continually rather than the previous batch crawling approach.

"Now (the appliance) is always crawling documents and verifying if a document has changed. The result is that content is much fresher. It is a matter of minutes between a change and the update in the system," Girouard said.

The updated appliance also bolsters security with added support for HTML-forms based single sign-on. This feature allows the appliance to validate corporate user rights so users will see only the search results they have access to, according to Girouard.

Another software enhancement, dubbed unlimited collections, allows IT managers to administer multiple appliances separately and tailor indexes for different departments.

Other improvements include more detailed usage reporting and monitoring, which provides information about the number of queries, most popular search terms, and temperature and load on the system; and enhanced filters that let users create a search to look only at certain documents, according to Google officials.

For greater capacity, the GB-1001 appliance is also available in clustered versions GB-5005 and GB-8008.

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