As search experts ourselves, with a lengthy history in the industry, it was interesting news to hear that Google was stopping support for their Google Search Appliance. GSA was revolutionary when it came out in 2002. It was a great mix between hardware and software that was comfortably at home behind the company firewall.
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According to Fortune, Google will “continue to sell one-year license renewals for existing hardware customers through 2017, but that they will be unable to sell new hardware. Renewals will end in 2018”.
Essentially that means that if you are using GSA now, you’ll have to find an alternative before 2019 ends.
So what has changed? According to an update by Fortune “the company said it is working on a new cloud-based product which is now in limited beta”.
I find it hard to believe that enterprises are ready to move to the cloud. We’ve spoken about enterprise search security before, and I don’t believe large companies are ready to make their company data vulnerable.
I’m very surprised that Google is abandoning this part of the market, because if Windows XP or Exchange 2003 are anything to go by, it proves that large companies especially are slow to adopt new technologies.
Forcing a change may be good for Google’s bottom-line, but it will definitely impact those of their GSA reliant customers. There is some good news, however. If your company is using GSA, the hardware is still usable.
The good news is that there is a quick solution. If you still have the Google Search Appliance hardware, which are actually Dell Servers, all you have to do is install a new Windows 2008 or 2012 Operating System to use the Lookeen Server. This should help take the sting and the cost of finding an alternative to Google Search Appliance.
INFONGEN is a good alternative with additional benefits of custom taxonomies.