Google Search Appliance: Like Glass It Broke

February 8, 2016

I read “So Long Google Search Appliance.” Farewell, happy yellow and blue boxes. So long integrators who have been supporting these wildebeests for a decade. Au revoir easy-as-pie search.

According to the write up:

The tech giant told its reseller and consulting partners the news via email on Thursday, noting that they can 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.

I recall writing about the Google Search Appliance when I was reporting about enterprise search for specialist publications. I was the first or one of the first to run down the pricing for the wonky boxes. I pointed out that a redundant multi million document system would ring the Google cash register in the high six figures with seven figures not out of sight. I thought I mentioned that the number of engineeers supporting the GSA had dwindled to a couple of folks. I thought I pointed out that the assumption a Web search system would work like a champ on corporate content was a wild and crazy notion.l

Like so many others who assumed enterprise search was not a tough problem, the Alphabet Google thing has bailed. Google essentially failed to revolutionize enterprise search. Cheaper and more usable appliances are available, including products from Maxxcat and Thunderstone. There are reasonable cloud solutions. And there is a cornucopia of outfits offering repackaged open source systems. Heck, if one pokes around long enough, a bold enterprise can license a system from companies with proprietary information access systems; 3RDi, Fabasoft, Lexmark, etc.

What will organizations do without the Google Search Appliance? Yard sale, Goodwill?

Stephen E Arnold, February 8, 2016


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