Google bumps up Search Appliance capacity, lowers price

Google on Wednesday announced new licensing terms for its search appliances that lowers the price point and ups the document capacity for both the Google Mini and the Google Search Appliance.

The document capacity for the SMB-focused Google Mini has been doubled from a maximum of 50,000 documents to 100,000 documents, according to Matt Glozbach, Google enterprise product manager. Slimmed down pricing for the Mini now starts at US$2,995, including one year of support. A second year of support costs $995. Previous pricing for the Mini started at US$4,995.

The Google Search Appliance, designed for enterprises, now touts a document capacity of 500,000 and a lower price of $30,000, which includes two years of support. Previously the Search Appliance could index a maximum of 150,000 documents for US$32,000.

The goal of the announcement is to make the appliances -- and the corporate information they help unlock -- more accessible to enterprise customers, Glozbach said.

Blitman & King, uses the Google Mini for intranet search for its 18-attorney law firm. The company needed a better way to manage the reams of documents and files used by partner and associate attorneys, but didn't want to have to change how the attorneys work, according to John Neubauer, legal administrator at Blitman & King.

Software-based document management systems typically used at law firms threatened to add too much complexity to an already document- and process-intensive system, according to Neubauer.

"For attorneys to add another level of complexity to the office is a hard sell. I've got 50 people saving things in 50 different user directories and different ways of labeling directories.

Tapping the appliance approach to search was a good fit for the law firm because it is easy to install and the appliance simplifies cross-directory searches, Neubauer said.

"With the Google Mini appliance I can do a search [across] all the user directories and be assured I will find what I'm looking for," Neubauer said.

Moreover, the Google appliance offers an interface the attorneys are all familiar with, he added.

The expanded capacity is good news for Blitman & King, which has been using the Google Mini for two months, he said.

"I've got this thing crawling all my user directories and we are now at 45,000 documents. We are approaching the limit and were hoping [Google would] expand it," he said.

According to Google's Glozbach, new versions of both the Mini and the Search Appliance are currently under development and will be available early in the fourth quarter of this year. Specific features in the updated offerings are not being discussed yet, he said.

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