Google grows the Mini

In celebration of its one-year anniversary, the Google Mini search appliance is getting a teensy bit bigger. Google is expected to announce today two new versions of the Mini that double and triple the capacity of the existing appliance.

Starting Thursday, customers will be able to order a 200,000-document search capacity Mini for US$5,995 and a 300,000-document capacity version for US$8,995. The Google Mini can index more than 220 file types, including HTML, PDF, and Microsoft Office.

The Mini was designed to meet the needs of small and midsize companies, for which the enterprise-focused Google Search Appliance would be overkill.

"The goal of [the Mini] was democratizing enterprise search," said Rajen Sheth, product manager for the enterprise group at Google. "We saw a large underserved market of small and midsize companies. [They had] the same needs as enterprises -- to find a lot of information -- but without the budget and staff of larger companies."

In comparison, the Google Search Appliance starts at a 500,000-document capacity for US$30,000, and includes enterprise features such as the capability to search databases and integrate with single sign-on technologies.

According to Sheth, the Google Mini is easy to deploy. Google's documentation says the device can be set up in less than one hour and requires minimal ongoing administration.

Document proliferation is hitting organizations of all sizes. Smaller companies are finding that the 100,000-document capacity, the previous maximum for the Mini, isn't enough, according to Sheth.

New Mini customers can order the expanded models online; current customers can upgrade by purchasing more capacity.

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