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Out of curiosity, is anyone here using Google Mini or Google Search Appliance to provide intranet search? Was it easy to set up? What kind of prices do they charge (ball park figure, I'm sure it depends on the customer)?

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4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

I don't have first-hand experience, but there are some reviews which I try to summarize.

Pros

  • Very simple installation. It takes about 15 minutes to set up. It comes with a dedicated network configuration port and an administrative Web interface.
  • Good security architecture; LDAP configuration, SSL settings, certificate authorities, SNMP configuration, etc.; it does not cache security credentials and instead checks credentials before committing to a search (if you require integration with other security systems / single sign-on systems, consider the Google Search Appliance.)
  • Up to 220 different file types can be inspected, including Microsoft Office documents and PDF files as well as ordinary HTML pages.
  • Content groups for multiple types of users with access to their data collections
  • Good (relevant) search results
  • Configuration of suggested synonyms
  • Comes with Google Analytics

Cons

  • Configuring Windows network shares is not as easy as it should be
  • Limited integration options for enterprise requirements
  • Price: (This is arguable, since you get the hardware plus support) starting from 2,990 US$ for 50,000 documents up to 9,990 US$ for 300,000 documents
  • The server is extraordinarily loud, so it is only suited if you have a dedicated (server) room

Here is a complete feature list: http://www.google.com/enterprise/search/mini_features.html. And here a good review on campustechnology.com.

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thanks, great answer! –  username May 17 '09 at 12:20
    
50,000 documents? That's it? I have more than that on my own PC! –  Xeoncross Jul 3 '12 at 19:57

How big is your intranet? As an alternative you could try the free MS Search Server Express which we use on our intranet (2000 employees). There are some docs on the web comparing the two.

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Another free alternative is IBM OmniFind Yahoo! Edition. It works reasonably well on our intranet for I'd guess about 100,000 documents. Fairly easy to set up and get going, but we had a few issues with network shares; web crawling was fine.

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oh, awesome! good find! –  Magnetic_dud Jan 29 '10 at 11:42

My company uses a Google Mini search appliance on our Intranet. It is easy to setup and customize. The OneBox Module lets you return custom search results. I use a Java servlet to return results to the OneBox Module. All things considered I would recommend the Google Mini.

The entry point price of $2990.00 is great. Here are the upgrade prices:

  • Upgrade from 50K to 100K docs $1000
  • Upgrade from 50K to 200K docs $4000
  • Upgrade from 50K to 300K docs $7000

My only disappointment is that you get cut-off from support and software upgrades after a few years. Here is a portion of the reply from the Google Mini Team I received when inquiring about my expired license. "The technical support and hardware warranty for the Google Mini can be extended to up to a maximum of two years. Since your device is past the two year mark, you would need to purchase a new Google Mini if you wanted to be under support again."

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