We have harnessed the Google Search Appliance (GSA) for Yellow’s new website – guidetoauckland.co.nz – a site that is heavily centred on search. Google designed the GSA to provide fast, relevant search for websites and intranets.
The GSA is offered in two different models. The GB-9009 can handle 30 million documents in a small (5U) footprint, while the GB-7007 scales to 10 million documents. Complemented by the Google Mini, Google Site Search, and a new administrative API, the GSA is emerging as the Enterprise Search solution of choice.
Installing the Google Search Appliance
Installing the GSA is relatively straight forward, providing you have at least a basic networking understanding. The GSA is after all just another high performance server. It has two network interfaces, a green and a red interface. Using the Green interface, you can connect directly to GSA to perform the initial configuration of the GSA. Configuration takes 10 minutes – Configure the GSA to align with local network settings, configure the built in SMTP server, configure Time server, create and assign an admin user account for the server, finally, confirm that the GSA can access the file system or web pages where the files you want to crawl are located – you’re done, easy!
Once the GSA is on the local network and up and running (hopefully no flashing amber light), you can then start defining and implementing your search. If there is any problem with the GSA during installation or start-up then check out the troubleshooting guide at http://code.google.com/apis/searchappliance/documentation/50/troubleshooting/Troubleshooting.html. Google also offers enterprise support, so, if necessary, a GSA certified technician can SSH into the GSA server and service the appliance. The GSA provides web interface, so you can access and further configure and refine the GSA search by going to the web console panel, the address is always the IP of the GSA followed by port 8000 – for example http://192.168.0.xxx:8000 – you are prompted for username password, this is where you enter the user created during initial setup.
Once into the GSA you will first have to update the box to latest patch and OS. The update process takes some time due to the extremely size of the update file/s (1-2GB). Google provide plenty of documentation and help is just an email/Google away so the whole process is very easy.
For detailed installation instructions see http://code.google.com/apis/searchappliance/documentation/50/installation/InstallationGuide.html
Overall, my experience in setting up and installing the Google Search Appliance into a local network was good, very easy, and well a supported process by Google in the form of online documentation, help and user groups is excellent.
The fun comes with the GSA when building and defining your search experience using collection, result biasing, query expansions, stemming etc.