After years of providing an enterprise search solution in a bright yellow box, Google has announced that they are stopping to support the hardware-based GSA, meaning that numerous enterprises need to look elsewhere to find a solution to match their search needs. In this article, we’ll look at the options businesses have and help you find the best alternative to replace the Google Search Appliance.
If you can’t move to the cloud
If your current ecosystem does not support moving to the cloud, there is no need to worry. There are a variety of hardware-based search systems that run on your own servers without the access to the cloud. Documill Discovery is an embeddable search solution that can be installed as an on-premise solution to serve as a complete Google Search Appliance replacement (it can also be delivered as SaaS). A lot can be said about the cloud being more efficient in handling all your documents, but should you not wish to make a move, you do have options on the on-premise side.
If the cloud is your top choice
Storing your documents in the cloud gives you flexibility around the solutions you could adopt in search of the best GSA replacement. One option is to build your own open-source based search solutions using Apache Solr or Elasticsearch. Another option is to buy out of the box solution or a mix between both, that allows you to decide the way your documents are indexed and served, and also how these can be viewed and filtered for superior user experience (Documill Discovery delivered as SaaS does all this and more, learn more with a Documill Discovery demo).
Building your own solution allows you to decide exactly what type of search you want to have and you will have full control over your data and the search relevance. The downside is that unless you have a developer who really knows how to build and manage an open-source system, you may encounter problems when setting up and using your open-source based search solution.
What to look for in a search solution?
There are a few things to bear in mind when looking for the GSA replacement and we’ve highlighted few below. These are the bare minimum and you should always get live demos of your shortlisted solutions to see the solution in action.
- Keep in mind who will be managing the project and how much time and money you want to invest in keeping the system running
- For a richer search experience, look at the user experience any search solution offers including a possibility to preview and quickly identify the required information, search result filters and access levels
- The search solution should match your business goals and be able to scale and grow with you
If you’re a current GSA licensee, the system coming to an end gives you a great opportunity to review your search strategy and fix any areas for development.
So it may not all be bad news and the good news is that there are definitely alternatives out there that will keep solving the search needs an enterprise has.