A source has informed us that Google plans to announce the replacement of its Mini Search Appliance with a new enterprise search solution called Hosted Site Search in the next few days.
We hear it will be a for-pay product that, as the name suggests, will allow businesses to search their websites and other data stores in the cloud. In addition to moving this type of search off-premise (the Mini sits behind the firewall), the Hosted solution will differentiate itself by automatically including organizations’ webpages in the Google index. This feature, however, is said not to affect anyone’s page rank.
Suppliers who help Google manufacture the Mini apparently have been told to reduce their shipment forecasts for the product because it will be shelved soon. The shift in strategy is also understood as a response to Microsoft’s gains in the appliance-based search market.
The Mini is a less powerful version of Google Search Appliance, which can index millions of documents and 220 file types. The Mini, by contrast, can only search up to 300,000 documents and is therefore meant for smaller businesses.
It’s not exactly clear what this decision means for the enterprise search industry, but it won’t be surprising if Google does indeed come out with a cloud-based solution.