Google Enterprise Hits 20,000 Customers; Launches Revved Up Search Appliance

Google now counts 20,000 enterprise search customers, about a little more than half of whom use its search appliance and the rest of whom use its hosted site search and other enterprise products. To extend it search into the enterprise, Google is launching the fifth generation of its search appliance. Each yellow box, which is based on a standard Dell server, will be able to index 10 million documents, compared to 3 million in the last generation. And it will serve up results two to five times as fast as before, due to both hardware and software improvements.

The Google Search appliance can index pretty much any enterprise data generated by Oracle databases, SAP systems, Documentum, SharePoint,, HR systems, intranets, wikis, and more, and presents it to employees in a familiar Google-like interface. Two of the new features of the appliance will be:

—Personalization: Different employees can see different results based on their role, business or position. For instance, engineers can get design drawings more highly weighted in internal search results than marketing materials. This can be set by both the IT administrator or the employee.

—Alerts: Just like Google Alerts, but tied to enterprise data. Triggered by keywords whenever new matches are made and pushed to your e-mail. If you subscribe to “downsizing,” will your boss find out?