By Timo Selvaraj
Since Google announced in early 2016 that they would stop selling and supporting their ubiquitous Google Search Appliance (GSA), search vendors (including us) have been helping migrate customers off the GSA. GSA Customers are now in the unenviable position of having to evaluate multiple options to replace the GSA over a very limited time frame.
Based on our experience in migrating over 100 GSA customers to SearchBlox, we want to recap why customers chose SearchBlox as their GSA replacement.
Elasticsearch is the most popular open source search engine and is designed for horizontal scalability, maximum reliability, and easy management. SearchBlox uses Elasticsearch as its core engine and offers additional capabilities such as the Web Admin Console, Collection Management, Security Management and over 75+ connectors to connect data sources to SearchBlox. To use an analogy, Elasticsearch is the CPU and the SearchBlox is the laptop designed around this CPU. For the customer, this simplifies the deployment and management of the search solutions. By using SearchBlox, customers drastically reduce the amount of time they need to get the GSA replacement search solution into production. In addition, over the lifetime of the solution, they save money by using a supported product rather than using expensive and highly skilled resources to keep maintaining the search solution.
#2 Codeless Integration
One of the biggest challenges in the GSA migration is (re)connecting the data sources to the new search solution. While every search vendor supports generic data sources such as the file system and the Web (HTTP/HTTPS) out of the box, when it comes to enterprise applications like Sharepoint and databases, the range of solutions varies dramatically from writing custom code to the complex configuration of data pipelines. SearchBlox’s approach to solving this problem has been to bundle connectors to over 75 data sources (the connectors are included in the license cost) and provide easy access to these connectors on the SearchBlox Admin Console. This way, operational staff can enable and use the data sources they require with ease, without the need for developers. Given the complexity of the data sources, sometimes even when there is a data connector bundled with SearchBlox, it does not work correctly. For scenarios like this, SearchBlox also includes the Advanced Integration module based on Apache Manifold (an open source framework for connecting to content repositories) and the open source Google Search Appliance Content Manager, both with the ability to index content directly into SearchBlox. In the very rare situations where none of our readily available data connectors work, we offer our customers professional services to build and maintain a custom connector.
#3 Managed Migration
Customers have often spent months, even years deploying and tuning their GSAs. To migrate to a new search solution is often viewed as a big risk by customers who don’t wish to lose any functionality as result of the migration. Having helped over 100 customers with GSA migrations to SearchBlox, we have distilled this migration expertise to a templated process that ensures that all existing GSA functionality is migrated to SearchBlox, in a planned and predictable experience. And we offer this expertise to our customers as “Managed Migration” Services. With Managed Migration, we take care of all the intricacies of the GSA migration that ensures all functionality, including the search UI and featured results, are migrated within the pre-agreed timescale. Using Managed Migration from SearchBlox allows customers to de-risk the migration away from GSA.
For customers looking to migrate from the end-of-life Google Search Appliance (GSA) to an alternative product, SearchBlox offers an excellent product that is designed around the fast-growing Elasticsearch open source search/analytics engine with a variety of options to simplify the data integration. Combined with the Managed Migration services, customers benefit from stress-free migration when using SearchBlox.
If you are looking to migrate off your GSA to an alternative product, please drop us a line to discuss why SearchBlox is the right choice for you.