Dell has cuddled right on up to Google, agreeing to hawk search appliances directly to customers.
A deal like this has been in the making for some time, since Dell actually provides the hardware for the Google Search Appliance. Google has relied on the PowerEdge 2950 rather than making custom hardware as it does for its own data centers. There is, however, some level of customization that takes place to turn Dell's box into an indexing wonder.
Customers can buy the search system from Dell, starting at $30,000. Meanwhile, a trimmed down search appliance - the Google Mini - starts at $1,995.
The Google Search Appliance and Mini appear to have pretty similar base innards, although the Mini can only search up to 300,000 documents while the full Appliance can search up to 30m. In addition, the Appliance supports searches on software such as databases, Lotus Notes and Microsoft SharePoint instead of just web sites, file shares and the like.
Or, as Dell puts it,
The Google Search Appliance, with its distinctive bezel and yellow chassis, is designed for larger enterprises, while the blue Google Mini is targeted for the small and medium business market. These appliances deliver relevant search results from information sources within a company’s firewall. Companies can also design their own interface that users recognize from their familiarity with Google.com, without compromising existing corporate security requirements.
Interested folks can compare and contrast the hardware here at Google or here at Dell.
The major thrust of this deal, if there is one, stems from Dell's continued willingness to sell varying kinds of gear.
For example, Dell this month signed on to ship systems outfitted with Sun's Solaris operating system. In addition, the Texan-firm is planning to use Sun's ZFS file system on upcoming storage gear.
Dell's newfound flexibility apparently comes straight from the top with Michael Dell - he of one brain - looking to shake things up since his return to the CEO post. ®
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