Google builds a bridge to the cloud

Google has introduced a Cloud Connect feature for the latest iteration of its Search Appliance that allows users to search across on-premise and cloud-based content from a single box. 

“In the last year, businesses have started using cloud-[powered] applications from [us] and other technology providers at an accelerated rate,” explained Rajat Mukherjee, Google Enterprise Search product manager.

“While many organizations still have information that resides in on-premise systems, more and more important business information today is living in the cloud, in collaborative tools like Google Apps – now used by more than 3 million businesses – and services like Twitter.”

As such, Cloud Connect displays relevant, personalized results from Google Docs and Google Sites, alongside results from more traditional repositories, like file shares and content management systems.

This facilitates easier access to collaborative documents, spreadsheets, presentations and sites – while permitting users to search content via Twitter, blogs and websites.

The new version of the Search Appliance is also expected to optimize collaboration between employees with the addition of People Search – which makes it easy to locate experts and contact co-workers related to a search query, right from the search results page.

In addition, organizations can index personnel information like department, interests, expertise and location, while an integrated LDAP connector helps get People Search up and running quickly.

Finally, the latest iteration of Search Appliance allows users to drill down into search results based on modifiers for their queries, as Active-Active Mirroring improves reliability by spreading search traffic across multiple boxes.