Lift and Shift as a method for GSA replacement
In the two years since the announcement of the Google Search Appliance end of life and sales wind down, we have seen three trends arise from prospects and customers that we talk to that are consistent across industry verticals and business units:
- The desired to delay costs and risk associated with the technological transformation in migrating to a replacement solution
- Connectivity to content systems is a critical decision in scoring a specific platform to replace their GSA
- Deploying new technology infrastructure presents organizational challenges, and most prospects and customers are interested in reusing as much of their existing infrastructure as possible
The first trend we noticed was not all that surprising
Reducing risk and justifying ROI are vital functions of any business unit. Add to that the unexpected and unprecedented GSA end of life announcement and schedule. Many customers and partners we caught entirely off guard, which caused a great deal of uncertainty and confusion. The natural tendency is to defer the technology change and with it the cost and risk associated with it, as long as possible.
The third trend is also understandable
It takes a great deal of effort to get the accounts and virtual machines to run a Google Search Appliance solution. New infrastructure and technology require Infosec and other business and support unit involvement in vetting new solutions.
But interestingly, the second trend surprised us most
Enterprise search connectors in our experience from over 200 deployments for a wide variety of use cases are typically the least valued component of the purchase. We were surprised to see the level of interest in connectivity during the evaluation phase. It is becoming the most critical criteria for the evaluation of a replacement solution.
Our opinion as a company is that search is as only good as what is indexed. The adage of ‘garbage in, garbage out’ holds true. We have built and commercially sold over 12 different connectors for the Google Search Appliance. You can only deliver answers and insights on indexed data from systems users need.
Flexibility in connectivity is key
We have realized prospects and customers need flexibility in how they transition. How do you plan for the technology gap between an on-prem file share connector or Sharepoint 2010 connector if in one to two years your file share will be replaced with cloud storage and office 365? Our answer is that you bridge it.
Many companies seek the magic bullet when purchasing technology. All of the boxes must be checked and it should work, ‘out of the box’. At least, that is how the theory goes.
MC+A GSA Bridge – A Better Strategy for Google Search Appliance Replacement
We won’t promise ‘instant’ gratification, but the MC+A bridge is a technological solution that allows you to frame your migration as a Lift and Shift. “Lift and Shift” is a term and strategy that has come out of moving on-premise applications and infrastructure to cloud platforms without redesigning the application. This idea is at the heart of the GSA Bridge. By employing the bridge, you can migrate your GSA solution to another. The bridge obfuscates the interaction with the underlying search technologies.
Specifically, the bridge supports:
- Meta Url Feed
- Content Feeds
- 3.x Connectors
- 4.x Connectors
- Search Response
- XSLT transformations
- Much of the search API
In addition to these features, we are offering support for the existing Google connectors and our own past the Google Search Appliance end of life.
As a politician once said, “If you like your current plan, you can keep it”. We believe this can apply to your connectors as well.
Have questions about how this solution would work for yours? Drop us a line and we’ll be happy to chat.