Along came Google

The company we know as "Google" came to be on September 7 th, 1998 and grew exponentially from there. "Google", derived from the "googol", which refers to the number represented by the numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros, is now a household name for just about everything internet. Search, Web Mail, Maps, Ads, Blogging, Photos are just a few of the tangents that Google has taken over the years.

As the success of Google's Search engine increased, Google started selling search appliances that brought the power of the Google Search engine into corporate IT server rooms. When the appliances first came out, they carried a fairly hefty price tag, even for the entry level appliance. But, on April 6, 2005, the price of the Google Mini came down to a very reasonable $2,995, which is a sweet spot for IT managers to charge to their credit cards.

Once the price drop came into effect, we decided to purchase a unit and move our entire site searches over to the Mini.

Opening the Box

The Mini arrived in a box with Google printed in large letters along the side. Our UPS courier asked us what was in the box; it's not too often that you see Google on anything physical:

Opening the box reveals a decent packing job, similar to just about any other 1U server made by any reputable manufacturer.

Just inside, you'll find two Ethernet cables (one orange crossover cable and one yellow straight-through cable) and a power cord for the unit.

Below the cardboard tray of cables, you'll find the server itself:

...as well as a bag containing the rear-bracket mounting kit, installation guide and a free Google T-shirt:

Beneath the server, you'll find a box containing a modem:

The modem is used for Google to gain remote access to the machine if it needs remote maintenance:


Index Examining the Google Mini
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  • bellwether - Thursday, November 29, 2007 - link

    This is a great starting point for search for small businesses. Google's algorithm is effective, but the problem is that the result page sends the user to the Google Mini itself (so they leave your website), and it is in Google's format. XSLT is supposed to help you modify this, but doesn't do that good of a job.

    This http://www.components4asp.net/GoogleMini/">custom google mini website search page has something for ASP.NET that lets you add in image thumbnails to the search result and integrate the search into a regular ASPX page that's part of your website. Plus, there's a 30 day free trial. Definitely worth taking a look at.
    Reply
  • fzkl - Saturday, September 10, 2005 - link

    The dell memory is probably used because it has life time warranty. Reply
  • mini - Friday, September 09, 2005 - link

    What is the OS used in the Google Mini?
    Could you please post more administration snapshots?
    Tks
    Reply
  • Eirikur - Friday, September 09, 2005 - link

    I suspect some of your problems with the Full Text Search feature of SQL server might be related to how it breaks text into words and sentences. The word breaker will break by punctuation which is horrendous when it comes to version numbers. The word breaker will look at a version number like "2.0" and decide that "2" and "0" are two separate words in different sentences. Then it will throw both away since it ignores single letter words. In a version number like "2.82.1" only "82" will get indexed. Reply
  • jberry - Wednesday, September 07, 2005 - link

    Does anyone know how the Google mini counts the 100K page limit with dynamic websites?? Reply
  • fishy - Wednesday, September 07, 2005 - link


    So...When are going to overclock this thing?

    ok, just k/d....
    Reply
  • PassMark - Tuesday, September 06, 2005 - link

    There are much cheaper solutions around that you can run on your existing hardware and have similar performance without a limit of 100,000 pages.
    e.g.
    The http://www.wrensoft.com/zoom/">Zoom Search Engine for $99
    http://www.wrensoft.com/zoom/">http://www.wrensoft.com/zoom/
    Reply
  • Brickster - Tuesday, September 06, 2005 - link

    I imagine there are certain documents that you would want only certain users to have access to. How do you control access to the documents that Google has indexed? Does it just return everything despite and document-specific, access security policy? Reply
  • Verdant - Tuesday, September 06, 2005 - link

    hence why the pricetag on the big brother is next to useless imho...

    i can't see anyone using anything besides the mini for indexing something like a website, for knowledgebases and the like you need a lot more than just a way to search.
    Reply
  • Brickster - Wednesday, September 07, 2005 - link

    Dude, you should see our company. A full featured search engine alone based on Google would do wonders for our cess pool of organization that is our intranet and file servers. For some, that is enough. Reply

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