The number of documents produced in the enterprise grows at a breakneck pace, and enterprise search functionality has to scale fast in order to keep up. The latest incarnation of the Google Search Appliance, the GSA 6.0, launched today and can now index billions of documents to do just that.

The impressive new scaling ability is in part due to the ability to connect a near-limitless number of the yellow GSA boxes across different deployments regardless of location. But shiny new hardware plays a role too. Based on Dell servers and powered by Xeon 5500 Series processors from Intel, the high-end model can index up to 30 million documents, versus 10 million in the prior model.

Customization and Security

Regardless of the source — whether its CRMs, wikis, intranets, or databases — GSA 6.0 has also increased the ability for businesses to customize their search.

Before search even begins, data can be separated out by department, but still provide unified results for everything stored in a particular appliance, allowing results to be compartmentalized as needed. Administrators also have greater control over security through support for late binding, meaning real time authorization for exactly who can view documents is available (single sign-on and authentication were a part of past GSA releases).

User Experience

There have also been improvements to the end user experience. To the familiar Google interface, the GSA 6.0 added suggested search and user-added results, expanding the ability of enterprises to draw on the knowledge of an organization to improve quality. To top it off, there’s cross-language search with real time translation in to the language of your choice.

Google Enterprise Search already serves 25,000 enterprise customers, half of which use the appliance. But the live announcement made in D.C. this morning hinted at a desire for heavier use of GSA in government agencies, where the massive data sets, that the new version is tuned to handle, can be found in abundance. The focus on scale, security and customization will certainly serve both markets equally well.