Brief History of Google Search Appliance:
Google, had always offered Search for the rest of the world. Be it through web search or through any of their other products for offline search. Here is a brief line of products in chronological order.
Google Desktop – 2004 to 2011 – solved the search for content on your local disk.
Google Search Appliance 2002 – 2018 – solved the search problem for a local network.
Google used to sell a 2U appliance (GB-1001) capable of indexing up to 5,000,000 documents, a half-rack cluster (GB-5005) of five 2U nodes capable of indexing up to 10,000,000 documents, and a full-rack cluster (GB-8008) of eight and later twelve nodes capable of indexing up to 30,000,000 documents. Some models were based on Dell PowerEdge 2950 2U rackmount servers.
The Google Mini was a smaller and lower-cost solution that occupied 1U of rack space for small and medium-sized businesses to set up a search engine that allowed them to index and search up to 300,000 documents. The hardware was manufactured by Super Micro Computer, Inc. The Google Mini was discontinued beginning July 31, 2012.
For a brief period in 2008 Google offered a virtual version of the Google Search Appliance aimed at developers. The virtual edition could be downloaded free of charge and index up to 50,000 documents. It was soon discontinued for unknown reasons.
The most recent models are G100 and G500.
Model G100, a 2U appliance, can index up to 20M documents. The G500 5U appliance can index up to 100M documents.
Now that Google has deserted us, what is the best way forward ?
I would strongly suggest a hosted solution. Hosted solution, allows you to not worry about maintaining the server and all the associated pain. Can a hosted solution work on your lan ?
Almost all cloud providers are offering a way to seamlessly work in your LAN. Now we can allow specific crawl traffic to get in to your LAN as well as cloud servers easily. Thats it, you could now use a service like Expertrec Content Search solution to easily index your PDFs, word files, html pages etc and have it searched only in your LAN. All at a price point of roughly 5$ per 1000 docs per month. No more worrying about maintenance, performance and all issues of maintaining your own hardware.