Exanet has launched ExaSearch, an enterprise-class search product, which integrates with its flagship ExaStore clustered NAS software.

Exanet now has a scalable, high-performance clustered NAS solution with enterprise-class search capabilities. Techworld was able to ask Exanet's CEO, Rami Schwartz a series of quesyions about ExaSearch, including its relationship to other search engines, such as Google Desktop and the Kazeon product.

Techworld: Could you introduce ExaSearch please?

Rami Schwartz:

Most search engines included in NAS systems lack the enterprise-level capabilities to deliver requested information in a timely or accurate manner. ExaSearch, however, allows immediate access to newly generated content through real-time indexing, ensuring users receive the most relevant and current results, and making it a more sophisticated product than other enterprise search engines on the market. I believe ExaSearch strengthens Exanet's leadership in the clustered NAS arena, positioning us as the first vendor with enterprise search solutions, and significantly enhancing our proposition to the enterprise market.

Techworld: How well are enterprise search solutions currently implemented within organisations?

Rami Schwartz:

Although the need is widely recognised, implementing an enterprise search solution is considered a very challenging task, which raises security, indexing and data classification issues. Data security and access levels should be defined per file, the search itself takes a long time and indexing files are huge.

Techworld: What are the main competitors to ExaSearch in the storage market?

Rami Schwartz:

Currently, the only storage company that offers search capability is NetApp (through OEM Kazeon), the main focus of which is on data classification and indexing. Since data classification and indexing are so hard to implement within organisations, NetApp offers customers consultancy services for improved utilisation. Secondary competitors are Google One Box for enterprises and Microsoft SharePoint for Search 2007, which offer enterprise search but lack advanced search capabilities and do not cover the complete set of enterprise data sources.

Techworld: How does ExaSearch compare to the Kazeion product?

Rami Schwartz:

Both NetApp/Kazeon and the ExaSearch solutions provide real-time indexing for file data. However the use case is very different. Kazeon is used for data classification and as such is targeted at the IT manager. ExaSearch provides enterprise search and indexing services for the end user and is in essence an information access solution. Gartner, in its enterprise search study, does not even mention Kazeon as a player in this space.

The Exanet solution provides real-time indexing and graphic rendering for all enterprise data, supporting not only 300+ major file formats (MS Office, PDF, HTML, XML, PST), but also email, groupware, databases and directories (LDAP), providing a secure centralised portal to business information. For administrators, the ExaStore clustered NAS software provides a single view to storage (vs. separate filesystems and file servers), further simplifying the implementation of search.

The Exanet solution is open - running on standard off-the-shelf hardware vs. proprietary hardware that locks the customer into a single vendor. ExaSearch was developed with the enterprise knowledge needs in mind - so its feature set supersedes Kazeon in the areas of search, simplicity and usability.

ExaSearch provides a unique search navigation user interface, advanced search features such as multi-lingual support and lemmatisation ("similar terms"), and as a clustered software product it offers scalability at a price/performance level that is impossible to achieve using competitive offerings running on proprietary hardware.

Techworld: How does ExaSearch compare with Google Desktop?

Rami Schwartz:

Google Desktop is a desktop-only product, providing local search for the end user. Google Desktop finetunes its results by uploading information to Google. This makes such a product inappropriate for business use, as proprietary information is sent outside of the enterprise, as well as confidential material indexed on user laptops, free for anyone to steal.

In addition, only files and the local inbox data are indexed, excluding business information located in the company's groupware, databases, ERP and CRM systems and employee directories. Enterprises requiring secure, unified access to business information will need an enterprise-class search product such as ExaSearch.

Techworld: What types of customers is ExaSearch targeted at?

Rami Schwartz:

First, SMBs to large enterprises with shared document repositories, for example law firms, insurance companies, educational institutions and government organisations. Second, organisations using Internet/intranet facing applications that are looking for high performance storage integrated with intuitive content search.

Techworld: What is the benefit of ExaSearch to end-users?

Rami Schwartz:

The search capability allows you to turn data (often unwieldy due to size and quantity) into useful and readily accessible information.

Techworld: Is ExaSearch a feature or product?

Rami Schwartz:

ExaSearch is a product, and it is being sold and marketed as such.

Techworld: How secure is ExaSearch?

Rami Schwartz:

While indexing the metadata, the document text and the document ACL, the search engine reviews the searching user's permissions and presents relevant replies only.

Techworld: What is the pricing model of ExaSearch and ExaStore?

Rami Schwartz:

Pricing is based on a percentage of storage capacity purchased.

Techworld: How would you sum up ExaSearch in one sentence?

Rami Schwartz:

In short, by incorporating a simple yet powerful search engine into our ExaStore software, we are providing our customers with an accurate, real-time solution that enables complete access to information across the enterprise.