“Designing a non-trivial search solution to fully meet your needs from scratch is hard enough on its own. If you are migrating an existing solution, it is very unlikely that you will find a one to one mapping of all of the features in a new search engine that you have come to depend upon with your existing implementation.” –Michael McIntosh, VP of Search Technologies, TNR Global, LLC
Microsoft acquired FAST all the way back in 2008 and then in early 2010 disclosed it’s plans to stop updating the FAST product on a Linux operating system after 2010, making FAST ESP 5.3 the latest and greatest, and very last update Linux users will see involving any improvements to the proprietary search platform. It was clear to anyone on Linux that a migration would need to occur, and as content grows, depending upon the size of your organization, that migration should probably happen sooner than later.
Buzz about migration ensued–an inevitable certainty for many companies, especially ones with huge amounts of data. But how many companies have jumped in with both feet? I had the opportunity to speak with an open source search engine expert who, along with the industry, believed that the move from Microsoft was a windfall for anyone in the business of enterprise search design and implementation. However, she admitted “we haven’t seen as large a response as we expected.”
This isn’t exactly surprising to everyone. “It’s coming” says our VP of Search Technologies, Michael McIntosh. “Corporations have an enormous investment in FAST ESP and it makes sense that they would be reluctant to move to something new until they absolutely have to.” That means, when their licenses expire.
“They will likely weigh the performance and support, or lack thereof, for the FAST ESP technical team with the timing of renewing a license and wait until they absolutely have to change to something else,” says McIntosh.
The purchase of Autonomy and the shift of HP from hardware to software could signal a recognition from Goliath HP the kind of growth opportunity enterprise search software offers, and that the “great shift” from FAST ESP to another search platform is very much on the horizon.
But as the clock continues to tick, companies using FAST ESP should be strategizing for migration now. “It’s an enormous undertaking to migrate an entire search solution from FAST to another platform. Designing a non-trivial search solution to fully meet your needs from scratch is hard enough on its own. If you are migrating an existing solution, it is very unlikely that you will find a one to one mapping of all of the features in a new search engine that you have come to depend upon with your existing implementation. Solving challenging issues like that requires both creativity and expertise to address your needs.” says McIntosh. If a need for migration is eminent, there will be a real need for expertise in the field of enterprise search on both proprietary and open source platforms, depending upon several factors like size, in house talent, and growth expectations.
How is your company preparing for the discontinuation of support of FAST ESP? Need guidance? Contact us for pointers, analysis, or architecture for a full migration.
We are happy to announce that TNR Global’s own Michael McIntosh will be presenting at the Apache Lucene Eurocon 2011 in Barcelona this October. Michael’s talk is titled “Enterprise Search: FAST ESP to Lucene Solr.” His presentation will discuss migration from the FAST ESP platform to a Lucene Solr search platform. There are many reasons an IT department with a large scale search installation would want to move from a proprietary platform to Lucene Solr. In the case of FAST Search, the company’s purchase by Microsoft and discontinuation of the Linux platform has created an urgency for FAST users. Illustrated through actual case studies, the presentation will include challenges and concerns, present solutions and work-arounds to overcome migration issues.
Michael has more than 16 years of experience in large scale systems design and operation, online consumer product development, high volume transaction processing and engineering management. He has extensive experience developing, integrating and maintaining search technology solutions for companies such as FAST Search and Lycos.
We’re excited that Michael will be presenting in Barcelona this fall. Please introduce yourself if you’re able to go!
Michael McIntosh, Vice President of Enterprise Search Technologies at TNR, spoke at the Lucene Revolution conference in Boston, MA October 7-8, 2010. Michael reviewed the migration from Fast ESP to Lucene/Solr open source search. He discussed approaches to identifying core content areas of HTML documents such as Text-To-Tag Ratio Heuristics and Page Stereotype/Site Template Analysis, and reviewed specific use cases that we have encountered as search integration experts and discuss available tools.
TNR Global was a sponsor of Lucene Revolution. The conference gathered over 400 professionals from the enterprise search industry. We were happy to see so much interest in Lucene/Solr open source search, and get to know and learn from the folks who have done large scale implementations, including Twitter, LinkedIn, and eHarmony. Not surprisingly, there was a lot of interest about migration from proprietory search systems to Solr, especially from FAST ESP due to Microsoft’s discontinuing FAST ESP support for Linux. If you would like to learn more about how a migration from FAST ESP to Lucene Solr can benefit your company, contact us for a free consultation.
We have configured, mirrored, scaled and maintained multi-cluster Microsoft Fast ESP (Enterprise Search Platform) systems in a rigorous production environment for Linux and SharePoint, both in the cloud and on dedicated servers. We offer Microsoft Fast ESP to Lucene/Solr migrations. Read more …
Solr is a powerful open source, scalable, cross-platform search engine. Solr has high performance features comparable to proprietary search engines like faceted search, full text search, rich document handling and dynamic clustering. TNR Global is a regular presenter at Lucene Solr Conferences worldwide and an active member of the Solr open source community. Since Solr is open source technology, the source code is free. Contact us to implement and integrate this robust search engine into your organization.
TNR Global offers Lucene Solr consulting and integration services for:
Software or SaaS System developers
IT/MIS system administrators
Corporate data administrators
Current Linux based FAST ESP users
Marketing departments of content intensive web sites
Our Services with Lucene Solr:
We integrate solutions using Lucene Solr for commercial grade Lucene Solr products through our partners at Lucid Imagination. We also develop tailor made solutions using Lucene Solr for the following:
Crawling web resources: pages and documents, forums, blogs
Content processing and conversion
Content enhancement and extraction
PDF search by page
Alternative search for SharePoint, email
Search and database integration
Audits and Upgrades to your current Solr installation
We leverage the power of Lucene Solr combined with the latest content enhancement approaches to provide more diversified search service offerings for clients. Years of hands-on experience give us an advantage; we understand the issues and the subtle nuances of data. Contact us for a free consultation.