Open source enterprise search systems are now ready to handle the huge rise in digital information being created and consumed, according to a new report from Ovum.
The amount of digital information created, captured and replicated in 2010 approached 985 exabytes (985 billion gigabytes), and Ovum has analysed the market for managing this information explosion with enterprise search and retrieval (ESR) systems.
The new report, Enterprise Search and Retrieval: Exploiting all of the Organisation's Information Assets, named the Apache Software Foundation's Solr 1.4 software as a credible competitor to commercially available solutions in terms of features and functionality.
Autonomy came out top in the commercial market, but Ovum analyst and report author Mike Davis pointed out that there is very little difference between the top six paid ESR software vendors.
"Autonomy's IDOL platform has consistently achieved the greatest share of mind in the enterprise search arena. But, in terms of the capabilities on offer, there are mere nuances between those ranked," he said.
Davis explained that a number of open source and commercial providers are enterprise-ready, and that no single solution is likely to meet all of an organisation's ESR requirements.
The analyst also maintained that enterprises looking for a search solution should need to evaluate only the big ESR players if open source is unable to deliver what they need when starting out on major search projects.
"This should not be an issue, however, as there is now a range of mature open source products which have functionality that is sufficient for most organisational needs," Davis said.
Of the commercial software vendors evaluated, only IDOL made the shortlist for its potentially complex, but deep, information asset management and visualisation capabilities.
ESR products from Endeca, Exalead, Recommind, Sinequa and Vivisimo rounded out the top commercial vendors to consider.
Solr was the only open source ESR software to make it on the report's list of products to consider. It was joined by Funnelback, Google, IBM OmniFind, Microsoft FAST Server 2010 for SharePoint and Oracle Enterprise Search 11g.
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