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Roadmap for FAST ESP 5.3 RRS feed

  • Question

    1. We are aware that Mainstream support for FAST ESP v 5.3 is going to end in 2013 whereas extended support ends in 2018. While I try to search for additional information on the internet regarding roadmap for FAST ESP beyond 2018, I haven't been able to find a satisfactory answer, all I come across is volumes of information about FAST Search for SharePoint.
    2. Could anyone let me know if Microsoft would offer anything in the Search space for customers not opting for SharePoint ?
    3. Happened to read somewhere that FAST Search for Internet Business will replace FAST ESP but has nothing to do with SharePoint. Is this right ?
    4. If the answer to question 3 is yes, how different is FAST Search for Internet Business different than FSIA ?
    5. With FSIA and FSIS no longer being sold, what would be the roadmap for FAST Search for Internet Business ?

     

     


    Suraj
    Sunday, February 5, 2012 1:21 PM

Answers

  • Hi Suraj,

    I understand your confusion regarding this matter, I've been researching the very same topic myself for a white paper I'm writing on the subject.

    1) As far as I understand, mainstream support does end in 2013 and extended in 2018 for FAST ESP customers. For customers that upgraded to FAST Search Server 2010 for Internal Applications (FSIA) or FAST Search Server 2010 for Internet Sites (FSIS), which have an ESP 5.3 sp3 core, in 2010 have mainstream support until 2015 and extended support until 2021.

    2) I spoke with Microsoft partners last November who have said that Microsoft *does* have a search offerings in the works that aren't SharePoint specific after I complained about the lack of a current roadmap. They were not able to give me further details. All I have been able to find is a ton of broken links and no further publicly available information on the subject. I suspect whatever they have in the works may be a hosted search solution that leverages their cloud platform offerings.

    3) Its murky at best. I haven't been able to find any clear details there either. Hopefully an internal person can help illuminate their plans.

    4) Again, they've been quiet on this front. Their priority seems to be SharePoint adoption, leaving existing Linux and UNIX FAST ESP customers in the cold. 

    We currently recommend our customers who do not want to migrate a search solution to Windows or who do not need/want SharePoint to consider migrating to another viable search solution that lacks such constraints. Good luck, I hope an official rep can give satisfactory responses to your questions. :)

    -Michael McIntosh

    VP of Search Technology @ TNR Global

    Sunday, February 5, 2012 6:12 PM

All replies

  • Hi Suraj,

    I understand your confusion regarding this matter, I've been researching the very same topic myself for a white paper I'm writing on the subject.

    1) As far as I understand, mainstream support does end in 2013 and extended in 2018 for FAST ESP customers. For customers that upgraded to FAST Search Server 2010 for Internal Applications (FSIA) or FAST Search Server 2010 for Internet Sites (FSIS), which have an ESP 5.3 sp3 core, in 2010 have mainstream support until 2015 and extended support until 2021.

    2) I spoke with Microsoft partners last November who have said that Microsoft *does* have a search offerings in the works that aren't SharePoint specific after I complained about the lack of a current roadmap. They were not able to give me further details. All I have been able to find is a ton of broken links and no further publicly available information on the subject. I suspect whatever they have in the works may be a hosted search solution that leverages their cloud platform offerings.

    3) Its murky at best. I haven't been able to find any clear details there either. Hopefully an internal person can help illuminate their plans.

    4) Again, they've been quiet on this front. Their priority seems to be SharePoint adoption, leaving existing Linux and UNIX FAST ESP customers in the cold. 

    We currently recommend our customers who do not want to migrate a search solution to Windows or who do not need/want SharePoint to consider migrating to another viable search solution that lacks such constraints. Good luck, I hope an official rep can give satisfactory responses to your questions. :)

    -Michael McIntosh

    VP of Search Technology @ TNR Global

    Sunday, February 5, 2012 6:12 PM
  • Here are some non-broken links that should help explain things a bit better:

    http://www.microsoft.com/pathways/fast/FAST_GrantsLicense.htm

    http://www.microsoft.com/enterprisesearch/en/us/fast.aspx#fifth-tab

    It a lot to wade through, but hopefully it clarifies some specifics

    -Michael McIntosh

    VP of Search Technology @ TNR Global

    Sunday, February 5, 2012 7:23 PM
  • Thanks Michael,

    This clears a lot of doubts.


    Suraj
    Sunday, February 5, 2012 9:53 PM
  • Hi Suraj and Michael,

    Thats true as what has been explained by Michael. This is fact that the progress of SharePoint adoption and the fate LINUX/UNIX customers are in dark sooner. It is worthwhile recommendation for them to migrate to windows. This is mainly due to the following:

    1. The deployed customizations

    2. The cost of deployments when compared to the cost of the contracts and licesing. This would not prove a good deal

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012 10:15 PM
  • I strongly disagree with this. If the product you're using has a roadmap that points in a different direction than where you're going, you should evaluate other products for a better fit. There will be a cost associated with this, but sticking with the wrong product may well end up costing a lot more.

    We're currently using ESP5.3 to fill the spot in our application portfolio marked with "Enterprise Search". I am not convinced that Fast Search for Sharepoint is a valid contender for that role.

    Whatever customizations we have, I expect we'll have to review/modify/abandon when we switch to a different product - even if we switch to F4S. The cost of deployment is not just about contracts and licensing; hardware utilization, product stability, roadmap compatibility, quality of support and a lot of other factors are also important - probably more so than the licensing cost.

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012 8:01 AM
  • Agree with you Raymond. IT Planners may have chosen a platform to meet specific business requirements including the cost criteria. So, if there is a product roadmap that''s indicating that the platform I am using may no longer be supported, or if it is leading me to a different direction than what we had initially planned, I would rather find alternatives for the product than undertake platform migration.

    Coming specifically to SharePoint, from a technical perspective, there are

    1. The Windows Sharepoint Services (WSS), providing the basic functionality (basic content services)

    2. Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) which sits on top of WSS and adds additional features and applications, chief among them being Collaboration.

    3. Finally there is the Microsoft Search Server, an Enterprise Search engine that provides advanced indexing and searching capabilities that can be integrated into a MOSS Web-based interface.

    If I am not wrong, FAST Search for SharePoint is an addon to improve the scalability of the Microsoft Search Server (i.e. the Search for SharePoint). Any decisions, to be made regarding migration of Platform needs to be made after careful consideration of what our requirements are and how a particular product, no matter how robust it may be (in this case SharePoint which is going to be supplemented by FAST Search for SharePoint) is going to meet them on the new platform.

    So to conclude, I would check for any alternate ways to meet the business requirements first, and if they can't be met, only then would I consider the option of migrating from one platform to another. Again, we need to bear in mind that there may be a host of other applications for which we may have to find alternatives on the newer platform if it's unsupported on the newer platform.

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012 10:42 AM