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Kickfire MySQL Data Warehouse Appliance Launches

The first low-end data warehouse play ever

Kickfire, the MySQL data warehousing start-up that invented its own SQL chip, is starting to roll out its newfangled plug-and-play appliances to the mass market – the first low-end data warehouse play ever– and obviously it’s targeting the MySQL base that doesn’t buy much software support but does spend about half-a-billion dollars a year on data warehousing hardware.

Kickfire [founded by Raj Cherabuddi, pictured]  can do for $32,000 what would cost $250,000 to get the same performance out of Oracle, according to marketing VP Karl Van den Bergh. The company claims to deliver the industry’s highest performance per dollar spent.

Eventually Kickfire will serve the 1TB-10TB market. Immediately it’s got devices good for up to 1TB-3TB. The top end would cost in the neighborhood of $100,000.

Since Sun owns MySQL and eventually has to justify spending a billion dollars buying the thing, it would be reasonable to assume – given the price points and the fact that it’s hardware – that it would have its salespeople out there reference-selling the thing, but reportedly Sun last week canceled all its reference arrangements and foreswore any new ones.

Kickfire couldn’t be drawn on the subject.

Sun is merely going to promote Kickfire’s stuff. Considering its duress, perhaps Sun wants a bigger piece of the pie, bigger than just incenting salespeople and means to take Kirkfire on direct. Things are obviously that tough at Sun.

Anyway, Kirkfire has a bunch of systems integrators fronting for it.

Oracle and Microsoft occupy the $5 billion market Kickfire is shooting for. MySQL is the third most deployed kit in that space. There are 12 million active MySQL installations, roughly 25% of which are doing data warehousing. However, the low end is not only price-sensitive, it typically lacks warehousing expertise or IT resources.

And early-stage deployments usually have mixed workloads. Conveniently the Kickfire MySQL Appliance supports such things, which is one of the reasons it thinks it has “cracked the code on the mass market.”

The low-power widget runs a standard MySQL Enterprise and includes utilities like integrated backup and auto-index generation. A single node can support 100 concurrent users and 1,000 active users.

Kickfire’s unique SQL co-processor, comparable to an Nvidia GPU, is supposed to pack the wallop of tens of CPUs and remove CPU bottlenecks because the widget is otherwise based on a Linux-powered Intel x86 chip.

It also employs a column store engine with full ACID compliance; the column store engine deals with I/O bottlenecks and executed directly on compressed data; compression is more efficient on columns than the usual rows.

Thanks to its MySQL Migration Wizard, existing MySQL users can point-and-click to move from their existing hardware to the Kickfire appliance.

The Kickfire appliance is a bring-your-own analytics affair and time may see Kickfire draw closer to Pentaho for its software.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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