MySQL Data Warehouses Get Boost from Kickfire

Kickfire is targeting MySQL database shops at the lower end of the data warehousing market. Armed with a new appliance, the company says it can dramatically increase data loading and query speeds for MySQL data warehouses.

To hear officials at Kickfire tell it, MySQL shops are hurting when it comes to data warehousing.

"Customers will tell you that they really run out of gas at 50GB, which is really quite tiny," said Kickfire CEO Bruce Armstrong.

It's there, he said, that Kickfire believes it has found a sweet spot. Roughly a year after talking up its SQL chip at MySQL Conference & Expo 2008, the company is officially launching Kickfire MySQL Appliance Release 1.1 with an eye toward the lower end of the data warehousing market.

"Ninety percent of the customer deployments are less than 10TB, and it's the fastest area of growth," Armstrong said. "We're going after MySQL shops that are in pain."

There is no shortage of players in the data warehousing market, from vendors such as Teradata and Sybase to companies such as Greenplum. By targeting MySQL shops specifically, however, Kickfire aims to find a niche for itself.

At the core of the Kickfire appliance (PDF) is a SQL chip that allows for massively parallel processing and a column-store engine with full ACID compliance designed to break the input/output bottleneck. Officials at Mamasource, an online community with some 2 million members, reported that the company was able to significantly speed data loading over standard MySQL and dispense with the slower query times and endless tuning that had been a reality for the growing site.

"Our database is 300GB and growing by 1GB a day," Justin Lin, vice president of products at Mamasource, said in a statement. "We have to get it to scale to billions of records and with Kickfire I can finally see how we will do it."

The Kickfire appliance runs standard MySQL Enterprise. Featuring a plug-and-play design, the appliance is integrated and optimized down to the operating system level with features such as Active System Monitor, which notifies users of potential system anomalies.

"We really have invested a lot of our R&D dollars in making it truly plug-and-play," Armstrong explained. "[We have] the ability to install it in a standard rack and be able to use our MySQL migration wizard to point to a MySQL database and copy the schema, the data, any constraints, any indexes ... then move that data over to Kickfire and in the background automatically index the data."

The appliance supports 100 concurrent users and 1,000 active users and is available now at a price of $32,000.