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Richard Hackathorn

Welcome to my blog stream. I am focusing on the business value of low latency data, real-time business intelligence (BI), data warehouse (DW) appliances, use of virtual world technology, ethics of business intelligence and globalization of business intelligence. However, my blog entries may range widely depending on current industry events and personal life changes. So, readers beware!

Please comment on my blogs and share your opinions with the BI/DW community.

About the author >

Dr. Richard Hackathorn is founder and president of Bolder Technology, Inc. He has more than thirty years of experience in the information technology industry as a well-known industry analyst, technology innovator and international educator. He has pioneered many innovations in database management, decision support, client-server computing, database connectivity, associative link analysis, data warehousing, and web farming. Focus areas are: business value of timely data, real-time business intelligence (BI), data warehouse appliances, ethics of business intelligence and globalization of BI.

Richard has published numerous articles in trade and academic publications, presented regularly at leading industry conferences and conducted professional seminars in eighteen countries. He writes regularly for the BeyeNETWORK.com and has a channel for his blog, articles and research studies. He is a member of the IBM Gold Consultants since its inception, the Boulder BI Brain Trust and the Independent Analyst Platform.

Dr. Hackathorn has written three professional texts, entitled Enterprise Database Connectivity, Using the Data Warehouse (with William H. Inmon), and Web Farming for the Data Warehouse.

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in Richard's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

Kickfire%20logo.jpgI went to the TPC-H benchmarks recently and found that Kickfire was at the top of the price/performance list for 100GB and 300GB systems. Using a 3-year system cost, they were under a dollar per query while averaging around 50 thousand queries per hour! Who is Kickfire, I asked myself?

I was briefed by Steve Dille, VP of Marketing, and Beverley Bird, Director of Marketing Communications, for Kickfire. They were founded in 2006, have 50 employees, closed $30M in VC funding, and have been very busy.

As a new vendor in the increasingly crowded data warehouse appliance (DWA) marketplace, the ability to distinguish themselves is critical. The non-distinguishing features are twofold:

First, their product is column-oriented with data compression. Second, they are a 'true' appliance by offering an integrated hardware/software package.

The distinguishing features of Kickfire are twofold:

First, they are the only DWA built upon (underneath?) the open source database MySQL. I am increasingly impressed with the technology and community of MySQL. It is gaining creditability within enterprise circles; however, MySQL is not known for its ability to process large data sets and complex queries. Kickfire feels that they have solved those problems and are offering a unique solution to the growing MySQL community.

Second, they process SQL using a proprietary co-processor (like a graphics co-processor) whose machine language is SQL operations (like relational algebra operators). With their aggressive data compression, those SQL operations can be performed in memory. Further, the SQL operations are performed on the compressed data, avoiding the compression/decompression overhead.

A disadvantage is that the data volume is limited to 3 TB with the current nonclustered product. They plan to scale to higher data volumes with an array of similar processor units. On the other hand, I believe that there is huge demand for sub-TB warehouses that are inexpensive and convenient.

The product is in beta with two customers. Availability is mid October. I am going to watch the initial customer reactions on this one!


Posted September 12, 2008 4:35 PM
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