Where There's Smoke, There's Kickfire

Over the weekend I had a chance to catch up on some of my favorite database oriented blogs, and I noticed a number of them were mentioning the upcoming [http://www.mysql.com/news-and-events/press-release/release_2008_13.html Kickfire engine/appliance based around MySQL]. Always a sucker to read about Yet Another MySQL Engine, I looked through what little details there were (Kickfire had previewed their system to some of the more popular MySQL blogs in order to create some initial buzz ahead of the [http://en.oreilly.com/mysql2008/public/content/home MySQL users conference]; good ploy). I think the breakdown goes like this: * Designed for Data Warehousing * Uses Hardware Based Acceleration * Appliance System * Does “Stream Processing” * Involves lots of buzzwords like “ground breaking” and “revolutionary” * They have brought Web 2.0 Marketing to the Database World Eh? Yeah, that last bit is my own assessment. Why? Well, [http://www.xaprb.com/blog/2008/04/04/kickfire-stream-processing-sql-queries/ Baron Schwartz] had this to say about Kickfire when he previewed it:
even if this product isn’t what it claims to be, they’ll prove the concept and there will be a competitive rush into this space
And one of the commentors on his blog said:
Again, I’m surprised it hasn’t been done before. Particularly given the money big vendors like Oracle and IBM sink into their DB development every year.
The thing is, it has been done before, and if you want the power of SQL streams in a production ready system, you can have it today. You just need to [http://www.google.com/search?q=truviso Google on “Truviso”]. [http://www.truviso.com/ Truviso] is a new database company that also offers a stream-based system. Their solution is built on top of PostgreSQL, which as I understand it, was the system used as the bases for much of the recent research in streams-processing. (Should I be wrong about that, I’m sure [http://neilconway.org/ Neil] will correct me. Neil is a PostgreSQL committer who has been working on SQL streams for, I think years at this point, and also an employee of Truviso). Thier solution doesn’t require a special data appliance, you can install it on any Linux or Solaris (and probably much more) system much like other software you already own; that’s handy eh? So why hasn’t anyone heard of it? What Kickfire has done reminds me of social networking sites. Remember when to get into [http://www.orkut.com Orkut] you had to be invited? This is similar; they doled out some juicy tidbits to a select (and very well respected IMHO) group of people to get some advance press, then went though a quasi “beta” launch period by show casing their product at the MySQL users conference. And picking MySQL as a platform is like including the [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AJAX Ajax]y bits, no strong technical reason to use it, but it draws eyeballs and it’s a hot technology. (At least I can’t think of one, it’s possible that the pluggable storage engine makes this a bit easier, but I doubt it matters much). Since all the blogs talking about Kickfire had disclaimers, here is mine: I’m not on Kickfire’s payroll, nor Truvisio’s. I’ve never seen Truvisio in action, my knowledge comes from having read their website, and knowing a couple people “on the inside”. (And having read up on Stream queries on occasion over the years, Truviso isn’t the only game in town in that department either). I now leave it to the internets to tell me how wrong I am about all of this [[image /xzilla/templates/default/img/emoticons/smile.png alt=”:-)” style=”display: inline; vertical-align: bottom;” class=”emoticon” /]]