Teradata quietly scoops up Kickfire

The data warehousing startup was noted for its use of MySQL and a special chip

Data warehousing vendor Teradata has quietly scooped up Kickfire, a startup analytic appliance vendor known for its use of the open-source MySQL database and a SQL processing chip to boost query performance.

Rumors of Kickfire's demise as an independent company had been circulating for weeks. Teradata's move came to light during the vendor's earnings conference call last week.

The "tuck-in" deal provides Teradata with "another set of intellectual property that allows us to start looking at things like advanced pipelining," said Darryl McDonald, executive vice president of business development and marketing, during the call. "It's been leveraged all the way from supercomputers all the way down to gaming devices. It really allows you to put super performance of different things into chips and or the software for acceleration and super performance."

A Teradata spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for further information Tuesday.

Kickfire's technology has received good marks, but its market strategy was met with some criticism.

"Building a propriety [sic] database stack of hardware and software around a MySQL codebase that attributes much of its success to being open and free is a poor cultural match," wrote Daniel Abadi, an assistant professor of computer science at Yale, in a recent blog post.

Trying to gain a foothold in a crowded market for analytic database systems, Kickfire aimed at customers that had smaller-sized data stores and a desire to analyze that information, but no appetite for the price tags of products from larger vendors.

But Kickfire lacked MPP (massively parallel processing) capabilities, which was "a recipe for disaster ... in the 'Big Data Era,'" Abadi said.

"It is well known that over 95% of data warehouses are smaller than 5TB, and that MPP is not strictly necessary for less than 5TB," he wrote. "So it is easy to get into the trap of Kickfire's thinking that the mass market is addressable without building an MPP product. However, businesses are looking forward, and seeing much more data in their future ... and can often be reluctant to select a product with known scalability limits."

MPP databases partition workloads over an array of nodes that run in parallel. Teradata's database uses this approach.

Meanwhile, the Kickfire acquisition will give Teradata "a richer hardware assist at the point of retrieving data from disk, potentially turning the performance crank another notch," analyst Merv Adrian of IT Market Strategy said Tuesday via e-mail. It will likely "up the ante for 'smart hardware' options closer to storage in data warehouse configurations."

However, Teradata has no plans to sell Kickfire's existing product, having only hired its engineers and acquired its IP, Adrian also said.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags databasesbusiness issuessoftwareapplicationsinvestmentsTeradatadata warehousingMergers / acquisitions

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?