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MySQL appliance vendor Kickfire raises $20 million

Kickfire has a great idea, but will Sun kill it off?

Kickfire is one of the coolest open-source (based) companies to launch within the last few years. Today, it announced that it has raised $20 million in series B funding to tell the world about what it's doing.

What does Kickfire do? From a business angle, it has figured out a clever way to monetize MySQL's excellent software. From a technical angle:

Based on a patented SQL chip that packs the power of tens of CPUs into an exceptionally small, low-power form factor Kickfire delivers a quantum leap in performance efficiency--avoiding the hardware build out, power, and space costs of today's data warehouse and database offerings. By delivering astoundingly fast query performance out of the box, Kickfire enables organizations to use MySQL for demanding business intelligence, reporting, and analysis rather than migrating to costly, non-open source alternatives.

One question arising from this: Why doesn't Sun do this? Sun knows semiconductors as well as anyone, and it now knows MySQL better than anyone. Kickfire has a leap on the competition, but could Sun prove to be a spoiler?

For now, Kickfire is the best game in town when it comes to easy-to-deploy supercharged MySQL performance. Very cool.