Kickfire’s marketing communication efforts are still a work in progress. Kickfire did finally relax its secrecy about FPGA-vs.-custom-silicon – not coincidentally during Netezza’s recent publicity cycle. That wise choice helped Kickfire get some favorable attention recently for its technical and market strategy, e.g. from Daniel Abadi, Merv Adrian and, kicking things off — as it were — me. Weeks after a recent Kickfire product release, there’s finally a fairly accurate data sheet up, although there’s still one self-defeatingly misleading line I’ll comment on below. Pricing is a whole other area of confusion, although it seems that current list prices have been inadvertently* leaked in Merv’s post linked above, with only one inaccuracy that I can detect.**
*I gather from the company that they forgot to tell Merv pricing was NDA.
** Merv cited a price as “starting” that I believe to be top-of-the-line. No criticism of Merv is implied in that; Kickfire has not been very clear in communicating hard numbers.
All that said, if one takes Kickfire’s marketing statements literally, Kickfire list pricing is around $20-50K per terabyte for a few small, fixed, high-performance configurations. That’s all-in, for plug-and-play appliances. What’s more, that range is based on the actual published user data capacity numbers for various Kickfire models, which I think are low for several reasons:
- Kickfire doesn’t officially admit that its model with 14.4 terabytes of disk can manage more than 6 terabytes of data, even though it clearly can.
- Actually, those 14.4 terabytes of disk can be increased or lowered as you choose.
- The basic compression figures implied in those calculations seem conservative.
- Compression figures are a lot more conservative yet, in that Kickfire assumes you’ll have a lot of actual indexes on your data. I’m not sure that’s necessary for most workloads.