Would 10X faster be enough to get you to switch? Do you need something that is faster for insert-only workloads or must it also be faster for updates and deletes?
Papers have been written that describe both the theory and practice of building systems that support high rates of inserts, updates and deletes. Some of this technology may eventually appear in a MySQL storage engine:
- Log-Structured Merge-Tree provides a framework for evaluating performance.
- Bigtable describes a similar approach for avoiding random IO during updates.
- ROSE describes how to combine these techniques with compression for modern CPUs (check out the authors)
- Graefe describes improvements that can be made for b-tree indexes