Every organization creates data in the course of its operations, often in such large quantity and variety that it can be challenging to store it all, let alone make it available for analysis.
Data warehouses offer organizations a means of storing and exposing their data for mining, but setup and maintenance costs, along with the planning and user training tasks required to make data warehouse projects successful, can dissuade companies from deploying these systems.
Enter iLuminate, which sets out to address these data warehousing limitations with iLuminate 4.0. Where most data warehouses are built on relational DBMSes-be they row- or column-oriented-iLuminate describes its product as a correlation database.
Rather than store data in tables, iLuminate 4.0 organizes information in value pools based on data type, with an auto-generated indexing system that keeps track of the values' context. This fully indexed, value-based storage approach can yield significant performance benefits, but I was most impressed by iLuminate's knack for making data available for analysis with very few planning or design requirements.
iLuminate Version 4.0, released June 3, boasts a new 64-bit architecture, which, along with new multithreading enhancements, enables the product to accommodate more data and more concurrent connections. In addition, this version includes Java, .NET and C++ APIs to allow custom analytic applications to access the iLuminate engine.
In my tests of the product, I was able to pour a data set that spanned about 30 million records into the engine and, without any other organization or optimization, begin drilling arbitrarily through the data using Illuminate's analysis tool, iCorrelate. What's more, I could access any of my tables or stored queries through an external application (in my case, Microsoft Excel) via ODBC.
I found the user interfaces for iLuminate and its associated tools rough in places, but I was impressed by their capabilities nonetheless. According to the company, an overhaul of these tool interfaces is a focus for an upcoming version.
iLuminate 4.0 is priced starting at $41,900 for databases of up to 35 million records, with concurrent connection fees that start at $2,750 for up to four connections. The iCorrelate exploration and analysis tool is priced at $8,000 per seat, and the company's quick data profiling and loading tool, iLook&Load, is priced at $10,000.
For organizations in search of better ways to store and analyze their data, iLuminate 4.0 is well worth further investigation, such as through one of the free proof-of-concept pilots that iLuminate details here.