illuminate Solutions

Discussion of illuminate Solutions and it’s data warehouse/analytics product suite (iLuminate, iCorrelate, iAnalyze, etc.). Related subjects include:

February 8, 2012

Comments on the analytic DBMS industry and Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for same

This year’s Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse Database Management Systems is out.* I shall now comment, just as I did on the 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006 Gartner Data Warehouse Database Management System Magic Quadrants, to varying extents. To frame the discussion, let me start by saying:

*As of February, 2012 — and surely for many months thereafter — Teradata is graciously paying for a link to the report.

Specific company comments, roughly in line with Gartner’s rough single-dimensional rank ordering, include: Read more

January 16, 2012

Has illuminate Solutions joined the choir invisible?

A correspondent today asked about illuminate Solutions, noting that its website is down.

I put the question out to Twitter, and was messaged by an extremely reliable source, who had heard that illuminate has shut down and is in receivership.

illuminate’s website and CTO blog that I previously linked both appear to be rather dead sites. emphatically confirms that perception.

I can’t find anybody on LinkedIn who says they’ve worked at illuminate more recently than May, 2011.

It would seem that illuminate Solutions is no more, has ceased to be, has kicked the bucket, has joined the choir invisible, and is an ex-company.

February 5, 2011

Comments on the Gartner 2010/2011 Data Warehouse Database Management Systems Magic Quadrant

Edit: Comments on the February, 2012 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Data Warehouse Database Management Systems — and on the companies reviewed in it — are now up.

The Gartner 2010 Data Warehouse Database Management Systems Magic Quadrant is out. I shall now comment, just as I did to varying degrees on the 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006 Gartner Data Warehouse Database Management System Magic Quadrants.

Note: Links to Gartner Magic Quadrants tend to be unstable. Please alert me if any problems arise; I’ll edit accordingly.

In my comments on the 2008 Gartner Data Warehouse Database Management Systems Magic Quadrant, I observed that Gartner’s “completeness of vision” scores were generally pretty reasonable, but their “ability to execute” rankings were somewhat bizarre; the same remains true this year. For example, Gartner ranks Ingres higher by that metric than Vertica, Aster Data, ParAccel, or Infobright. Yet each of those companies is growing nicely and delivering products that meet serious cutting-edge analytic DBMS needs, neither of which has been true of Ingres since about 1987.  Read more

February 10, 2010

Comments on the Gartner 2009/2010 Data Warehouse Database Management System Magic Quadrant

February, 2011 edit: I’ve now commented on Gartner’s 2010 Data Warehouse Database Management System Magic Quadrant as well.

At intervals of a little over a year, Gartner Group publishes a Data Warehouse Database Management System Magic Quadrant. Gartner’s 2009 data warehouse DBMS Magic Quadrant — actually, January 2010 — is now out.* For many reasons, including those I noted in my comments on Gartner’s 2008 Data Warehouse DBMS Magic Quadrant, the Gartner quadrant pictures are a bad use of good research. Rather than rehash that this year, I’ll merely call out some points in the surrounding commentary that I find interesting or just plain strange. Read more

January 12, 2009

Gartner’s 2008 data warehouse database management system Magic Quadrant is out

February, 2011 edit: I’ve now commented on Gartner’s 2010 Data Warehouse Database Management System Magic Quadrant as well.

Gartner’s annual Magic Quadrant for data warehouse DBMS is out.  Thankfully, vendors don’t seem to be taking it as seriously as usual, so I didn’t immediately hear about it.  (I finally noticed it in a Greenplum pay-per-click ad.)  Links to Gartner MQs tend to come and go, but as of now here are two working links to the 2008 Gartner Data Warehouse Database Management System MQ.  My posts on the 2007 and 2006 MQs have also been updated with working links. Read more

March 27, 2008

The illuminate guys have a CTO blog

If you want to know more about illuminate’s data warehouse offerings, CTO Joe Foley has a blog. A good starting point might be the post on value-based storage. Two key points seem to be:

The VBS also provides some data access features that can not be duplicated in any other structure. A search can be executed starting with a data value in the pool. By going from the value pool back to the index, it is possible to quickly locate every use of the value wherever is may be used in the logical record structures.

which makes sense, and

This structure also enables our incremental query capability. As the result of a query, the database returns a set of instance identifiers rather than a set of records. This is because there are no records, only pointers and values. With the response being a set of pointers, it is a simple matter to perform the next query step and then get the union or difference between the two sets of pointers for the result of the second query step. This process can be continued indefinitely with the result set shrinking or growing as the new results are merged with the old.

which still sounds like gobbledygook to me. Read more

March 26, 2008

iLuminate’s correlation/associative approach to data warehousing

illuminate Solutions (small “i”) is an interesting little company, still rough around the edges. (E.g., the Press Release Archive page at says, in its entirety, “We are in the process of loading our historical press releases. Please check back the second week in March!” And I only got that much when I corrected an obvious typo in the URL in the menu bar.) According to CTO Joe Foley, illuminate has 37 or so employees, and 40+ customers, ¾ of whom are in their home country of Spain and ½ the rest of whom are in Latin America. Now they’re entering the US.

illuminate’s basic idea is one I’ve heard before, but mainly from companies with more of a search orientation*, such as Attivio: Take a collection of tables, create a big inverted index on all the values in all columns at once, and do queries on that. This, illuminate claims, obviates all sorts of database design problems and similar hassles you otherwise might have. illuminate’s buzzword for all this is “CDBMS”, where the “C” stands for correlation. The actual CDBMS product is called iLuminate; related business intelligence tools are called iCorrelate and iAnalyze. What iLuminate actually indexes is a token that holds four pieces of information: Instance identifier, table identifier, column identifier, and value. Read more

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