InfluxDB Cloud Revises Time Series Database Engine

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InfluxData released today with new features in its InfluxDB Cloud time series database service designed to improve performance and data query capabilities.

The San Francisco-based 2012 startup has expanded the functionality of its InfluxDB time series database in recent years with capabilities to better manage data from IoT devices and event broadcast data.

The applications for InfluxDB are diverse, supporting operational and data analytics workloads that include industrial sensors, networking, security, and application monitoring.

Several purpose-built databases on the market support time-series data, including the open-source QuestDB, Amazon Timestream, CrateDB, and Timescale. In recent years, the MongoDB document database has also gradually added support for time series data.

The new update of the InfluxDB Cloud service integrates the InfluxDB IOx open source storage engine built in the Rust programming language, which speeds up time series data storage and query performance.

InfluxDB Cloud has also added support for users to access data with SQL queries, in addition to InfluxData’s own Flux and InfluxQL query languages.

IOx technology provides InfluxDB with a columnar storage engine that allows organizations to manage time series data.

The latest updates to InfluxData make the data that organizations collect and can query with SQL more useful, said Stephen O’Grady, analyst at RedMonk.

“One of the broader market trends we’re seeing with respect to databases is a demand for more versatility, and that aligns with InfluxData’s direction here, as they introduce a columnar storage engine “, O’Grady said.

Inside InfluxDB’s New Time Series Engine

What Influx Data had basically done was create a new time series engine for the database, according to Paul Dix, co-founder and CTO.

The engine provides a system for buffering and collecting data which is converted into Apache-Pbow files. Parquet files are kept in object storage with an optimized organization to help speed up query execution. The data structure is called a columnar databasenow designed for time series data.

“It’s designed for real-time workloads, which means you write data and within milliseconds of writing the data is available for queries,” Dix said.

InfluxDB Brings SQL to Time Series Database

The work to improve InfluxDB involved several components written in the open-source Rust programming language.

Among the components used by InfluxDB is the Apache Arrow DataFusion SQL Query Engine, which is written in Rust. DataFusion technology allows InfluxDB to support SQL queries, a capability it did not have before. Specifically, InfluxDB now supports PostgreSQL Wired Protocol for SQL.

This “means you can connect a PostgreSQL client to our cloud offering and it looks like a PostgreSQL database, even though it’s not,” Dix said.

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