InfluxData puts a time stamp on the data deluge

A Californian startup's time series database could be in the right place at the right time

The rain is falling in stair rods and the air is heavy and warm with more of a feel of the Mississippi delta than London's Aldwych in mid-September. If you were tracking weather events and trying to figure out details of causes and effects, you might use a time series database and, *tenuous segue incoming*, it just so happens that I'm meeting a company that has one.

InfluxData product VP Tim Hall agrees with me that time series databases aren't new: data historians have long seen the value in being able to monitor events by time stamping them. Informix used to market this as a strength decades ago and Oracle has a time series plug-in, for example. But the San Francisco Bay Area startup may be right in thinking that a bottom-up time series database is coming to the right place and at the right time in a world obsessed with releasing value from information stores.

"The time series challenge has always been how quickly can you land data and make it available for query," Hall says, as we dry off. The good news today is that cloud with cheap memory, storage and compute capacity means that we can go from "hundreds of thousands of records to millions and beyond".

So, what are going to do with all that power? Well, sensors, networks, mobiles, wearables and pretty well anything with a chip in it are creating gargantuan data streams and they're all game for mining. Do that in real time with time stamps attached and the data becomes all the more valuable in many use cases.

"Every Internet of Things use case is a time series use case," Hall enthuses, but then so is machine data, log data and any event from a consumer clicking on a website to a key card slotting into a hotel room lock and an ATM card being entered into the bank hole in the wall… you name it.

You might think of a time series database as a rare example where cloud isn't a great environment because of latency but Hall says that's not the case: "Cloud is pretty fast these days" and provides the elastic compute platform that allows customers to throw massive data sets at problems. InfluxData offers opensource, cloud and enterprise versions of its product.

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