InfluxData extends the capabilities of the time series database

Database platform provider InfluxData has added a series of new features to enable IoT and Industrial Internet of Things applications for the open source time series database InfluxDB.

New features are generally available today.

San Francisco-based InfluxData is the creator and primary business sponsor of the open-source InfluxDB time series. databaseas well as a series of complementary projects including the Flux query language and Telegraph measuring officer.

InfluxData provides InfluxDB in open source, enterprise, and cloud models. Among the platform’s new Industrial IoT and IoT features is the ability to more easily manage data from operational technology in industrial environments and IoT sensors via the MQ Telemetry Transport (MQTT) protocol.

InfluxData has also made it easier for organizations to deploy a smaller footprint time series data agent on peripheral devicesto enable data collection.

At a time when many databases are tackling adjacent markets, InfluxData is investing in its specialization in time series, the RedMonk analyst said. Rachel Stephens.

IoT settings often present unique challenges around scale, speed, and variety of data input, and managing time series data effectively can be crucial in these environments.

Rachel StephensAnalyst, RedMonk

“IoT settings often present unique challenges around scale, speed and variety of data input, and managing time series data effectively can be crucial in these environments,” Stephens said. “InfluxData’s investments around expanded IoT and edge capabilities are designed to deepen the platforms for the IoT use case.”

Enabling more time series data capabilities for InfluxDB

Brian Gilmore, product manager for IoT at InfluxData, said MQTT is becoming the messaging standard for IoT and operational technology.

The MQTT standard was first published in 1999 to help enable a standardized messaging layer for SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) industrial control systems.

Gilmore noted that InfluxDB had already provided some support for MQTT, although he said it lacked a number of scalability and management capabilities. Among the features that are now part of the InfluxDB platform is an easier way for users to connect to MQTT message brokers that stream sensors and other forms of industrial device data.

Going further, InfluxData has updated its Flux scripting language so that the InfluxDB platform can generate MQTT data and consume it to allow users to collect and update the data as needed.

Gilmore said he generally recommends deploying the Telegraf data collection agent at the network edge alongside sensors and devices, with data sent back to a centralized InfluxDB database. He noted that Telegraf is now able to format and optimize MQTT data when it is served in the InfluxDB time series database.

New InfluxDB Time Series Database Features Help Improve Integration and Analysis of Sensor Data

Boost Observability with InfluxDB’s Time Series Data Capabilities

Time series data collects a series of data points over a period of time.

For industrial deployments, time series are commonly used for operational applications such as, for example, anomaly detection which can identify if a device is operating outside of normal parameters.

Time series data can also be used to help determine usage and operating trends for a given device or set of devices over a period of time. In recent years, companies have used time series data from industrial devices to help train machine learning models to predictive maintenance.

“People use InfluxDB to track the performance of oil rigs, manufacturing lines, or all of their assets,” Gilmore said. “This helps give operators the visibility needed to make the decisions needed to successfully operate and maintain these assets.”

Maria H. Underwood