Isn’t it time to let InfluxData shine in the enterprise stack?
Our last article concerning time-series databases and InfluxDB looked at the significant business-oriented positives that the InfluxData Platform can bring (such as 200+ Telegraf plugins, a robust set of client libraries, integrations with incident management and dashboarding tools). These are available as value-adds to the open-source InfluxDB, in the form of two paid options, InfluxDB Cloud and InfluxDB Enterprise.
While users have successfully built their applications around the InfluxDB open-source version, companies are choosing InfluxData’s paid offerings for reasons that include peace of mind, expertise from InfluxData on tap, and to avoid managing instances themselves. That’s allowing many to focus on building and differentiating their applications.
The need for time-series databases is increasing for different functions across the specialist developer and general IT stacks, and many organizations are frustrated with the resources required to hand-build and support databases capable of supporting important time-based data.
This article looks at some of the significant advantages the InfluxData platform has over the alternatives, not just as a core time-series database, but when a paid-for tier is deployed; advantages that ensure the smooth running of this critical capability. While the components and infrastructure remain open-source and accessible, the peace-of-mind and support available mean InfluxData is finding thousands of new users every week.
The data picture
InfluxData creates a complete platform that’s built specially to capture time-based data (metrics, events) in a modern, time-series database. In today’s enterprise of whatever vertical, data flows in substantial quantities from sensors, machines (such as network nodes and servers), applications, and humans too, and this data is collected to ensure the performance and reliability of an entire operation.
This information powers the next-generation of monitoring applications, innovative IoT software, and analytics for a variety of purposes, from network optimization via resource management, to predictive maintenance.
The time-series database InfluxDB is open-source and designed to work closely with complementary solutions, and functions alongside legacy and new applications in an ever-shifting topology.
The InfluxData Platform is built on a combination of open-source tools like Telegraf and InfluxDB, each of which is well-proven to be of enterprise-grade, and each open-sourced under the MIT license.
As a technology, InfluxDB is the most performant solution in its class, is scalable and elastic, and supports a huge range of client libraries and languages.
For development teams tasked with quickly building internal or customer-facing time-dependent applications, there’s a trade-off between investing in the resources required to roll-your-own, and the benefits accrued form a service that’s architected down to the last detail to serve very specific use-cases.
Issues of interoperability, extensibility and API layers may be at the forefront of decisions, so the InfluxData Platform is incredibly open, handling any topology or framework. Teams will find that the platform fits right into favored APIs, workflows, proprietary or open systems with a minimum of time investment.
Being the best-performing database of its type available today, InfluxDB supports multiple data types, unlike some of its alternatives. It’s designed to support 64-bit integers, boolean and string data, as well as float64; the latter being often the only fully-supported data type in alternative platforms. That makes the InfluxDB much more adaptable and means less engineering is required to get database instances up and running quickly.
InfluxDB Enterprise is a hardened version of the open-source core that includes additional closed-source features designed for production workloads, and is sold through an annual subscription based on the number of nodes needed. It runs on your infrastructure, on-premise, private cloud, public cloud, or edge. InfluxDB Enterprise includes a clustered version of the InfluxDB database and enables data to be shared across nodes. It provides the technical infrastructure to support service availability where having guaranteed access and reaction to your metrics and events is required. This is key to support uptime SLAs and situations where data loss is unacceptable.
Further options for a truly elastic, scalable provision exist in InfluxDB Cloud, available as-a-service. When workloads fluctuate, InfluxDB Cloud offers real-time observability at any scale. There’s no need to choose a permanent machine specification, or go through the pain of estimating usage. Furthermore, usage-based pricing ensures you only pay for what you use. There are pre-made templates that include the Telegraf configurations, dashboards, and alerts for the most common uses all ready to go, and there are even wizards to get the cloud service integrated fast.
For IT departments or specialist divisions such as data science, or information provisioning professionals, hitting SLAs on the basis of throughput-per-buck becomes a much simpler process, both in terms of planning for resource use, and also, over time, the ability to allocate available resources much more cost-effectively.
APIs are the “new normal”
As a modular platform, the InfluxData Platform is very much extensible, with everything in InfluxDB — ingest, query, storage and visualization — accessible in a unified API. This enables faster development time for developers because everything in the platform can now be programmatically accessed and controlled. In addition, with powerful client libraries in popular languages like Go, Java, PHP and Python, developers will be up and running in minutes.
The open nature of the platform means that, for example, pure open-source instances used internally can be deployed in parallel with production systems based on paid-for tiers. The InfluxData Platform creates a more cost-effective series of solutions than most, where hosted monitoring solution costs can be crippling and deployment models less configurable.
To learn more about how the InfluxData Platform can help you with a wide variety of needs, from locating misfiring network elements to real-time data capture and analytics, we suggest you investigate the capabilities of InfluxDB. With one company behind the platform, and paid-for support and clustering models, your third-party, proprietary, open-source and home-grown solutions will plug-and-play. That will help your bottom line with increased ROI on legacy platforms, and allow you to better allocate your limited resources and time.
10 September 2020