Amazon Announces AWS Timestream

First announced back in November 2018, this past September 30th,  2020 Amazon announced that AWS Timestream was generally available. AWS Timestream is a special-purpose database that’s designed to handle time-series data. According to Danilo Poccia Chief Evangelist (EMEA) at Amazon Web Services “Timestream is a fast, scalable, and serverless time series database service that makes it easy to collect, store, and process trillions of time series events per day up to 1,000 times faster and at as little as to 1/10th the cost of a relational database.”

Time series is a specialized data format that describes how things change over time. Some of the most common sources are IoT devices, programmable machinery, and IT infrastructure all of which can generate a considerable amount of data over time. With time-series data, each data point consists of a timestamp, one or more attributes, and events that change over time. This data is used to derive business or operational insights. Time series data can be generated from multiple sources in very high volumes which can make analyzing that data difficult. The time-series data typically needs to be collected in near real-time and it also requires large amounts of cost-effective storage.

AWS Timestream handles these requirements by keeping recent data in memory while older historical data is moved to cost-optimized storage. The data is retained in long term storage according to retention policies that you define. All data is automatically replicated across multiple availability zones in the same AWS region. In addition, data stored in memory is continuously backed up to Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3). AWS Timestream is capable of automatically scaling up or down to match demands without the need to change or tune the underlying infrastructure. For security, AWS Timestream always encrypts the data both at rest and in transit.

Amazon does not charge any upfront costs for using AWS Timestream. Instead, you just pay for the data you write, store, and query. You can get started with Amazon Timestream using the AWS management console or the command-line interface (CLI). You can find out more about AWS Timestream at Store and Access Time Series Data at Any Scale with Amazon Timestream – Now Generally Available.

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Michael Otey is president of TECA, a technical content production, consulting and software development company in Portland,