Mar 15–18, 2020

Building a distributed time series database on PostgreSQL

Michael Freedman (TimescaleDB | Princeton University)
2:35pm3:15pm Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Location: LL20A

Who is this presentation for?

Data engineers, data architects, developers




Time series data tends to accumulate very quickly, across DevOps, IoT, industrial and energy, finance, and other domains. To drive real-time decisions and data science, software developers often seek to wrangle this large volume of data into a variety of database systems.

Michael Freedman discusses the five objectives for scaling a database for time series workloads—total storage volume, insert rate, query concurrency, query latency, and fault-tolerant replication—and how these objectives have different needs.

You’ll take a technical dive into how TimescaleDB leveraged its chunk-based architecture to go from a primary-replica system on PostgreSQL to a scale-out distributed time series database that can scale to tens of millions of metrics per second, store petabytes of data, and process queries even faster via better parallelization. Michael describes how this architecture, compared to a traditional sharded system, enabled a much broader set of capabilities that you’ll want for time series workloads (e.g., both scale up and scale out, elasticity without data movement, partitioning flexibility, and age-based data retention, tiering, and reordering).

Prerequisite knowledge

  • General knowledge of databases and distributed systems

What you'll learn

  • Learn about scaling a database for time series workloads
Photo of Michael Freedman

Michael Freedman

TimescaleDB | Princeton University

Michael J. Freedman is the cofounder and CTO of TimescaleDB and a full professor of computer science at Princeton University. His work broadly focuses on distributed and storage systems, networking, and security, and his publications have more than 12,000 citations. He developed CoralCDN (a decentralized content distribution network serving millions of daily users) and helped design Ethane (which formed the basis for OpenFlow and software-defined networking). Previously, he cofounded Illuminics Systems (acquired by Quova, now part of Neustar) and served as a technical advisor to Blockstack. Michael’s honors include a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (given by President Obama), the SIGCOMM Test of Time Award, a Sloan Fellowship, an NSF CAREER award, the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator award, and support from the DARPA Computer Science Study Group. He earned his PhD at NYU and Stanford and his undergraduate and master’s degrees at MIT.

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