As time-series database provider InfluxData adds the last major piece in its multi-cloud strategy, adding Microsoft Azure, it has entered an OEM agreement to embed its data platform into PTC’s ThingWorx IoT platform. PTC has not announced when the embedded database will be formally available, but we expect it will be sometime during the remainder of this year.
Under the agreement with PTC, InfluxDB Cloud will be sold, delivered, and supported by PTC as part of its ThingWorx service. In turn, PTC has had a long relationship with Microsoft dating back to its days as a product lifecycle management (PLM)/CADCAM firm provider. And, while Microsoft Azure was already on InfluxData’s roadmap for its new cloud service (the service was already available on AWS and GCP), the PTC agreement hastened events.
Both companies are products of transition. InfluxData’s original sweet spot was with IT log data, a market that has been dominated by search-based analytics engines such as Splunk and Elasticsearch. But with the growth of IoT, most of its newer customers were looking to time series databases for use cases, especially in manufacturing operations. If the company had to embrace a second-generation serverless cloud-native architecture, the shift to IoT use cases provided a useful breakpoint as, arguably, most IoT data tends to live in the cloud anyway.
For its part, PTC pivoted about five years ago from the PLM market to Industrial IoT (IIoT) — in essence, shifting its audience from design to manufacturing engineers. ThingWorx is a framework for IoT services, including a modeling environment for defining digital “things;” a development studio for creating augmented reality experiences that can be used for interacting with IoT devices in the real world; a connectivity tier for linking, monitoring, and managing devices; and analytics for performing real-time pattern detection and automated predictive analytics. While also available on AWS, PTC designed Azure as the preferred cloud for ThingWorx. For ThingWorx, InfluxData provides the missing piece — a time-series database for persisting device data.
As noted, InfluxDB Cloud was originally designed as a cloud-neutral service based on a cloud-native architecture using microservices and running as a stateful application on Kubernetes. Initially released on AWS, the service went live on Google Cloud about three months ago as part of GCP’s open-source database program, which involves joint marketing and support of open source databases running on its platform. There was little question that InfluxDB Cloud would eventually come to Azure, but with the OEM deal with PTC, Azure support was going to come sooner rather than later.