Choosing the right database is a critical choice when building any software application. All databases have different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to performance, so deciding which database has the most benefits and the most minor downsides for your specific use case and data model is an important decision. Below you will find an overview of the key concepts, architecture, features, use cases, and pricing models of M3 and VictoriaMetrics so you can quickly see how they compare against each other.
The primary purpose of this article is to compare how M3 and VictoriaMetrics perform for workloads involving time series data, not for all possible use cases. Time series data typically presents a unique challenge in terms of database performance. This is due to the high volume of data being written and the query patterns to access that data. This article doesn’t intend to make the case for which database is better; it simply provides an overview of each database so you can make an informed decision.
M3 vs VictoriaMetrics Breakdown
Time series database
Time series database
The M3 stack can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud, using containerization technologies like Kubernetes or as a managed service on platforms like AWS or GCP
VictoriaMetrics can be deployed as a single-node instance for small-scale applications or as a clustered setup for large-scale applications, offering horizontal scalability and replication.
Monitoring, observability, IoT, Real-time analytics, large-scale metrics processing
Monitoring, observability, IoT, real-time analytics, DevOps, application performance monitoring
Horizontally scalable, designed for high availability and large-scale deployments
Horizontally scalable, supports clustering and replication for high availability and performance
M3 is a distributed time series database written entirely in Go. It is designed to collect a high volume of monitoring time series data, distribute storage in a horizontally scalable manner, and efficiently leverage hardware resources. M3 was initially developed by Uber as a scalable remote storage backend for Prometheus and Graphite and later open-sourced for broader use.
VictoriaMetrics is an open source time series database developed by the company VictoriaMetrics. The database aims to assist individuals and organizations in addressing their big data challenges by providing state-of-the-art monitoring and observability solutions. VictoriaMetrics is designed to be a fast, cost-effective, and scalable monitoring solution and time series database.
M3 for Time Series Data
M3 is specifically designed for time-series data. It is a distributed and scalable time-series database optimized for handling large volumes of high-resolution data points, making it an ideal solution for storing, querying, and analyzing time-series data.
M3’s architecture focuses on providing fast and efficient querying capabilities, as well as high ingestion rates, which are essential for working with time-series data. Its horizontal scalability and high availability ensure that it can handle the demands of large-scale deployments and maintain performance as data volumes grow.
VictoriaMetrics for Time Series Data
VictoriaMetrics is designed for time series data, making it a solid choice for applications that involve the storage and analysis of time-stamped data. It provides high-performance storage and retrieval capabilities, enabling efficient handling of large volumes of time series data.
M3 Key Concepts
- Time Series Compression: M3 has the ability to compress time series data, resulting in significant memory and disk savings. It uses two compression algorithms, M3TSZ and protobuf encoding, to achieve efficient data compression.
- Sharding: M3 uses virtual shards that are assigned to physical nodes. Timeseries keys are hashed to a fixed set of virtual shards, making horizontal scaling and node management seamless.
- Consistency Levels: M3 provides variable consistency levels for read and write operations, as well as cluster connection operations. Write consistency levels include One (success of a single node), Majority (success of the majority of nodes), and All (success of all nodes). Read consistency level is One, which corresponds to reading from a single nod
VictoriaMetrics Key Concepts
- Time Series: VictoriaMetrics stores data in the form of time series, which are sequences of data points indexed by time.
- Metric: A metric represents a specific measurement or observation that is tracked over time.
- Tag: Tags are key-value pairs associated with a time series and are used for filtering and grouping data.
- Field: Fields contain the actual data values associated with a time series.
- Query Language: VictoriaMetrics supports its own query language, which allows users to retrieve and analyze time series data based on specific criteria.
M3 is designed to be horizontally scalable and handle high data throughput. It uses fileset files as the primary unit of long-term storage, storing compressed streams of time series values. These files are flushed to disk after a block time window becomes unreachable. M3 has a commit log, equivalent to the commit log or write-ahead-log in other databases, which ensures data integrity. Client Peer streaming is responsible for fetching blocks from peers for bootstrapping purposes. M3 also implements caching policies to optimize efficient reads by determining which flushed blocks are kept in memory.
VictoriaMetrics is available in two forms: Single-server-VictoriaMetrics and VictoriaMetrics Cluster. The Single-server-VictoriaMetrics is an all-in-one binary that is easy to use and maintain. It vertically scales well and can handle millions of metrics per second. On the other hand, VictoriaMetrics Cluster consists of components that allow for building horizontally scalable clusters, enabling high availability and scalability in demanding environments. The architecture of VictoriaMetrics enables users to choose the deployment option that best suits their needs and scale their database infrastructure as required.
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M3 uses a commit log to ensure data integrity, providing durability for write operations.
M3’s client peer streaming fetches data blocks from peers for bootstrapping purposes, optimizing data retrieval and distribution.
M3 implements various caching policies to efficiently manage memory usage, keeping frequently accessed data blocks in memory for faster reads.
VictoriaMetrics is optimized for high-performance storage and retrieval of time series data. It can efficiently handle millions of metrics per second and offers fast query execution for real-time analysis.
The architecture of VictoriaMetrics allows for both vertical and horizontal scalability, enabling users to scale their monitoring and time series database infrastructure as their data volume and demand grow.
VictoriaMetrics provides a cost-effective solution for managing time series data. Its efficient storage and query capabilities contribute to minimizing operational costs while maintaining high performance.
M3 Use Cases
Monitoring and Observability
M3 is particularly suitable for large-scale monitoring and observability tasks, as it can store and manage massive volumes of time-series data generated by infrastructure, applications, and microservices. Organizations can use M3 to analyze, visualize, and detect anomalies in the metrics collected from various sources, enabling them to identify potential issues and optimize their systems.
IoT and Sensor Data
M3 can be used to store and process the vast amounts of time-series data generated by IoT devices and sensors. By handling data from millions of devices and sensors, M3 can provide organizations with valuable insights into the performance, usage patterns, and potential issues of their connected devices. This information can be used for optimization, predictive maintenance, and improving the overall efficiency of IoT systems.
Financial Data Analysis
Financial organizations can use M3 to store and analyze time-series data related to stocks, bonds, commodities, and other financial instruments. By providing fast and efficient querying capabilities, M3 can help analysts and traders make more informed decisions based on historical trends, current market conditions, and potential future developments.
VictoriaMetrics Use Cases
Monitoring and Observability
VictoriaMetrics is widely used for monitoring and observability purposes, allowing organizations to collect, store, and analyze metrics and performance data from various systems and applications. It provides the necessary tools and capabilities to track and visualize key performance indicators, troubleshoot issues, and gain insights into system behavior.
IoT Data Management
VictoriaMetrics is suitable for handling large volumes of time series data generated by IoT devices. It can efficiently store and process sensor data, enabling real-time monitoring and analysis of IoT ecosystems. VictoriaMetrics allows for tracking and analyzing data from factories, manufacturing plants, satellites, and other IoT devices.
VictoriaMetrics enables retrospective analysis and forecasting of metrics for capacity planning purposes. It allows organizations to analyze historical data, identify patterns and trends, and make informed decisions about resource allocation and future capacity requirements.
M3 Pricing Model
M3 is an open source database and can be used freely, although you will have to account for the cost of managing your infrastructure and the hardware used to run M3. Chronosphere is the co-maintainer of M3 along with Uber and also offers a hosted observability that uses M3 as the backend storage layer.
VictoriaMetrics Pricing Model
VictoriaMetrics is an open source project, which means it is available for free usage and doesn’t require any licensing fees. Users can download the binary releases, Docker images, or source code to set up and deploy VictoriaMetrics without incurring any direct costs. VictoriaMetrics also has paid offerings for on-prem Enterprise products and managed VictoriaMetrics instances.
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