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 StarRocks and TimescaleDB so you can quickly see how they compare against each other.

The primary purpose of this article is to compare how StarRocks and TimescaleDB 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.

StarRocks vs TimescaleDB Breakdown

Database Model

Data warehouse

Time Series Database


StarRocks can be deployed on-premises, in the cloud, or in a hybrid environment, depending on your infrastructure preferences and requirements.

TimescaleDB is built on top of PostgreSQL and inherits its architecture. It extends PostgreSQL with time-series-specific optimizations and functions, allowing it to manage time series data efficiently. It can be deployed as a single node, in a multi-node setup, or in the cloud as a managed service.


Apache 2.0

Timescale License (for TimescaleDB Community Edition); Apache 2.0 (for core PostgreSQL)

Use Cases

Business intelligence, analytics, real-time data processing, large-scale data storage

Monitoring, observability, IoT, real-time analytics, financial market data


Horizontally scalable, with support for distributed storage and query processing

Horizontally scalable through native support for partitioning, replication, and sharding. Offers multi-node capabilities for distributing data and queries across nodes.

StarRocks Overview

StarRocks is an open source high-performance analytical data warehouse that enables real-time, multi-dimensional, and highly concurrent data analysis. It features an MPP (Massively Parallel Processing) architecture and is equipped with a fully vectorized execution engine and a columnar storage engine that supports real-time updates.

TimescaleDB Overview

TimescaleDB is an open source time series database built on top of PostgreSQL. It was created to address the challenges of managing time series data, such as scalability, query performance, and data retention policies. TimescaleDB was first released in 2017 and has since become a popular choice for storing and analyzing time series data due to its PostgreSQL compatibility, performance optimizations, and flexible data retention policies.

StarRocks for Time Series Data

StarRocks is primarily focused on data warehousing workloads but can be used for time series data. StarRocks can be used for real time analytics and historical data analysis.

TimescaleDB for Time Series Data

TimescaleDB is specifically designed for time series data, making it a natural choice for storing and querying such data. It provides several advantages for time series data management like horizontal scalability, columnar storage, and retention policy support. However, TimescaleDB may not be the best choice for all time series use cases. One example would be if an application requires very high write throughput or real-time analytics, other specialized time series databases like InfluxDB may be more suitable.

StarRocks Key Concepts

  • MPP Architecture: StarRocks utilizes an MPP architecture, which enables parallel processing and distributed execution of queries, allowing for high-performance and scalability.
  • Vectorized Execution Engine: StarRocks employs a fully vectorized execution engine that leverages SIMD (Single Instruction, Multiple Data) instructions to process data in batches, resulting in optimized query performance.
  • Columnar Storage Engine: The columnar storage engine in StarRocks organizes data by column, which improves query performance by only accessing the necessary columns during query execution.
  • Cost-Based Optimizer (CBO): StarRocks includes a fully-customized cost-based optimizer that evaluates different query execution plans and selects the most efficient plan based on estimated costs.
  • Materialized View: StarRocks supports intelligent materialized views, which are precomputed summaries of data that accelerate query performance by providing faster access to aggregated data.

TimescaleDB Key Concepts

  • Hypertable: A hypertable is a distributed table that is partitioned by time and possibly other dimensions, such as device ID or location. It is the primary abstraction for storing time series data in TimescaleDB and is designed to scale horizontally across multiple nodes.
  • Chunk: A chunk is a partition of a hypertable, containing a subset of the hypertable’s data. Chunks are created automatically by TimescaleDB based on a specified time interval and can be individually compressed, indexed, and backed up for better performance and data management.
  • Distributed Hypertables: For large-scale deployments, TimescaleDB supports distributed hypertables, which partition data across multiple nodes for improved query performance and fault tolerance.

StarRocks Architecture

StarRock’s architecture includes a fully vectorized execution engine and a columnar storage engine for efficient data processing and storage. It also incorporates features like a cost-based optimizer and materialized views for optimized query performance. StarRocks supports real-time and batch data ingestion from a variety of sources and enables direct analysis of data stored in data lakes without data migration

TimescaleDB Architecture

TimescaleDB is an extension built on PostgreSQL, inheriting its relational data model and SQL support. However, TimescaleDB extends PostgreSQL with custom data structures and optimizations for time series data, such as hypertables and chunks.

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StarRocks Features

Multi-Dimensional Analysis

StarRocks supports multi-dimensional analysis, enabling users to explore data from different dimensions and perspectives.

High Concurrency

StarRocks is designed to handle high levels of concurrency, allowing multiple users to execute queries simultaneously.

Materialized View

StarRocks supports materialized views, which provide precomputed summaries of data for faster query performance.

TimescaleDB Features


TimescaleDB automatically partitions time series data tables using hypertables and chunks, which simplifies data management and improves query performance.

Time series focused SQL functions

TimescaleDB provides several specialized SQL functions and operators for time series data application scenarios, such as time_bucket, first, and last, which simplify querying and aggregating time series data.

Query optimization

As mentioned earlier, TimescaleDB extends PostgreSQL’s query planner for writing and querying time series data, including optimizations like time-based indexing and chunk pruning.

StarRocks Use Cases

Real-Time Analytics

StarRocks is well-suited for real-time analytics scenarios, where users need to analyze data as it arrives, enabling them to make timely and data-driven decisions.

Ad-Hoc Queries

With its high-performance and highly concurrent data analysis capabilities, StarRocks is ideal for ad-hoc querying, allowing users to explore and analyze data interactively.

Data Lake Analytics

StarRocks supports analyzing data directly from data lakes without the need for data migration. This makes it a valuable tool for organizations leveraging data lakes for storage and analysis.

TimescaleDB Use Cases

Monitoring and metrics

TimescaleDB is well-suited for storing and analyzing monitoring and metrics data, such as server performance metrics, application logs, and sensor data. Its hypertable structure and query optimizations make it easy to store, query, and visualize large volumes of time series data.

IoT data storage

TimescaleDB can be used to store and analyze IoT data, such as sensor readings and device status information. Its support for automatic partitioning and specialized SQL interfaces simplifies the management and querying of large-scale IoT datasets.

Financial data

TimescaleDB is suitable for storing and analyzing financial data, such as stock prices, exchange rates, and trading volumes. Its query optimizations and specialized SQL functions make it easy to perform time-based aggregations and analyze trends in financial data.

StarRocks Pricing Model

StarRocks can be deployed on your own hardware using the open source project. There are also a number of commercial vendors offering managed services to run StarRocks in the cloud.

TimescaleDB Pricing Model

TimescaleDB is available in two editions: TimescaleDB Open Source and TimescaleDB Cloud. The open-source edition is free to use and can be self-hosted, while the cloud edition is a managed service with a pay-as-you-go pricing model based on storage, compute, and data transfer usage. TimescaleDB Cloud offers various pricing tiers with different levels of resources and features, such as continuous backups and high availability.

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