Compare CrateDB

Find out how CrateDB compares to other databases in terms of characteristics, performance, and pricing

TimescaleDB is a time-series database built as a PostgreSQL extension. It improves the functionality of PostgreSQL for time-series workloads, but it is not designed to handle IoT use cases with high data variety and a need for efficient, simple scalability.


TimescaleDB doesn't overcome PostgreSQL's insufficiency for IoT use cases needing horizontal scalability, since it was conceived as a single-node database.

In contrast to TimescaleDB, CrateDB was built to scale. Distribution is at the core of CrateDB's architecture: it was designed as a distributed database, with unlimited horizontal scalability.

TimescaleDB CrateDB
Cluster type None (single-node)* Shared-nothing
Scalability Limited Full horizontal scalability
Data replication Yes At table level
Open-source Apache 2.0 Apache 2.0
Access language ANSI SQL ANSI SQL
Schemas Static Dynamic
Columnar indexing Yes Yes
Aggregation queries Yes Yes
JOINs Yes Full
Full-text search No Yes (Lucene powered)

* a multi-node version of Timescale is available on its beta version.

Developer productivity

Since scalability is at the core of CrateDB, to scale it is as easy as can be, especially when operated in the cloud. Data replication and cluster rebalancing are automatic.

And with CrateDB you'll only need to manage one database. It performs aggregations, JOINs, sub-selects, and ad-hoc queries at in-memory speed. It also includes Lucene-powered full-text search.

TimescaleDB supports JSON columns, but their performance is not optimal, and indices must be manually configured in order to get a good response. With CrateDB, indexing is automatic.


What about the price?

Although the monthly price of both CrateDB and TimescaleDB are similar, TimescaleDB needs two times more storage than CrateDB. This implies that for a use case with more than 2 TB of stored data, TimescaleDB would cost twice as much as CrateDB.

To illustrate this point, we simulated an industrial IoT workload, running it with CrateDB and TimescaleDB. For the same budget, CrateDB was able to store one year worth of data, while TimescaleDB could only store the equivalent of the data generated in one month.

CrateDB vs. TimescaleDB: Price comparison
CrateDB vs. TimescaleDB: Required Storage
CrateDB vs. TimescaleDB: Resources offered per month in comparison

CrateDB vs TimescaleDB

  • TimescaleDB is not an optimal choice for IoT applications in need of horizontal scalability and involving high data variety, due to its single-node character and its exclusive dedication to time series.
  • For IoT workloads involving huge data volumes, high concurrency, and real-time response, CrateDB is the best fit. Its excellent indexing structure assures the handling of time series data with efficiency, while at the same time its distributed nature allows for simple scalability and optimal performance.
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