TimescaleDB overview

TimescaleDB is an open-source relational database for time-series data. It speaks "full SQL" and is correspondingly easy to use like a traditional relational database, yet scales in ways previously reserved for NoSQL databases.

Compared to the trade-offs demanded by these two alternatives (relational vs. NoSQL), TimescaleDB offers the best of both worlds for time-series data:

Easy to use

  • Full SQL interface for all SQL natively supported by PostgreSQL (including secondary indexes, non-time based aggregates, sub-queries, JOINs, window functions).
  • Connects to any client or tool that speaks PostgreSQL, no changes needed.
  • Time-oriented features, API functions, and optimizations.
  • Robust support for Data retention policies.


  • Transparent time/space partitioning for both scaling up (single node) and scaling out (forthcoming).
  • High data write rates (including batched commits, in-memory indexes, transactional support, support for data backfill).
  • Right-sized chunks (two-dimensional data partitions) on single nodes to ensure fast ingest even at large data sizes.
  • Parallelized operations across chunks and servers.


  • Engineered up from PostgreSQL, packaged as an extension.
  • Proven foundations benefiting from 20+ years of PostgreSQL research (including streaming replication, backups).
  • Flexible management options (compatible with existing PostgreSQL ecosystem and tooling).

The rest of this section describes the design and motivation around the TimescaleDB architecture, including why time-series data is different, and how we leverage its characteristics when building TimescaleDB.

Download the guide

If you want a quick visual intro to TimescaleDB, click on the image below to download the starter guide.

starter guide

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