Operational Historian

Every day the data set generated from existing grid assets grows exponentially. As more assets, systems, and automated devices are brought online this growth rate compounds. Increasingly, the power generation, transmission, and distribution industry are employing operational historian databases to meet their data storage, archival, and retrieval demands.

An operational historian is a database purpose-built to store, archive and retrieve time-series data for production environments. The knowledge of how the data will be generated and used informs historian design to gain efficiency and decrease computing overhead. Typically, a single sample contains 3 data points: a value, a timestamp, and a sample quality value. This time-series data differs from relational database data as historians are not transactional and do not have to update several tables with every entry.

Operational Historian Application in the Utilities Industry

Operational historians’ purpose-built design makes them excellent solutions for the data storage, archival, and retrieval demands of the power generation, transmission, and distribution industry. The time-series data generated by assets, systems, and devices connected to the grid concisely fit into the historian schema. Historians feature downsampling; keeping high precision raw data for a limited time and archiving lower precision data with compression algorithms. Data retention policies automate the downsampling process. These features combined allow historians to handle millions of data points per second and to reduce the maintenance requirements of active participation by database administrators.

 Operational Historian - purpose-built for time-series data

Operational Historian Features

  • Purpose built to store, archive, and retrieve time-series data
  • Downsampling
  • Data retention policies to automate the downsampling process
  • Compression algorithms for archiving

Collect and Archive Real-Time Data from Any Data Source

Further complicating the data landscape, power generation, transmission, and distribution companies collect data from an expanding set of assets and systems. Increasingly companies architect OT middleware layers to meet the demands of collecting data from diverse assets, devices, SCADA systems and other systems.  An example of this is illustrated below with the LiveData RTI Server architected as an Operational Technology Message Bus (OTMB). This solution provides the ability to integrate to virtually any historian or time-series database such as OSIsoft Pi, Wonderware, InfluxDB, and more. With RTI Server, you can collect or provide real-time data to or from virtually any utility device or system (ex. SCADA, ADMS, DERMS) using a wide array of protocols, including ICCP, Modbus, DNP3, OPC, REST, and many more. This allows you to collect and efficiently archive accurate time-series data with compression algorithms, which enables consistent recreation of the archived data.

 LiveData Utilities Operational Technology Message Bus

Retrieve Time-Series Data

The second part of the data challenge is to retrieve and manage constantly growing databases. RTI Server offers the ability to retrieve historical, time-series data and manages the complexity of this task. RTI Server enables data point specification, data retention policies, and provides time resolution policies managed directly from RTI batch files. In addition, today’s savvy utilities leverage production data throughout their enterprises. By architecting RTI Server as an OTMB middleware solution, bi-directional communication can be established among distributed assets, business systems and control systems both on-premise and in the cloud.   

To learn about LiveData Utilities RTI Connect for InfluxDB, an out-of-the-box historian solution, click here.

To request a consultation to learn how LiveData Utilities can help your organization click here  

LiveData® is a registered trademark of LiveData, Inc.  LiveData Utilities, RTI Connect, RTI Platform, RTI GAM, RTI Platform Generation Asset Manager, RTI OT Message Bus, RTI Server are trademarks of LiveData, Inc.  InfluxDB® is registered by InfluxData, which is not affiliated with LiveData Utilities, and does not endorse RTI Connect.   All other marks are the property of their respective owners and are used for identification purposes only.


Solution Available


LiveData Utilities RTI Stream for InfluxDB is an out-of-the-box, open-source historian solution. It is tightly integrated to our RTI Platform for high performance and ease of management.


LiveData Utilities RTI Stream for InfluxDB

Click here to learn how RTI Stream for InfluxDB can serve your organization today.