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Azure Time Series Insights: Data Exploration & Visual Anomaly Detection

Posted by Errin O'Connor on Dec, 17, 2021 10:12

Due to the large-scale digitization of businesses across the globe, organizations are building their business infrastructure based on cloud resources.  Currently, Microsoft Azure is one of the most popular cloud solution providers in the market. As companies are increasingly choosing the cloud, the traditional technologies are being transformed into cloud-based products.

This in turn accelerates the process of their adoption by organizations.  In addition to this, the user organization receives an opportunity to reduce costs while narrowing the focus on issues affecting the business rather than tackling infrastructure costs. Azure Time Series Insights is one of the many beneficial cloud services developed by Microsoft.

Explanation of Azure Time Series Insights Pricing & Features: The perspective of organizational usage

Azure Time Series Insights Pricing

The Azure Time Series Insights is one of the more popular Azure services that make the scalable cloud available to user organizations. In addition to this, the service also provides turnkey experience while performing advanced analytics and cold path analytics.

Azure Time Series Insights Pricing structure:

The features of the Time Series Insight by Azure are classified into two distinct products which can be categorized as follows:-

  • Azure Time Series Insights Gen1 and
  • Azure Time Series Insights Gen2

Certain user organizations that had opted for the Azure Time Series Insights Gen1 continue to use it with the old pricing model. The old pricing model can be explained in the following manner:-

 S1S2
Storage per unit30 GB or 30 million events300 GB or 300 million events
Daily ingress per unit1 GB or 1million events10 GB or 10 million events
Maximum retention13months13 months
QueriesUnlimitedUnlimited
Maximum number of units1010
Price (per unit/month)$150.000$1,350.000

Certain points that are crucial concerning the old pricing model include the following:-

  • Ingress and total storage are measured based on the number of events or data size, whichever comes first and is usually measured per minute.
  • Retention is configurable in the Azure Portal. This longest permitted retention period is described as a rolling year of 12 months + 1month or 400 days.
  • The data is retained in the Time Series Insights based on the selected retention days.
how Azure Time Series Insights works

On the other hand, several companies have opted for the Azure Time Series Insights Gen2 which is used to visualize IoT data in real-time. The service is best described as an end-to-end IoT analytics service that provides the best-in-class user experience and rich APIs that help in gaining actionable insights from the acquired data. In addition to this, the service has powerful capabilities that can be integrated into the existing workflows of the user company due to the presence of its operational intelligence.

The Azure Time Series Insights Gen2 is also designed for performing ad-hoc analytics reporting capabilities which allow the user organizations to discover hidden trends in the market spot the anomalies and perform root-cause analysis. Thus in simple words, it can be said that the service is an open and flexible offering that meets the varied needs of industrial IoT deployments.

The pricing structure of the Azure TSI Gen 2 can be enumerated in the following manner:-

 Price
Data processing Unit$36.208 per unit per month(each unit allows customers to process up to 100 GB/month)
Additional Data Processed$0.246 per GB
Meta Data Storage$0.050 per MB
 Warm Data Analysis (used to analyze data on an ad-hoc basis)Cold Data Analysis (used to analyze optimized data in a time series model)
Storage$3.69/GB/monthBlob pricing
QueriesNo charge (limited to 30 concurrent queries)$0.013 per GB scanned

Cold data is stored in the Azure storage account of the customer which can be configured while setting up the Time Series Insights. Customers will later see additional Blob charges for data reads and writes that the Time Series Insights service will be performing over the stored data in the customer-owned Azure storage account.

Beneficial aspects of the features included in the Azure Time Series Insights Pricing structure:

The benefits that are obtained by using Azure Time Series Insights can be enumerated in the following manner:-

  • Collection of data: The assets of a certain user company namely sensors, equipment and building are consistently streaming new forms of data. This data can be easily ingested into the Time Series Insights with native integrations into the Azure IoT Hub and the Azure Events Hub. This enables the company to use the service as a platform when the IoT ingestible data volume increases.
  • Storing the data: With the increase in the IoT engagement of the user company, the amount of data required to be stored also increases. Multilayered storage allows the storage of data across the two kinds of storage systems namely, warm storage and cold storage. In addition to this, the service also enables instant access to streaming and historical IoT data.
  • Modelling of the data: Data without a proper context depicts only a portion of the entire picture. The use of the time series model allows the user organization to organize the sensors based on hierarchies and make the process of finding and exploring IoT data much simpler. The computation engine helps in creating complex calculations that help in performing interactive analytics. Along with this, the service is also capable of performing predictive analytics in the form of identification of unique trends and uncovering anomalies.

Essential aspects of Azure Time Series Insight:

Time Series Insight Model

The essential aspects of Azure Time Series Insights can be stated in the following manner:-

  • The service enables the user organization to be IoT ready which implies the instant ingestion of data that can be completed with minimal to no data preparation.
  • The performance of Warm and cold analytics is another essential aspect of the service that makes ad-hoc interactive analysis with historical operational analysis possible.
  • Powerful data visualization of asset-based IoT data for context-based exploration is one of the unique features of the Azure Time Series Insights.
  • The service is also capable of contextualization of data based on the user company’s IoT model.

Impact of Azure Time Series Insights on exploring Data on an ad-hoc basis:

Ad hoc data exploration and operational analysis are some of some more unique features of the Time Series Insights by Azure. As far as ad hoc data exploration is concerned, the service is capable of exploring and analyzing billions of events which helps in discovering the anomalies and hidden trends from the acquired data of the user company. The Gen2 version of the service provides near the real-time performance of the user company’s IoT and develops analysis workloads.

In addition to this, the service is also capable of analyzing the operational efficiency of the equipment in the user company. This implies that the health, usage, and performance of the organization’s equipment working at scale can be analyzed by the service without sacrificing the ingestion and event query performance.

Query

Use case scenarios for Time Series Insights by Azure:

The use case scenarios of Time Series Insights can be categorized as follows:-

  • Ad hoc data exploration and the process of detecting anomalies is one of the important functions of the service.
  • In addition to this, the capacity of operational analysis and the process of driving efficiency is some of the other functions of the service.
  • Finally, the service helps in the performance of advanced analytics which in turn accelerates the process of performing hybrid cloud workloads.

Security aspects of Azure TSI:

The Azure Time Series Insights is a product of Microsoft Azure which itself guarantees extensive security measures that ensure security to the data of the user organization. In addition to this, the security aspects of the service can be enumerated in the following manner:-

  • Microsoft Azure invests about USD 1billion every year in the research development of cybersecurity within the organization.
  • Approximately 3,500 security experts stay dedicated to ensuring the data security and privacy of their customers.
  • Azure by Microsoft has more security certifications than other cloud providers in the market.

Azure Consultation by EPC Group: An Azure TSI perspective

The EPC Group is currently one of the most popular Azure consulting partners in the market. Being a gold-certified partner of Microsoft, the company has the potential of customizing the training programs according to the needs of the user company. In addition to this, the company employs a group of skilled experts that help their clients to scale the cloud with guidance.

The experts provide company-specific training programs along with round-the-clock customer support which helps the clients to perform hybrid cloud workloads with ease. Conclusion: In conclusion, it can be understood that the Azure Time Series Insights is a cloud service that is capable of generating data that is time-based.

Along with this, the data can be generated across a range of systems that vary from websites, users, devices using IoT solutions, and others. The organizations utilizing the features within the Azure Time Series Insights Pricing module can utilize the data acquired from such devices in implementing several use cases when necessary. In addition to this, the user company also has the opportunity of aggregating the fast-moving data acquired from multiple data sources and converting them into visuals that are reflected on a web application or a dashboard.

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