Sink or Swim with Smart Meter Data Management

As a provider of solutions for energy and utilities companies across Europe, AMT-SYBEX is constantly looking to develop new products and services that help our customers meet the challenges of an ever-changing industry. When the UK government announced that the introduction of smart metering technologies to all homes would be a top priority, we immediately recognised that the proposed rollout presented both a challenge and an opportunity that would soon be repeated in other global energy markets.

The Challenge
To meet the demands of smart metering for global energy and utilities companies, we identified an opportunity to extend our existing Affinity Marketflow Solution (formerly DTS) to load, validate, store and provide smart meter interval and event data to external systems. The challenge was to build a platform that could process the potentially enormous data volumes quickly enough, without requiring enormous investments in new hardware.

The Solution

Working with IBM®, the benchmark was performed at the IBM Power Systems Benchmark Center in Montpellier, France, on a single IBM POWER7 System, utilising 16 cores.

IBM® and AMT-SYBEX testing has demonstrated the capability of the Affinity Meterflow application using IBM® Informix® TimeSeries software to offer linear scalability up to 100 million meters to load and process meter data at 30-minute intervals in less than 8 hours. We believe that this represents ground breaking levels of performance which is ten times faster than other published benchmarks in this area.

Summary of the Benchmark

  • Daily end-to-end processing times remained constant for 100M meters over a 31 day period, irrespective of the amount of data stored
  • Total storage required for 1 month of interval and register data for 100M meters (all half-hourly) was less than 4 terabytes
  • Average throughput exceeded 420,000 records/second in meter data load using standard storage disks
  • End to end processing for 10 million meter points in less than 36 minutes
  • Full UK compliant validation and estimation logic applied at speeds in excess of 700,000 records / second
Oracle and AMT-SYBEX worked together to carry out performance tests for Affinity Meterflow on an Oracle Exadata Database Machine.

From the tests carried out we believe that the Oracle Exadata platform offers a technical platform that can support the AMT-SYBEX Meterflow application to enable the highest levels of performance with respect to loading, querying and aggregation of data—in each area of the tests carried out we believe that the results indicate best in class performance that would meet and exceed the needs of even the most large scale Energy company’s business requirements.

Summary of the benchmark

  • Meterflow on the Oracle Exadata platform could manage portfolio of smart meter data of up to 10m customers served—and be scalable to meet increased future demand
  • The data load capability could facilitate the upload of 2 days’ worth of half hourly meter reads, across 10 million meter points within 4 hours
  • Across a significant meter portfolio, demonstrate sub three second response times for Meterflow queries by business users
  • Meterflow on Oracle Exadata could maintain satisfactory query response performance across 10 million meter points within an “off the shelf” hardware solution


Research and Discussion Papers


IBM Executive Summary

Summary of the Benchmark
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Sink or Swim with Smart Meter Data Management

AMT-SYBEX Whitepaper
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IBM Informix Benchmark Whitepaper

IBM® Informix® Benchmark Whitepaper
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