Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) is changing the face of the utility industry and helping make the planet greener. There is an old saying, "Information is power!", the AMI version of this is "Information saves power!". The technical problem is processing this volume of information at a low total cost of ownership to the utilities. Utilities are often subject to intense government regulations limiting expenditures. How big is this volume? The expected data volume is described as petabytes (1000 terabytes).

I came across this old case study recently and it deserves a revisit. The study was done on Itron's Enterprise Edition Meter Data Management (MDM) Version 5.3 using SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008.

The load going through SQL Server could be described several ways, including:

  • Importing 35,000 intervals per second and higher on an ongoing basis
    • Or greater than 3,024,000,000 readings/record inserts per day.
  • Depending on meter data rates, this would support
    • 9 million meters with hourly reporting
    • 4.5 million meters with half-hourly reporting

Julie Hance, Itron's VP, described the results thus:

"In all cases, Microsoft and Itron were able to verify that Itron's MDM solution met and exceeded all the required performance and scalability demands for data import... establishing that its architecture will flexibly scale to meet the future, growing needs of customers"

For more information, see the solution sheet or the results report.

BREAKING NEWS: A new benchmark report on MDM Version 7 running on SQL Server 2008R2 will be released in a few weeks -- stay tune!