Data Historian Pricing Comparison for OSIsoft Pi, Ignition, and Canary

Data historians are key to an organization understanding their process, but some clients are worried about purchasing data historians due to cost.  This guide will price popular historian options like OSIsoft Pi, Canary, and Ignition by Inductive Automation.  Decide which data historian price is the best value.

Data historians are key to an organization understanding their process, but some clients are worried about purchasing data historians due to cost.  This guide will price popular historian options like OSIsoft Pi, Canary, and Ignition by Inductive Automation.  Decide which data historian price is the best value.

Canary, Ignition, and OSIsoft Pi Pricing


If you are in the market for a data historian, process historian, or enterprise historian, you really need to understand pricing.  After all, if the solution isn't cost effective, will you ever get the capex approval?  No one wants to be responsible for overspending on the budget, especially when every company is doing it's absolute best to trim spending.  Price is important and is a huge part of ROI.  The less you spend and the faster you implement, the better chance you have of a fast ROI.  Let's examine, as best we can, the pricing of three very popular historical database options.


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Price for the Canary System.

This will be easy.  Canary believes in transparent pricing.  In fact you can view and build your own Canary System with the online calculator, no email address required.  


Canary integrates and bundles the following components as part of it's standard Canary System offering for $4,000:

  • OPC, MQTT, SQL, CSV, and SCADA data collection software
  • Canary Historian w/ 100 tag license
  • Virtual Views for Asset Modeling
  • Calculation Server and Event Monitoring
  • Axiom client tool (1) for dashboard visualization and trending
  • Excel Add-in client tool (1)
  • Web API, OPC HDA, MQTT Pub, other SCADA and software connectors
  • One Year Support and Maintenance with remote training

You choose the additional tags you would like to license at $1.50 per tag, or convert the Canary Historian to an Unlimited tag license for $60,000 (roughly a 40,000 tag break-point).

Finally, pick the number of concurrent clients for Axiom or the Excel Add-in, each at $995 and $395 respectfully.

If you want to make SQL-like queries against the Canary Historian, you could opt for the ODBC Connector for $1,995.

Support and maintenance is 15% of licensed product costs, but is included complimentary for the first year when you are most likely to need it.  After the first year you have the option to renew.  


Price for Ignition by Inductive Automation.

The Ignition Historian is offered as a module for the Ignition SCADA solution.  Integrators and end users alike love the Ignition Platform because it is very flexible, scalable, and offers unlimited tags and clients for an incredible price point (I've been to their ICC usergroup for the past three years, believe me, THEY REALLY LOVE IGNITION).

The Ignition Tag Historian Module may be added onto the Ignition SCADA platform for only $2,000.  The module provides integration between the Ignition tags and the historical database of your choice.  A lot of Ignition projects will take advantage of an SQL database for historical records as it lends itself to further integration with other Ignition components.  

SQL has lots of benefits but will require additional database management as a long-term historical solution with high speed performance. 

Canary has developed a module that can be used in conjunction with the Ignition Tag Historian Module that will function as a native Tag History Provider for an Ignition project.  The module is free and has no licensing restrictions.


Jimmy Hood with DEPCOM Power uses a joint Ignition and Canary solution. 

He feels,  “Ignition is a big improvement in SCADA integration. Other platforms can run you up in costs and headaches in a hurry. Ignition is very user-friendly, and easy to integrate with every data type, connection, and platform.”

Ignition is known globally and has been very disruptive to the SCADA world.  Very positive feedback continues to come from the community, and this platform should definitely be considered for solving your IIoT problems.  Like Canary, Ignition works closely with MQTT and Sparkplug to provide for open and vendor agnostic IIoT solutions.


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Pricing for OSIsoft Pi

OSIsoft Pi has a large market presence and his been highly regarded as a strong solution.  They, like Canary, have built their solution around a proprietary NoSQL database.  Pi does not actively publish pricing on the OSIsoft Pi website, but encourages you to contact a Pi Sales Representative for a custom quote.  

Although public pricing is not available, previously purchased Pi systems are often made public by utilities.  One such utility in Michigan can give a glimpse into the pricing strategy.  (Note, we cannot verify the legitimacy of this quote and acknowledge that their could be variables that we are not aware of built into the pricing).


As it appears, the $162,000 Pi solution itemizes tags and clients and also charges for data collection options, as well as the Pi System Access (PSA) license which allows you to read Pi data with non-Pi clients using JDBC, OPC HDA, or Web API.


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Pricing Comparison Between Canary, Pi, and Ignition

This is where you will see the most drastic difference between these three solutions.  For comparisons sake, we will use the 10,000 tag system from the City of Holland quote above.  Equally equipped and with nearly perfect functionality coverage, the Canary solution has a total cost of $33,355. That means the same type of solution would costs nearly 6x more than the Canary offering.

Here is the system as seen on the Canary pricing calculator.

Canary vs OSIsoft Pi Pricing


You can purchase an entire Ignition SCADA solution for $20,850 with unlimited tags and clients, as well as the Tag Historian Module.  You will then need to choose what type of database to use, SQL or NoSQL.  Combined, the Canary and Ignition solution would total only $54,205 giving you the ability to not only log historical data but also control your entire operation.  This solution when compared to the Pi pricing in the proposal referenced  above is roughly one-third the cost.


Does Paying Less Cost You?

You might be surprised to learn that paying less for the Canary solution doesn't mean you get less value.  In fact, Canary has class leading loss-less data compression and can handle more than 2 million tags on a single server. 


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