I have to handle data from long term (years, decades) climate monitoring stations. The data flow usually starts with raw data (voltages, etc.) plus quality check information (pressure, temperature, flow rate, etc.) generally recorded @ 1Hz. Then, the data are assigned a quality flag (human and/or program), processed (apply calibration curves) and flagged.
So, we basically end up with 2 datasets : raw and processed data. New data are typically added once a day (~500Ko/day/instrument). Simultaneous queries are not likely to ever happen.
I wanted to go for a RDBMS (we have a MySQL server) and have some experience in database design, but the IT guy keeps telling me that flat files will to the job just as well. I suspect him to try to make his life easier when it comes to backup/upgrade the MySQL.
There are not so many links between data, they don't change much, but the quality flags will change. A RDBMS is easier to compare data from different instruments on a "many days" scale, compared to daily text files.
Well, what would you advise ?