Quick Info on Exasol
Deploying Exasol requires careful consideration of deployment options, hardware, number of clusters, redundancy, network, monitoring, and so on. Any new technology must also adhere to the security standards of your company. For this reason it is vital to understand how Exasol will fit into your data ecosystem, and how it will integrate with your existing workflows and processes.
This section highlights the major things to consider when planning, deploying, and operating an Exasol database as the heart of your data ecosystem.
Exasol is the high-performance, in-memory MPP(Massively Parallel Processing) database specifically designed for analytics. From business-critical data applications to advanced analytics, Exasol helps you analyze large volumes of data faster than ever before, helping you to accelerate your BI and reporting, and to turn data into value..
Exasol supports the ANSI standard SQL 2008 (including all analytical functions) and a large selection of commonly-used Oracle SQL dialects.
Exasol's core architecture includes a user-friendly, web-based graphical user interface - EXAoperation, a cluster management system - EXAClusterOS, which is a Linux-derivate, and a storage management module - EXAStorage.
Exasol supports several deployment methods, which allows you flexibility and control over your environment. It's also easy to move Exasol to different environments to better align with your company's priorities. The following deployment options are currently supported:
- Exasol On-Prem: Install Exasol on your own hardware according to your requirements. For more information, see Exasol On-Prem.
- Exasol on Public Cloud: Deploy Exasol on a public cloud platform such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform.
Licenses for all deployment options can be obtained directly from Exasol. For more information, see Licenses. For cloud deployments, a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) version is available in the corresponding marketplaces as an alternative to the bring-your-own-license (BYOL) model.
You can connect and interact with Exasol by using popular SQL clients such as DBVisualizer and DBeaver. Exasol also includes the standard interface such as ODBC, JDBC, and ADO.NET, along with native connectors for a wide range of tools for various purposes such as business intelligence, data integration / ETL, programming languages, and query tools.
The Ecosystem Overview section provides you with a list of tools you can connect to Exasol.
Exasol allows you to load data from CSV/FBV files, data from other DBMS, Virtual schemas, and other file formats from cloud storage systems such as Parquet, ORC, Avro and so on.
To know more about loading data into Exasol, refer to the Loading Data section.
There are various ways to accomplish multi-tenancy in Exasol, including multiple databases, multiple schemas, or a shared-everything approach.
Exasol does not recommend running multiple databases within one cluster because a license always applies to the entire cluster, not the database. In addition, during updates, each database must be down to perform an update. Also, it can have a negative impact on performance.
For detailed information on multi-tenancy and various approaches, refer to this Exasol Knowledge Base article.
Exasol can run on standard hardware and does not require special hardware to run, which will decrease your overall TCO (Total cost of ownership). Instead, Exasol's software is installed as a new OS on this hardware. Exasol has a guideline on the minimum hardware requirement for you to run the database efficiently. There are many variables to be considered when determining the efficiency of the database. The hardware is based on the number of servers you need for your system, hardware sizing, the workload, etc.
Refer to the System Requirements section for more information. To determine the hardware sizing/hardware configuration required to suit your requirements, refer to the Sizing Considerations section.
Depending on your contract with Exasol and your business requirements, Exasol provides Raw data license. This license type specifies the maximum size of the raw data you can store across databases in the cluster. This is the default license type.
Raw data volume (unit TB): The raw data volume corresponds to the data volume that is comparable to the size the data would have if stored as CSV files. If you exceed the licensed capacity, you cannot import any additional data unless you delete the data inside the database.
To read more about Licenses, see Licenses.
Exasol's release cycle can be categorized as major release (2-3 years), minor release (6-12 months), and bug fixes (2-6 weeks). Each release (minor or major) is fully supported for at least two years. This time is extended until two later versions (minor or major) are released.
To know more about the Exasol release cycle (release type and the frequency of releases), Exasol product life cycle, and product roadmap, refer to the Product Life Cycle section.
Business continuity encompasses the planning and readiness for serious incidents, disasters, or disruptions that could impact your business. The goals of a business continuity plan are to ensure that critical business functions can continue (for example, through redundancy) despite a disruption, and that data can be recovered in the case of system downtime.
Business continuity planning starts with an analysis and identification of critical and non-critical factors for incident recovery. Exasol supports various Business Continuity solutions such as Dual Data Center or Synchronous Dual Data Center. For detailed information, refer to the Business Continuity section.
Exasol includes various data security solutions to protect your data, such as:
- Authentication methods like LDAP/AD, or Kerberos single sign-on
- Access management (Database level, row/column level, cluster level)
- Data encryption for data-in-motion and data-at-rest
Refer to the Data Security section for more information.
In an event of failure of a hardware component or server, the node in a cluster may become unavailable.
Fail safety process indicates that a specific node within a cluster is no longer available and the cluster nodes replicate data to neighbor nodes if redundancy is configured.
To know more about fail safety and how it works within Exasol, refer to the Fail Safety section.
Additionally refer to the Information About Nodes section, to know more about Node management within Exasol. This section provides information on how to configure a reserve node, how to swap the active with the reserve node, and other information related to nodes.
Having the same data stored on different nodes or volumes provide an additional layer of protection against data loss in the event of a hardware component or server failure. Configuring data redundancy in Exasol enables the replication of data between different nodes, enabling automatic failover mechanisms. Exasol recommends configuring a redundancy 2 for the data volumes.
To know more about data volumes and how to enable redundancy in Exasol, refer to the Volumes Overview section.
Security updates in Exasol include improvements and bug fixes. Besides the regular patches, Exasol also provides Cumulative updates. It is a collection of OS patches, especially for customers with high-security patch requirements. The Cumulative updates will be delivered to customers in a timeframe of 24 hours.
Exasol recommends you to apply these security updates. Additionally, we recommend you to read the Update Considerations section before you perform any updates. This section provides you with do's and dont's about applying any updates to your database.
To minimise the risk of data loss in case of a failure, you need to back up your database regularly. A well planned backup and restore strategy helps to prevent any data loss. Two essential parameters you need to keep in mind for an optimal data backup plan are Recovery Point Objective(RPO) and Recovery Time Objective(RTO).
For information on how to perform backup and restore, refer to the Backup and Restore section. Ffor information on business continuity plans in the case of a failure, refer to the Business Continuity section.
Actively monitoring your database cluster for overall health and optimal performance is very important to avoid unnecessary downtime. It’s best to identify any warning signs before they become major incidents. Exasol allows you to create and configure monitoring services. Additionally, you can also forward these service messages to other monitoring systems.
Refer to the Monitoring section for more information. Exasol also supports other monitoring services such as Nagios, Splunk or XML-RPC APIs. For more information, refer to the Other Monitoring Services section.
In addition to the above monitoring options, Exasol also provides additionally monitoring service packages for you. It is a paid service. When you opt for the monitoring service package, Exasol will monitor your database using a software system monitor with an automated incident report system. To know more, visit Support.
Exasol provides various free training to help you understand the working of Exasol, enhance your skills, and provide the necessary knowledge to maintain and manage your Exasol database.
Exasol recommends that each person using the Exasol database must take the Exasol Essentials course before working with the database. Additionally, after each major update, Exasol recommends taking the appropriate course or reading the documentation to familiarize yourself with the new features.
Visit our Exacademy page to know more about the available courses and enroll in the free training.