What’s New in Exasol 8?

Exasol 8 is based on a new architecture that has many advantages, and that provides you with more flexibility to deploy Exasol on the platform of your choice. The new architecture also significantly changes the procedures for installation, deployment, and update of Exasol. The main features of the new architecture are explained in this section.

This version also brings a number of new features, while some features that existed in previous versions may have been altered or deprecated. For more information about the new features and details of the changes introduced with each release, refer to the Release Notes page.

Software and OS Decoupling

Previous versions of Exasol for on-premises installation were provided as a complete system, consisting of an Exasol database installed on a custom CentOS-based operating system. Exasol is now instead provided as a software package that can be deployed on a public cloud platform or installed on a Linux system on your own hardware.

The currently supported Linux distributions for installation of Exasol 8 are Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

For public cloud deployments, Exasol Deployment Tool (c4) must be installed on one of the supported Linux distributions.

Object Storage

For cloud deployments, the database persistent storage is moved from local disks to object storage, such as Amazon S3. This architectural change lowers the overall cost of an Exasol deployment in the cloud, since object storage is cheaper than the equivalent attached persistent disks.

For more information, see Storage Management.

storage compute decoupling

Multi-Cluster Support

Exasol 8 cloud deployments support multiple compute clusters that operate on the same data. This provides greater flexibility to organizations to split and isolate workloads on demand.

For more information about clusters and databases, see Database Management.

Multi-cluster operation is not supported in on-premises deployments.


Scalability is the ability to increase and decrease resources based on the business demands. The new architecture in Exasol 8 make both vertical scaling (changing cluster resources) and horizontal scaling (changing the number of clusters) much easier than in previous versions.

Vertical scaling refers to changing the compute power and RAM to optimize concurrency. When you scale up or down, the amount of VCPUs and RAM allocated to the cluster is adjusted based on the new cluster size. You can use vertical scaling when you want to:

  • Speed up the queries you are executing.
  • Run large complex queries or support bigger datasets without impacting the performance.
  • Add more users or concurrency without affecting the performance.

Compared to previous versions, vertical scaling is now more convenient because it only requires shutting down a single worker cluster, not the entire database. For more information about vertical scaling, see Scale a Cluster.

Horizontal scaling entails adding more clusters to optimize concurrency and manage higher workloads. You can use horizontal scaling when you want to isolate different workloads between teams and ensure that resources used in queries by one team do not impact other teams. For information about adding more clusters, see Create a Cluster.


Exasol provides multiple interfaces for deployment and administration of databases and clusters. For more information, see the Administration section.

Updating to Exasol 8

Updating directly from Exasol 7.1 to Exasol 8 is not possible due to the major changes to the architecture and some features. To move your database to Exasol 8 you must first create a new deployment of Exasol 8 with the same number of nodes as the Exasol 7 database, create a backup of the old database, and then restore the backup into the new deployment.

For more information, see Migrate from Exasol 7.1 to Exasol 8.