What’s New in Exasol 8?

Exasol 8 is based on a new architecture that provides many advantages and more flexibility to deploy Exasol on the platform of your choice. This new architecture also significantly changes the procedures for installation, deployment, and update of Exasol. This section describes some of the main features and differences that are introduced in Exasol 8.

This version of Exasol brings a number of new features and improvements, while some features that existed in previous versions may have been altered or deprecated. For more details of the changes introduced with each new Exasol release, see the Release Notes.

Software and OS Decoupling

Previous on-premises versions of Exasol have been provided as complete systems, 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 your own system, using a Linux distribution of your choice. We recommend using either Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8/9 or Ubuntu 20.04 LTS/22.04 LTS.

For more information about system requirements when installing Exasol 8, refer to the Administration - AWS section for the respective platform.

Object Storage

For deployments on public cloud platforms, the database persistent storage is moved from local disks to object storage, such as Amazon S3. This 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 having multiple compute clusters that operate on the same data. This provides greater flexibility for organizations to split and isolate workloads on demand.

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

Scalability

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.

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 more information, see Cluster Management.

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

Administration

Exasol provides multiple interfaces that enable you to deploy and manage your databases and clusters using built-in and external tools.

For more information, see Administration Tools.

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.