Thursday, July 21, 2016

EXASOL - Getting Started

Getting Started

EXASOL makes it easy, and inexpensive to get started. You can set it up on Azure or AWS, or download the free Community Edition VM download. We chose the VM. See EXASOL, an in-memory, MPP analytic database, for our overview of EXASOL and why we are taking a look at it.

VM Download

The EXASOL virtual machine download comes as an .ova file, compatible with VirtualBox, VMware Player or KVM.  Internally, the VM is running 64-bit CentOS. Using VirtualBox, we changed a few of the default configurations. The Community version supports up to 10GB of database memory, so we upgraded the default memory configuration to support 15GB, along with 4 processors. We also placed the VM on a dedicated spindle to minimize disk contention.

You can find the Community Edition here:   EXASOL DOWNLOAD Free Trial.


Before you get started, download the associated drivers and tools. Find the Download Section here:  
EXASOL Download Section. These are ordered by version, so make a note of the version you just downloaded.

Drivers and tools are available for Windows/Mac/Linux/UNIX shops, depending on your needs:

  • EXAplus    (a query tool, similar to DBeaver, Oracle SQL Developer, SQL Server Mgmt Studio)
  • JDBC
  • ODBC     (both 32 bit & 64 bit for Windows)
  • User Manual
  • SDK

EXAplus is Java based. We were able to get it up and running on both Ubuntu and Windows 10 with no problem.  We were also able to connect to EXASOL from DBeaver from both Ubuntu and Windows 10.

License Notes:  Community vs. Trial

While it's billed as a 'Free Trial', officially it's listed as a Community Edition. And looking over the Software | License section in the administration portal, my version has an unlimited expiration date and an unlimited database size. It is limited to a single cluster node with a maximum database memory of 10 GB.  And my non-legal review of the EXASolo License Agreement does not seem to prohibit me from using it internally for real work. That is excellent.  I can setup alpha/beta/proto-types, using real data for real work without worrying that it will implode at midnight, turning into an unusable tech-pumpkin. This allows you to learn, experiment and get work done. So if/when the data workload calls for more database memory or additional cluster nodes, you can do it at your pace.

Here is a listing of the Software License section from our VM's admin portal:

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