Exasol Database

Exasol is a technology provider with headquarters in Nuremberg, Germany. Founded in 2000, the company now operates mainly in Europe and the United States although the majority of its customers are still from German-speaking countries. However, approximately 15 percent of total sales are generated in the United States, with a strong upward trend. Exasol is leveraged and has been operating profitably for 5 years. The company went public in May 2020.

Organizations of various sizes and industries use Exasol, which has a broad network of implementation and technology partners. In addition to its partners, Exasol works closely with its community, which develops the integration capabilities of the database based on a free open source version of the Exasol database on GitHub. Developments from the community are moderated and reviewed by a dedicated dev team.

Exasol is a high performance analytics database designed for high performance analytics (reporting, advanced analytics & ML, real-time KPIs & dashboards). It can be deployed as a data warehouse, data mart or even as a BI acceleration layer. From a technical perspective, it is a relational, column-based, MPP-enabled, in-memory database – an analytical database on Exasol’s own infrastructure. Exasol sees itself as the highest-performing database for analytical workloads and proves this with TPC-H benchmarks. Some customers leverage Exasol as an accelerator for BI or analytics, but a growing number have modernized their central legacy data warehouse by switching completely to Exasol. Using Exasol as a logical data platform with a central access layer is the next step, and this also offers the capability to provide BI users with access to data science models in any language through Exasol’s data science integration.

The database can be deployed in a private Exasol Cloud (ExaCloud), the public cloud, but also on-premises or in a hybrid setup. It can be operated in AWS, Google and Microsoft Azure environments and can use their infrastructure for backups, for example. Customers have the flexibility to operate Exasol on their own (e.g., for GDPR reasons), but they can also let Exasol run the system as a fully managed service for them. A full version of the database is also available for free as a Community Edition (limited to 200GB of raw data). Exasol is working hard on providing a real SaaS application, scheduled for release in 2021.

The database itself is characterized above all by its high query performance, self-optimization algorithms and a plug-in concept that simplifies the integration and functional expansion of the database.

Self-tuning or self-optimization has been on the feature list of the database since day one and is constantly being developed. To ensure high performance for current workloads, algorithms monitor database usage as well as keeping the organization of data optimized. This automation is a core function and added value of the database, and it means that few manual configuration options are available for the database.

User & Use Cases

87 percent of survey respondents use Exasol for data warehousing and BI, while 63 percent use it for data integration and a further 60 percent for data preparation. Exasol itself does not offer any functions for augmented data integration. However, the database technology is used to provide integrated views on data and data can be loaded into the database in parallel. 53 percent use Exasol also as a data store for data provisioning, which indicates that there are more use cases supported than solely BI. Moreover, Exasol is used for self-service analytics by 50 percent. The user can take advantage of Exasol’s sandbox capabilities and increasing analytical in-database functionality. We expect to see a higher frequency of this task with the increasing use of cloud services in future years.

However, the customers taking part in this survey were all using the on-premises variant. 37 percent of participants use Exasol as a query engine. That indicates a good adoption rate of the new virtual schema functionality that was implemented with version 6. Companies of all sizes use Exasol. The majority seem to be in bigger companies. Against this background, the average number of users is still high, with a mean of 343 and a median of 50 as pure database users. However, the mean number of 9 administrators (and median of 4) is surprisingly high given Exasol’s claim that database tuning is done automatically.

Current use

n=30

Total number of users per company

n=30

Total number of administrators per company

n=29

Company size (number of employees)

n=30

Summary of Exasol Database highlights

User ratings for Exasol are well above average for all KPIs in this year’s survey. In addition, no technical problems with the database were reported by users. As a result, Exasol is strongly rated compared to its rivals and clearly leads the field in the Data Warehouse Technologies and Analytical Database Products peer groups. Overall, Exasol achieved 13 top rankings in its two peer groups and was rated 10/10 in five KPIs.

Customer Satisfaction

Peer group: Data Warehouse Technologies

Functionality

Peer group: Analytical Database Products

Performance

Peer group: Data Warehouse Technologies

Recommendation

Peer group: Analytical Database Products

Time to Market

Peer group: Data Warehouse Technologies

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Awards

Exasol Database

Peer Groups Analytical Database Products, Data Warehouse Technologies
VendorExasol
Number of responses30
ProductExasol Database
Offices4
Employees280
Customers>195
Revenues (2020)€24.1 million
Websitewww.exasol.com

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Quotes

Unbeatable query performance. High scalability. Hot plugging. Outstanding stability. Competent and helpful contact persons.
Enterprise architect, retail/wholesale/trade, more than 2,500 employees
It‘s amazing. We ran a lot of performance tests before choosing Exasol, and Exasol was by far the fastest.
CIO/IT management, IT, less than 100 employees
Its performance is very good and additional features like SQL preprocessing and UDF integration open the system up to a host of use-cases.
Person responsible/project manager for BI from IT department, insurance, more than 2,500 employees
Probably the best option on the market for on-premise deployments. You'll need much less hardware to run Exasol compared to other solutions.
Data engineer/data manager, IT, 100-2,500 employees
Implement it, it will take your data to a new level.
Enterprise architect, healthcare, more than 2,500 employees