Exasol and Oracle are both powerful relational database management systems that can be used for different use cases.


Below are what I consider to be the top 5 features of Exasol compared to an Oracle database:

  1. Exasol’s shared-nothing architecture means that each node in the cluster has its own resources such as CPU, RAM and disk space and operates independently of other nodes. This ensures high scalability and resilience, since if a node fails, only its data is affected and not the entire system.
  2. In addition, Exasol provides automatic data distribution and replication to minimize data access time and increase availability. In-memory technology ensures that typically 10-15% of the data is quickly available in memory, while the rest is offloaded to disk. The high level of parallelization and scalability makes it possible to process large amounts of data in a short time, making Exasol a popular solution for data analysis and business intelligence.
  3. Scalability: Exasol can scale horizontally and vertically and thus offers high scalability. Oracle, on the other hand, is not as easy to scale and usually requires more effort.
  4. Easy administration: The administration of Exasol databases is easier than the administration of Oracle databases. Since there is simply not that much to manage 😉 We don’t need to configure and monitor RAC or Data Guard.
  5. Real-time processing: Exasol can process data in real time, enabling real-time analysis and decision making. Oracle also offers this feature, but not at the same speed and efficiency as Exasol.

e.g.: If during the execution of a query it is determined that a certain execution plan is not optimal, the optimizer can generate a new plan and use it to process the query faster and more efficiently. (Adaptive Plan at Oracle)

Another example of dynamic optimization is adaptive indexing. Here the optimizer can decide which indexes are needed to make a query more efficient and create or remove these indexes at runtime. And that is really ingenious!

No light without shadow, but this is also communicated fairly and transparently by Exasol, this database is not suitable for an OLTP system. (SQL parsing and single inserts/updates are much slower than with an Oracle for example). There is also no point-in-time recovery, because there are no archive logs and therefore the last backup and its time are decisive which data can be recovered. And this is hard to argue for a normal OLTP application if this data was lost.

For me as a DBA an Exasol is a dream and as a developer by the integration of Python and R and other Languages anyway incredible.

As an Oracle developer I miss features like the Oracle Scheduler , Oracle VPD and of course the low code tool like Oracle Apex. However, it is possible to combine these two worlds to get the best out of it for our customers.

I also find Oracle PL/SQL more convenient than Exasol LUA. But I would prefer everything to run in Python only 😉