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Why V13.1 Is Our Most Important Release Yet

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Why V13.1 Is Our Most Important Release Yet

Today we announced our latest release, Volt Active Data 13.1— giving our customers a whole new level of no-compromise real-time data processing. 

You probably already know the gist, but let’s quickly review the highlights of what this version adds:

  1. In-service upgrades: ie, the ability to upgrade a Volt cluster while it’s running.
  2. ARM64 CPU support.
  3. Elastic reduction of Kubernetes cluster sizes.

And much more. 

Let’s dig in.  


1. In-Service Upgrades

Volt now supports in-service upgrades: the ability to upgrade the Volt server software for a single cluster without requiring any downtime. (Note: uninterrupted upgrades using multiple Active(N) clusters have been available for some time now.) In-service upgrades are a new, licensable feature that allows you to remove, upgrade, and rejoin individual nodes from the cluster one at a time. On Kubernetes, the Volt Operator automates this process through a new property: cluster.clusterSpec.enableInServiceUpgrade. See the sections on in-service upgrades in the Volt Administrator’s Guide and Volt Kubernetes Administrator’s Guide for more information.

2. ARM 64 Support

Volt Active Data now supports the ARM64 architecture as a hardware platform for production use. Connect with your Volt sales rep for more information.

3. Elastic Shrink in Kubernetes

V13.1 lets you elastically grow or shrink Kubernetes clusters. Reducing the cluster size is just a matter of setting the replica count to the appropriate value. (You can only reduce the cluster by K+1 nodes at a time.) Once initialized, the Volt Operator automates the process and provides periodic status information through Kubernetes events and object properties. See the sections on elastically resizing the cluster in the Volt Kubernetes Administrator’s Guide for more information.

4 .Kubernetes diagnostic tools

Volt now provides maintenance and management tools optimized for Kubernetes as a separately installable pod. The diagnostics pod provides access to sqlcmd as well as the collect command for gathering logs and other diagnostics data from the cluster. See the appendix on diagnostics tools in the Volt Kubernetes Administrator’s Guide for more information.

5. FORMAT() Function

There is a new SQL function, FORMAT(), that formats a text string using the standard replacement placeholders found in functions such as printf to insert values from table columns and other SQL expressions.

6. New Licensing Format

V13.1 offers a more flexible structure that denies outdated license formats and allows for licensing of new features. Be sure you’re using a recently issued license (ie, within the past two years) before upgrading existing databases. To verify that you have a recent license, connect to your database server and issue the command voltadmin inspect. If the command reports a permit version of 3 or 4, you’re all set. If the command reports a permit version of 2 or prior, or returns an error that no such command exists, you will need to replace your license before upgrading. Connect with your Volt customer support rep to receive a replacement license.

In addition to the new license format, we’ve made several minor changes to license management:

  • The @SystemInformatin OVERVIEW system procedure no longer reports on individual licensed features but continues to report on the license type and expiration date.
  • The @SystemInformation LICENSE system procedure now reports on all licensed features, not just command logging and database replication.


1. Java 8 

Use of the Java 8 runtime to run the Volt server software is now deprecated. The recommended Java versions are Java V11 and V17. Java 8 continues to work; however, support for such usage will be removed in a future release.

2. Passive Database Replication 

The original passive database replication (DR) functionality involving one master and one replica cluster is now deprecated. The ability to set up passive replication using Active(N) — also known as XDCR — easily and more flexibly (with multiple masters, any mix of active masters and passive replicas) makes a separate and less functional alternative impractical. By focusing on a single, integrated set of capabilities for both active and passive DR, the product can evolve more rapidly.

The separate passive DR implementation continues to function in V13. However, it will soon be removed. 


To match the currently supported versions of Helm, Volt now requires Helm 3.11 or later when running in Kubernetes.


Our next release, V13.2 is scheduled for the end of Q1 2024. For more details of candidate features for this or our longer-term roadmap, contact Customer Success, who will be happy to arrange a roadmap session. 


V13.1 is available on the Volt Active Data Enterprise Edition download site. For a more complete look at the new features in V13.1, take a look at our release notes. If you’d like to run Volt Active Data in Kubernetes, contact support@voltactivedata.com to get access to the Volt Active Data Operator for Kubernetes, Volt Active Data Helm Charts, and Volt Active Data Enterprise Container.

David Rolfe