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Migrate from MariaDB to MySQL. Our database services can help.

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The situation with MariaDB

MariaDB, now MariaDB PLC, has faced challenges since its 2022 IPO. Within a year, financial setbacks caused a 30-fold drop in the valuation of the MariaDB Server support company. A few weeks ago, a lender to the company provided notice that MariaDB PLC has defaulted and as a result may sweep its bank accounts of their funds as debt payment, significantly impacting its database services.

Let us take a step back and examine the relationship between MariaDB Server and MariaDB PLC.  MariaDB Server is an open-source fork of the popular MySQL database server. The MariaDB Foundation, closely linked to MariaDB PLC, develops it. The foundation even sold the MariaDB trademarks to MariaDB Corporation Ab, MariaDB PLC’s pre-IPO predecessor, in 2014.  Many MariaDB Server developers are MariaDB PLC employees.  In justifying why organizations should use the support services it offers, the company states on its website: “We are the largest contributor to MariaDB Server code”.  The financial uncertainty that exists today at MariaDB PLC surely impacts the MariaDB Foundation.

So where does all this leave the MariaDB users? 

Fortunately, MariaDB Server, as a fork of Oracle’s MySQL, which holds an open-source GPL license, has inherited the GPL open-source license from Oracle. Thus, it will always remain open-source software. Existing versions of MariaDB Server will remain available, perhaps forever downloadable from some places on the internet, and new development can be expected to continue at varying speeds by the community and the foundation.

However, this certainty, which is made possible by the GPL license provided upstream by MySQL, likely does not apply to at least some of the products specifically created by MariaDB PLC.  The company has created over the years its own separate “Enterprise” tools that co-exist with and around MariaDB Server.  These are not developed or supported by an open-source foundation or community.  MariaDB PLC is reportedly currently reviewing an unsolicited acquisition offer from a private investors fund.  It is difficult to predict what will happen to the company even in the nearest future.  Consequently, the Enterprise users of MariaDB PLC may ponder what the future holds for them and their MariaDB databases.

Differences between the MariaDB Enterprise offering and MySQL Enterprise Edition

Migrating from MariaDB Enterprise server and tools to MySQL Enterprise Edition seems like the logical next move for the MariaDB Enterprise users.  Migrating from MariaDB community server to MySQL Community or MySQL Enterprise Edition is also a safe path forward for many non-enterprise users of MariaDB, including those that use any one of the MariaDB public cloud services.  Below are some differences that users can expect during this transition.

Support companyMariaDB IP owned by many. MariaDB supported and largely developed by MariaDB PLC(valuation $23M)MySQL wholy owned, developed, and supported by Oracle Corporation(valuation $118.38B)
Server licenseGPL onlyGPL or commercial
High-availability solutionGalera Cluster (by 3rd party)MySQL InnoDB Cluster
Connection routing and load-balancingMaxScaleMySQL Router
Monitoring3rd party monitorsMySQL Enterprise Monitor, Oracle Enterprise Manager, 3rd party monitors
BackupMariaDB BackupMySQL Enterprise Backup
Kubernetes operatormariadb-operatorMySQL Operator for Kubernetes
SecurityExternal authentication, TDE, audit loggingExternal authentication, TDE, audit logging
Cloud serviceSpun-off by MariaDB PLC, available in AWS, being retired by AzureAvailable in AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, and Oracle Cloud.  Oracle is a top 4 cloud provider
Unique featuresOracle DB compatibility (syntax, sequences, packages, and more)NoSQL

Migrating from MariaDB to MySQL with Four Cornerstone Database Services

Thanks to its roots as a fork of MySQL, MariaDB still retains many similarities with MySQL.  The enterprise evolution of MariaDB closely mirrors that of MySQL.  Therefore, migrating from MariaDB to MySQL mainly entails technical implementation details, which Four Cornerstore excels at working through, but the migration is conceptually correct and almost certain to be successful and nearly painless.

As MariaDB PLC attempted to compete with the Oracle Database, it developed certain Oracle compatibility features, as seen in the table above.  Users of these features may now wonder if they should go back to the Oracle Database.  What if Oracle were to give them a good deal?  The Oracle Database services in Oracle Cloud make excellent migration target choices because they feature all the Oracle functionality, they sport great performance, and they are available at (surprisingly) very attractive prices.  The Oracle Autonomous Database is particularly fantastic on all these counts.  Four Cornerstone would be delighted to help any MariaDB user who uses the Oracle Database compatibility features explore the genuine Oracle Database offerings available in the Oracle Cloud.

Finally, the future of MariaDB Database-as-a-Service cloud offerings in general is starting to look dire.  Aside from MariaDB PLC spinning-off last year its own MariaDB cloud service, Azure announced also last year that its MariaDB database cloud service will be sunset.  Will AWS also abandon its MariaDB database services?  Better to start planning now for a likely migration before it becomes urgent.  Once again, Four Cornerstone is the right partner to help on that journey, whether it is for planning or executing the migration, or for both.

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