MariaDB Set To Overthrow MySQL's Linux Reign

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

 MariaDB Set To Overthrow MySQL's Linux Reign MariaDB Set To Overthrow MySQL's Linux Reign

MySQL gets a major upgrade, but is it too little too late?

The improvements in the new MySQL 5.6 release aim to level the playing field between Oracle’s open source relational database and its NoSQL competitors, like MongoDB, Apache Cassandra, Riak and other document oriented databases. But the improvements haven’t stopped Fedora and openSUSE to plan a move to MariaDB, a community developed drop-in replacement for MySQL.  

MySQL 5.6, released last week, promises performance and scalability improvements that aim to match NoSQL features and capabilities. The Memcached API offers a NoSQL interface improving the speed of read/write queries significantly over SQL parsing. On the scalability side, MySQL can now handle high-scale deployments; version 5.6 can be deployed on “48-core machines, up from 16- to 32-core machines previously.“

MySQL is still the most used open source relational database and has been a staple in server applications for years, including the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP/Perl/Python). But are the latest enhancements enough to keep DBAs, developers and the open source community happy?

Just days before Oracle broke the news of the 5.6 release, Red Hat’s Fedora and SUSE’s  openSUSE announced plans to switch from the MySQL framework to MariaDB. An open source community led MySQL offshoot, MariaDB offers a better testing environment, more storage engines as well as enhanced speed over MySQL. The fact that MariaDB is a truly open source project was a big contributing factor in Fedora’s decision to move away from MySQL; openSUSE, on the other hand, chose MariaDB based on a number of key features and extensions that will benefit its end-users.  

Both openSUSE and Fedora are planning on making the switch to MariaDB in their next releases; openSUSE will be making it their default database in version 12.3 which will be out mid-March and Fedora in version 19, which is expected in May. Since MariaDB is essentially built on MySQL, both companies are predicting a smooth transition for their users.

So far there has been no reaction from Oracle to the news, and based on the 5.6 release of MySQL, the company has been busy trying to catch the eye of potential NoSQL users instead of focusing on catching up with the likes of MariaDB. According to some IT analysts, this might hurt Oracle in the long run as SUSE and Red Hat move away from MySQL in their paid products.  Jay Lyman, an analyst at 451 Research, in a report from TechWorld said, “The community distributions Fedora and OpenSUSE typically clear the way for their paid, subscription Linux cousins Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. So I would expect over time we will see other Linux distributions and developer communities follow suit, but there is still a strong customer and user following of MySQL that isn't going away, including loyal Oracle customers.”

Only time will tell if MySQL will remain an essential part of server applications and the favorite among database developers and admins alike. Perhaps’ Oracle’s next release of MySQL will focus on building its core functionality and keeping current customers happy. 

Kasia LorencKasia LorencKasia Lorenc is a contributor to Tom's IT Pro. Combining her love of IT and marketing, she currently serves as the Director of Technology and Search Marketing for Zacuto USA in Chicago.

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