It’s worth noting that when Oracle bought Sun Microsystems, one of the big concerns was Oracle’s stewardship of the open source MySQL database. Michael Widenius spent tremendous energies trying to exclude the MySQL from the deal. In the end, Oracle ended up with MySQL, but that didn’t prevent Widenius from forking MySQL, creating MariaDB and today taking away large swaths of business and mind-share from MySQL. As many businesses including Google move to MariaDB – the question is whether it is over for Oracle MySQL ? It is an open question. There is certainly a large amount of suspicion with regards to Oracle’s motives with MySQL. Now, Widenius’ team are releasing the latest and most feature-rich version of MariaDB to date. Considering the Sun-Oracle deal closed in 2010 – they have moved fast and are offering what could be a serious competitive challenge to MySQL. Consider that Red Hat is also switching its storage engine in Fedora 19 making MariaDB the default implementation of MySQL. Others like Mozilla are migrating to it. Adoption by these large and influential companies set a trajectory for MariaDB that can only be described as ascendent. The latest 10.0 release of MariaDB offers up feature after feature that is absent in Oracle’s version of MySQL. Widenius’ company, skySQL just received $20 million Series B funding to add more fuel to the MariaDB growth. The focus of accelerating and providing further differentiation with Oracle’s MySQL is clearly a focus as MariaDB introduced support for Fusion-IO’s “atomic writes” feature earlier this year and as more features including global GIS support and improved master-slave replication. With 10.0 there are a slew of features that further differentiates MariaDB from Oracle MySQL. In 10.0 there is over 1.5 million lines of new code. Key new features around Parallel slave technology, parallel replication, integration with storage engines like Cassandra, Connect, Sequence, Spider and TokuDB. It also has new ease-of-management features. Details of the release can be found in the MariaDB Press Release. You can see some of these in this presentation (slides) :
and in this benchmark you get a feel for the performance versus Oracle MySQL :
Widenius has mentioned that the skySQL now has over 300 customers including large enterprise customers including Deutsche Telecom, Craigslist, the Financial Times, Home Depot and many others.
The question is can Oracle MySQL compete with MariaDB 10.0 ? It will certainly require time for customers to migrate, so for the moment Oracle may have some breathing space – but without a direct software response to MariaDB that is not enough. Customers that have or are migrating are laying down both a technical path of best practices to migration and perception of the situation that is not favorable to Oracle MySQL in the long run. Widenius feels there is no longer a need to use Oracle MySQL and the skySQL website demonstrates this with a nice competitive matrix comparing MySQL 5.6 and MariaDB 10.0 :