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MariaDB Takes the Place of MySQL in New Cloud Container Servers

/ Cloud Containers
After years of defaulting to MySQL, we’re shifting MariaDB up the pecking order.

As you likely already know, all our Cloud Container servers come equipped with a database container right out of the box. Until now this first lonely container has been a MySQL container. However, soon we are going to switch to its close cousin MariaDB as our default database container.

Who is Maria?

MariaDB is a fork of MySQL created in 2009 by MySQL’s original author after MySQL was acquired by Oracle. MariaDB was developed out of concern over the future of MySQL and was originally intended to be a drop-in replacement.

These days it has its own features which aren’t present in MySQL, but it still maintains solid compatibility. It can be used unaltered in the majority of situations.

What do I need to do?

Nothing! All that will change is new Cloud Container servers will be provisioned with a MariaDB 10.11 container rather than MySQL 5.7. MariaDB shares a high degree of compatibility with MySQL (it is a fork after all), so if you’re familiar with MySQL you can configure and use MariaDB in the exact same way you normally would.

If you still prefer MySQL that’s fine too, we will still continue to provide and support images for you to use.

There will be no change to existing servers and containers.

Why are we doing this?

While there is nothing wrong with MySQL as a technology, we did have some concerns with the direction it seemed to be moving in. In our eyes, the two main issues were:

  • The removal of the query cache in MySQL 8.0. This is a feature that can be used to improve response times when your workload is dominated by relatively static, read-heavy queries. The query cache is a useful tool in the toolbox, and MariaDB continues to support it.

  • Open source in spirit, not just name. MySQL is currently owned by Oracle, and while the project is still technically open source Oracle have begun to integrate paid, closed source extensions. MariaDB on the other hand is managed by the non-profit MariaDB Foundation who are committed to keeping the whole project accessible, and transparently developed.

More about database containers

If you want to know more about managing database containers, start with the Knowledge Base. And as always, if there’s anything you want to ask we’re here with answers you need - just get in touch.