Some Essentials to Know and Practice before Migrating to MariaDB

MariaDB - cfamedia

The era of structured databases started in 1995, when the initial version of MySQL came out.

This database was created for personal use initially, but it had evolved into an enterprise-grade DBMS in a few years.

So, it became the most popular relational database, across the globe. Back in 2008, Sun Microsystems acquired MySQL. Later, Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems.

Later, out of distrust in the Oracle MySQL, the actual MySQL developers split and created a new non-relational database, called MariaDB in 2009.

After that, it had grown to a level that the new MariaDB replaced MySQL installations and you also may probably be thinking of the same, which brought you here to read this article.

If this is the case, here we will discuss why you may opt to migrate from MySQL to MariaDB and the comparative advantages and disadvantages at the end of this article.

Why migrate to MariaDB?
It is vibrant and open

Unlike most of the other open-source applications of Sun Microsystems acquired by Oracle, MariaDB is fully developed in the open.

All its development decisions are debated and reviewed on a public mailing list.

So, for anyone across the globe, it is easy to contribute to MariaDB with the patches and the flow is, also much transparent in the public domain.

This keeps the code repository up to date. MySQLGithub statistics, show 24 contributors, whereas, MariaDB 10.1 stats show 44 contributors, however, it is not just about the number of contributors.

As a whole, MariaDB seems to be more active in terms of documentation efforts, distribution packaging and other related things that are needed in the day-to-day DBMS administration.

With an increasing momentum MySQL once had, there is still a huge community around it. Still, it is also clearly a trend that most of the latest activities in the open-source DB spectrum revolve around MariaDB.

As Linux plays a crucial role in open-source software delivery, QA, and testing, RHEL7 and SLES12 are now packed with MariaDB, which also, increases the its acceptance.

Transparent and quicker security releases

Oracle usually releases the security patches and updates every three months for their products, however, MySQL has a two-month cycle for new releases.

This may sometimes lead to a situation where the security upgrades may not get synced.

Also, MySQL release notes may not always list all CVE identifiers and release fixes.

Many users also find it difficult that the security announcements are vague and do not identify actual issues or commits that fixed them, making it backporting impossible. It also makes the upgrade to the latest MySQL releases difficult.

On the other hand, MariaDB tends to follow the standard industry practices by releasing the upgrades and security announcements simultaneously.

The release notes also list all the CVE identifiers meticulously.

They also update release notes afterward, if there are any new CVE identifiers created about the existing issues which the new MariaDB version had released the fixes for.

More features

The MySQL 5.7 version does look promising with some new features. GIS support is an example, however, compared to it, MariaDB comes with a lot more features in the recent releases.

These are also released much earlier to MySQL and these releases come, through extensive reviews to be more reliable, which ensure the least number of bugs.

As listed at, we may also consider examples as the GIS features already got introduced in the 5.3 MariaDB series itself, which eases storing coordinates and the querying of the location data.

The Dynamic Column Support only in MariaDB is another exciting thing, allowing for the NoSQL type functionality on this database.

So, a single DBMS interface can offer both SQL and NoSQL for different projects.

More storage

MariaDB has an increased number of storage engines, like Cassandra and Connect storage engines for the NoSQL backends, or to roll the migrations from other relational databases.

There is also Spider for sharding and TokuDB, with fractal indexes. All these plug-ins are now available for MySQL as third party add-ons.

Still in MariaDB,you can find them as a part of the official release itself, which makes things easier for the users, as these plugins are well integrated by default and are much easier to use.

A huge leap in popularity

Back in 2013, when Wikipedia released the news of migrating from MySQL to MariaDB and also that Google started using MariaDB, this DBMS started blooming in popularity.

Some other examples are Craigslist and adopted MariaDB.

OpenSUSE and Fedora also now have MariaDB as their default SQL database.

As we had seen above, Linux, with the latest releases as RHEL7 and SUSE Enterprise Linux 12, both ship MariaDB as default.

MariaDB also ensures better performance, active master clustering, easy migration, and compability with most existing systems.

Galera active-active master clustering

Galera is another sort of bunching motor which, dissimilar to conventional MySQL active replication, gives active replication and in this way empowers another sort of scalability architecture for MySQL/MariaDB.

In spite of that Galera advancement previously began in 2007, it has never been a piece of the official Oracle MySQL form, while both Percona and MariaDB flavors have sent a Galera based group adaptation for a considerable length of time.

Galera bolster will be far superior in MariaDB 10.1, as it will be remembered for the primary variant, (and not any longer in a different group form) and empowering Galera bunching is simply a question of enacting the right design boundaries in any MariaDB worker establishment.

Oracle stewardship is uncertain

Numerous individuals have communicated doubt in Oracle’s actual inspirations and enthusiasm for keeping MySQL alive.

As clarified in point 1, Oracle wasn’t at first permitted to get Sun Microsystems, which claimed MySQL, because of the EU rivalry enactment.

MySQL was the greatest contender to Oracle’s unique database. The European Commission anyway affirmed the arrangement after Oracle distributed an official guarantee to keep MySQL alive and serious.

Some may contend that as of late, Oracle has just debilitated MySQL in unobtrusive manners.

Possibly, yet with all due respect, it ought to be noticed that MySQL exercises have been substantially more effective than, for instance OpenOffice or Hudson, which both immediately forked into LibreOffice and Jenkins with such a force, that the first undertakings evaporated in under a year.

Notwithstanding, given the decision among Oracle and a genuine open-source venture, the choice ought not to be hard for anyone who comprehends the estimation of programming opportunity and the evolutive advantages that come from the worldwide cooperative turn of events.

Compatible and easy to migrate

MariaDB 5.5 is a finished drop-in-swap for MySQL 5.5. Relocating to MariaDB is as simple as running adept get introduce MariaDB-worker or the proportionate order on your picked Linux flavor, (which, in 2015, is probably going to incorporate MariaDB in the official vaults).

Notwithstanding the movement being simple, we despite everything, suggest that database administrators embrace their own testing and consistently back up their databases, as a sanity check.

MariaDB advantages versus MySQL
  • MariaDB is innovating much quickly and continuously, when compared to that of MySQL. The primary reason behind it is that MariaDB is open-source. The updates and patches are transmitted promptly to the end-users. Also, the new features are thoroughly reviewed and worked through.
  • MariaDB also features a cluster database for enterprise use, which will enable multi-master replications.
  • MariaDB is fully optimized for performance and it is also very powerful, compared to MySQL for larger data sets. Easy migration from the other databases to MariaDB is also a benefit.
  • MariaDB can significantly support more storage engines like: SphinxSE, Aria, FederatedX, TokuD, Spider, ScaleDB etc.

When compared to MySQL, these are much more than the usual xtraDB to InnoDB.

MariaDB to MySQL disadvantages

Subsequent backward migration from MariaDB MySQL is not possible, since the 5.5.36 release.

For the latest releases, appropriate libraries may be deployed on time, creating dependencies with a need to upgrade to the new version.

There is also a MariaDB cluster version, which as a free multi-master replication, regularly leads to split brains

Similarly, the configuration of such clusters is also associated with many problems that may occur, during its configuration. Many troubleshooting items are also not available for MariaDB.

So, it is a great ideal to migrate to MongoDB, if your actual requirements match with the advantages offered, by this innovative database software, however, it would help, if you considered its cons too, in light of your database management requirements, before migration.

About the Author

Kristen Smith is a web developer and experienced professional in database management and administration.

She says you must deploy credible companies like to help you maintain and secure any database system with success!

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