Aug
15
2018
--

Oracle open sources Graphpipe to standardize machine learning model deployment

Oracle, a company not exactly known for having the best relationship with the open source community, is releasing a new open source tool today called Graphpipe, which is designed to simplify and standardize the deployment of machine learning models.

The tool consists of a set of libraries and tools for following the standard.

Vish Abrams, whose background includes helping develop OpenStack at NASA and later helping launch Nebula, an OpenStack startup in 2011, is leading the project. He says as his team dug into the machine learning workflow, they found a gap. While teams spend lots of energy developing a machine learning model, it’s hard to actually deploy the model for customers to use. That’s where Graphpipe comes in.

He points out that it’s common with newer technologies like machine learning for people to get caught up in the hype. Even though the development process keeps improving, he says that people often don’t think about deployment.

“Graphpipe is what’s grown out of our attempt to really improve deployment stories for machine learning models, and to create an open standard around having a way of doing that to improve the space,” Abrams told TechCrunch.

As Oracle dug into this, they identified three main problems. For starters, there is no standard way to serve APIs, leaving you to use whatever your framework provides. Next, there is no standard deployment mechanism, which leaves developers to build custom ones every time. Finally, they found existing methods leave performance as an afterthought, which in machine learning could be a major problem.

“We created Graphpipe to solve these three challenges. It provides a standard, high-performance protocol for transmitting tensor data over the network, along with simple implementations of clients and servers that make deploying and querying machine learning models from any framework a breeze,” Abrams wrote in a blog post announcing the release of Graphpipe.

The company decided to make this a standard and to open source it to try and move machine learning model deployment forward. “Graphpipe sits on that intersection between solving a business problems and pushing the state of the art forward, and I think personally, the best way to do that is by have an open source approach. Often, if you’re trying to standardize something without going for the open source bits, what you end up with is a bunch of competing technologies,” he said.

Abrams acknowledged the tension that has existed between Oracle and the open source community over the years, but says they have been working to change the perception recently with contributions to Kubernetes and Oracle FN, their open source Serverless Functions Platform as examples. Ultimately he says, if the technology is interesting enough, people will give it a chance, regardless of who is putting it out there. And of course, once it’s out there, if a community builds around it, they will adapt and change it as open source projects tend to do. Abrams hopes that happens.

“We care more about the standard becoming quite broadly adopted, than we do about our particular implementation of it because that makes it easier for everyone. It’s really up to the community decide that this is valuable and interesting.” he said.

Graphpipe is available starting today on the Oracle GitHub Graphpipe page.

Aug
08
2018
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Oracle’s database service offerings could be its last best hope for cloud success

Yesterday Oracle announced a new online transaction processing database service, finally bringing its key database technology into the cloud. The company, which has been around for over four decades made its mark selling databases to the biggest companies in the world, but as the world has changed, large enterprise customers have been moving increasingly to the cloud. These autonomous database products could mark Oracle’s best hope for cloud success.

The database giant, which has a market cap of over $194 billion and over $67 billion in cash on hand certainly has options no matter what happens with its cloud products. Yet if the future of enterprise computing is in the cloud, the company needs to find some sustained success there, and what better way to lure its existing customers than with its bread and butter database products.

Oracle has demonstrated a stronger commitment to the cloud in recent years after showing much disdain for it. In fact, it announced it would be building 12 new regional data centers earlier this year alone, but it wasn’t always that way. Company founder and executive chairman Larry Ellison famously made fun of the cloud as “more fashion driven than women’s fashion.” Granted that was in 2008, but his company certainly came late to the party.

A different kind of selling

The cloud is not just a different way of delivering software, platform and infrastructure, it’s a different way of selling. While switching databases might not be an easy thing to do for most large companies, the cloud subscription payment model still offers a way out that licensing rarely did. As such, it requires more of a partnership between vendor and customer. After years of having a reputation of being aggressive with customers, it may be even harder for them to make this shift.

Salesforce exec Keith Block (who was promoted to Co-CEO just yesterday), worked at Oracle for 20 years before joining Salesforce in 2013. In an interview with TechCrunch in 2016, when asked specifically about the differences between Oracle and Salesforce, he contrasted the two company’s approaches and the challenges a company like Oracle, born and raised in the open prem world, faces as it shifts to the cloud. It takes more than a change in platform, he said.

“You also have to have the right business model and when you think about our business model, it is a ‘shared success model’. Basically, as you adopt the technology, it’s married to our payment schemes. So that’s very, very important because if the customer doesn’t win, we don’t win,” Block said at the time.

John Dinsdale, chief analyst and managing director at Synergy Research, a firm that keeps close watch on the cloud market, agrees that companies born on-prem face adjustments when moving to the cloud. “In order to survive and thrive in today’s cloud-oriented environment, any software company that grew up in the on-prem world needs to have powerful, cost-effective products that can be packaged and delivered flexibly – irrespective of whether that is via the cloud or via some form of enhanced on-prem solution,” he said.

Database as a Service or bust

All that said, if Oracle could adjust, it has the advantage of having a foothold inside the enterprise. It also claims a painless transition from on-prem Oracle database to its database cloud service, which if a company is considering moving to the cloud could be attractive. There is also the autonomous aspect of its cloud database offerings, which promises to be self-tuning, self-healing with automated maintenance and updates and very little downtime.

Carl Olofson, an analyst with IDC who covers the database market sees Oracle’s database service offerings as critical to its cloud aspirations, but expects business could move slowly here. “Certainly, this development (Oracle’s database offerings) looms large for those whose core systems run on Oracle Database, but there are other factors to consider, including any planned or active investment in SaaS on other cloud platforms, the overall future database strategy, the complexity of moving operations from the datacenter to the cloud, and so on. So, I expect actual movement here to be gradual.” he said.

Adam Ronthal, an analyst at Gartner sees the database service offerings as Oracle’s best chance for cloud success. “The Autonomous Data Warehouse and the Autonomous Transaction Processing offerings are really the first true cloud offerings from Oracle. They are designed and architected for cloud, and priced competitively. They are strategic and it is very important for Oracle to demonstrate success and value with these offerings as they build credibility and momentum for their cloud offerings,” he said.

The big question is can Oracle deliver in a cloud context using a more collaborative sales model, which is still not clear. While it showed some early success as it has transitioned to the cloud, it’s always easier to move from a small market share number to a bigger one, and the numbers (when they have given them) have flipped in the wrong direction in recent earnings reports.

As the stakes grow ever higher, Oracle is betting on what it’s known best all along, the databases that made the company. We’ll have to wait and see if that bet pays off or if Oracle’s days of database dominance are numbered as business looks to public cloud alternatives.

Aug
07
2018
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Salesforce promotes COO Keith Block to co-CEO alongside founder Marc Benioff

Salesforce is moving to a two CEO model after it promoted executive Keith Block, who was most recently COO, to the position of co-CEO. Block will work alongside Salesforce’s flamboyant founder, chairman and CEO (now co-CEO) Marc Benioff, with both reporting directly to the company’s board.

Block joined Salesforce five years ago after spending 25 years at Oracle, which is where he first met Benioff, who has called him “the best sales executive the enterprise software industry has ever seen.”

News of the promotion was not expected, but in many ways it is just a more formalized continuation of the working relationship that the two executives have developed.

Block’s focus is on leading global sales, alliances and channels, industry strategy, customer success and consulting services, while he also oversees the company’s day-to-day operations. Benioff, meanwhile, heads of product, technology and culture. The latter is a major piece for Salesforce — for example, it has spent Salesforce has spent over $8 million since 2015 to address the wage gaps pertaining to race and gender, while the company has led the tech industry in pushing LGBT rights and more.

“Keith has been my trusted partner in running Salesforce for the past five years, and I’m thrilled to welcome him as co-CEO,” said Benioff in a statement. “Keith has outstanding operational expertise and corporate leadership experience, and I could not be happier for his promotion and this next level of our partnership.”

This clear division of responsibility from the start may enable Salesforce to smoothly transition to this new management structure, whilst helping it continue its incredible business growth. Revenue for the most recent quarter surpassed $3 billion for the first time, jumping 25 percent year-on-year while its share price is up 60 percent over the last twelve months.

When Block became COO in 2016, Benioff backed him to take the company past $10 billion in revenue and that feat was accomplished last November. Benioff enjoys setting targets and he’s been vocal about reaching $60 billion revenue by 2034, but in the medium term he is looking at reaching $23 billion by 2020 and the co-CEO strategy is very much a part of that growth target.

“We’ve said we’ll do $23 billion in fiscal year 2022 and we can now just see tremendous trajectory beyond that. Cementing Keith and I together as the leadership is really the key to accelerating future growth,” he told Fortune in an interview.

Aug
07
2018
--

Salesforce promotes COO Keith Block to co-CEO alongside founder Marc Benioff

Salesforce is moving to a two CEO model after it promoted executive Keith Block, who was most recently COO, to the position of co-CEO. Block will work alongside Salesforce’s flamboyant founder, chairman and CEO (now co-CEO) Marc Benioff, with both reporting directly to the company’s board.

Block joined Salesforce five years ago after spending 25 years at Oracle, which is where he first met Benioff, who has called him “the best sales executive the enterprise software industry has ever seen.”

News of the promotion was not expected, but in many ways it is just a more formalized continuation of the working relationship that the two executives have developed.

Block’s focus is on leading global sales, alliances and channels, industry strategy, customer success and consulting services, while he also oversees the company’s day-to-day operations. Benioff, meanwhile, heads of product, technology and culture. The latter is a major piece for Salesforce — for example, it has spent Salesforce has spent over $8 million since 2015 to address the wage gaps pertaining to race and gender, while the company has led the tech industry in pushing LGBT rights and more.

“Keith has been my trusted partner in running Salesforce for the past five years, and I’m thrilled to welcome him as co-CEO,” said Benioff in a statement. “Keith has outstanding operational expertise and corporate leadership experience, and I could not be happier for his promotion and this next level of our partnership.”

This clear division of responsibility from the start may enable Salesforce to smoothly transition to this new management structure, whilst helping it continue its incredible business growth. Revenue for the most recent quarter surpassed $3 billion for the first time, jumping 25 percent year-on-year while its share price is up 60 percent over the last twelve months.

When Block became COO in 2016, Benioff backed him to take the company past $10 billion in revenue and that feat was accomplished last November. Benioff enjoys setting targets and he’s been vocal about reaching $60 billion revenue by 2034, but in the medium term he is looking at reaching $23 billion by 2020 and the co-CEO strategy is very much a part of that growth target.

“We’ve said we’ll do $23 billion in fiscal year 2022 and we can now just see tremendous trajectory beyond that. Cementing Keith and I together as the leadership is really the key to accelerating future growth,” he told Fortune in an interview.

Aug
07
2018
--

Oracle launches autonomous database for online transaction processing

Oracle executive chairman and CTO, Larry Ellison, first introduced the company’s autonomous database at Oracle Open World last year. The company later launched an autonomous data warehouse. Today, it announced the next step with the launch of the Oracle Autonomous Transaction Processing (ATP) service.

This latest autonomous database tool promises the same level of autonomy — self-repairing, automated updates and security patches and minutes or less of downtime a month. Juan Loaiza SVP for Oracle Systems at the database giant says the ATP cloud service is a modernized extension of the online transaction processing databases (OLTP) they have been creating for decades. It has machine learning and automation underpinnings, but it should feel familiar to customers, he says.

“Most of the major companies in the world are running thousands of Oracle databases today. So one simple differentiation for us is that you can just pick up your on-premises database that you’ve had for however many years, and you can easily move it to an autonomous database in the cloud,” Loaiza told TechCrunch.

He says that companies already running OLTP databases are ones like airlines, big banks and financial services companies, online retailers and other mega companies who can’t afford even a half hour of downtime a month. He claims that with Oracle’s autonomous database, the high end of downtime is 2.5 minutes per month and the goal is to get much lower, basically nothing.

Carl Olofson, an IDC analyst who manages IDC’s database management practice says the product promises much lower operational costs and could give Oracle a leg up in the Database as a Service market. “What Oracle offers that is most significant here is the fact that patches are applied without any operational disruption, and that the database is self-tuning and, to a large degree, self-healing. Given the highly variable nature of OLTP database issues that can arise, that’s quite something,” he said.

Adam Ronthal, an analyst at Gartner who focuses on the database market, says the autonomous database product set will be an important part of Oracle’s push to the cloud moving forward. “These announcements are more cloud announcements than database announcements. They are Oracle coming out to the world with products that are built and architected for cloud and everything that implies — scalability, elasticity and a low operational footprint. Make no mistake, Oracle still has to prove themselves in the cloud. They are behind AWS and Azure and even GCP in breadth and scope of offerings. ATP helps close that gap, at least in the data management space,” he said.

Oracle certainly needs a cloud win as its cloud business has been heading in the wrong direction the last couple of earnings report to the point they stopped breaking out the cloud numbers in the June report.

Ronthal says Oracle needs to gain some traction quickly with existing customers if it’s going to be successful here. “Oracle needs to build some solid early successes in their cloud, and these successes are going to come from the existing customer base who are already strategically committed to Oracle databases and are not interested in moving. (This is not all of the customer base, of course.) Once they demonstrate solid successes there, they will be able to expand to net new customers,” he says.

Regardless how it works out for Oracle, the ATP database service will be available as of today.

Mar
20
2018
--

Oracle’s cloud biz heading in the wrong direction right now

Oracle announced its quarterly earnings last night, detailing that its cloud business grew 32 percent to $1.6 billion in the quarter. That might sound good at first blush, but it’s part of three straight quarters of reduced growth — a fact that had investors jittery over night. It didn’t get better throughout the day today with Oracle’s stock plunging over 9 percent as of this writing.

When you consider that enterprise business is shifting rapidly to the cloud, and that the cloud business in general is growing quickly, Oracle’s cloud numbers could be reason for concern. While it’s hard to nail down what “cloud” means when it comes to technology companies’ earnings because it varies so much in how each one counts infrastructure, software, or platform; the general trend from Oracle seems contrary to the eye-popping growth numbers we have seen from other companies.

Oracle against the world

Oracle’s cloud revenue broke down as follows: SaaS, up 33 percent to $1.2 billion, and platform and infrastructure revenue combined up 28 percent to $415 million. To put those figures into context, consider that last quarter Alibaba reported overall cloud revenue of $533 million,which was up a whopping 104 percent year over year.

Looking purely at Infrastructure services, Canalys reported that in the third quarter of 2017, Microsoft grew at around 90 percent year over year, while Google grew around 75 percent YoY. Even market leader Amazon, which controls over 30 percent of the market, had around a 40 percent growth rate, fairly remarkable given its size.

All of that suggests that Oracle, which came to the cloud late, should be on a higher growth trajectory than it’s currently showing.That’s because it’s generally easier to grow from a small number than it is from a big number to bigger number (as Amazon has had to do).

The company’s on-prem software revenue continues to grow (which includes lucrative license and maintenance revenue from existing customers), and still accounts for the vast majority of its top line. However, at this point, you would think Oracle would want to see that revenue growth shifting away from on-prem and towards its cloud business.

What’s worse is that co-CEO Safra Catz predicted in the earnings call with analysts that the cloud growth could dive even further next quarter. “Cloud revenues including SaaS, PaaS and IaaS [all cloud business combined] are expected to grow 19% to 23% in USD, 17% to 21% in constant currency,” she told analysts this week.

Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz Photo: KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/Getty Images

Looking for a brighter future

Chairman Larry Ellison tried to point to the fully automated cloud database product announced at Oracle OpenWorld last fall as a proof point of a brighter cloud future, but so far the numbers are not bearing that out. It’s worth noting that he did also indicate that more automated cloud products are on the way.

Oracle has spent the last several years putting a lot of cloud pieces together, and as Catz pointed out, they don’t have to invest further to handle additional capacity in their SaaS business, but with the numbers heading in the wrong direction that may not be the problem.

Oracle certainly has enterprise credibility, and that should bode well for its cloud business, but as a late comer to the market we should be seeing much brisker overall growth than this. Over time that may happen, but for now Wall Street was not happy with Oracle’s results and the firm probably has to show more from its cloud products before they can change investors’ minds.

Feb
16
2018
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Oracle grabs Zenedge as it continues to beef up its cloud security play

 Oracle announced yesterday that it intends to acquire Zenedge, a 4-year old hybrid security startup. They didn’t reveal a purchase price. With Zenedge, Oracle gets a security service to add it to its growing cloud play. In this case, the company has products to protect customers whether in the cloud, on-prem or across hybrid environments. The company offers a range of services from… Read More

Feb
12
2018
--

Oracle to expand automation capabilities across developer cloud services

Larry Ellison, chairman of Oracle Corp. Last fall at Oracle OpenWorld, chairman Larry Ellison showed he was a man of the people by comparing the company’s new autonomous database service to auto-pilot on his private plane. Regardless, those autonomous capabilities were pretty advanced, providing customers with a self-provisioning, self-tuning and self-repairing database. Today, Oracle announced it was expanding that… Read More

Dec
17
2017
--

Oracle to buy construction collaboration software maker Aconex for $1.2B in cash

 Oracle will pay $1.2 billion in cash to buy construction software developer Aconex, the companies announced today. Based in Melbourne, Aconex’s cloud-based software allow teams working on building projects to collaborate and share documents. Oracle agreed to pay AUD $7.80 (about $5.97) per share in cash for a total of $1.2 billion. This price represents a 47% premium over… Read More

Nov
02
2017
--

MySQL vs. MariaDB: Reality Check

MySQL vs. MariaDB

MySQL vs. MariaDBIn this blog, we’ll provide a comparison between MySQL vs. MariaDB (including Percona Server for MySQL).

Introduction

The goal of this blog post is to evaluate, at a higher level, MySQL, MariaDB and Percona Server for MySQL side-by-side to better inform the decision making process. It is largely an unofficial response to published comments from the MariaDB Corporation.

It is worth noting that Percona Server for MySQL is a drop-in compatible branch of MySQL, where Percona contributes as much as possible upstream. MariaDB Server, on the other hand, is a fork of MySQL 5.5. They cherry-picked MySQL features, and don’t guarantee drop-in compatibility any longer.

MySQL Percona Server for MySQL* MariaDB Server
Protocols MySQL protocol over port 3306, X Protocol over port 33060 MySQL protocol over port 3306, X Protocol over port 33060 MySQL protocol, MariaDB Server extensions
Community –
Source Code
Open Source Open Source Open Source
Community – Development Open Source, contributions via signing the Oracle Contributor Agreement (OCA) Open Source Open Source, contributions via the new BSD license or signing the MariaDB Contributor Agreement (MCA)
Community – Collaboration Mailing list, forums, bugs system Mailing list, forums, bugs system (Jira, Launchpad) Mailing list, bugs system (Jira), IRC channel
Core –
Replication
MySQL replication with GTID MySQL replication with GTID MariaDB Server replication, with own GTID, compatible only if MariaDB Server is a slave to MySQL, not vice versa
Core –
Routing
MySQL Router (GPLv2) ProxySQL (GPLv3) MariaDB MaxScale (Business Source License)
Core –
Partitioning
Standard Standard Standard, with extra engines like SPIDER/CONNECT that offer varying levels of support
Tool –
Editing
MySQL Workbench for Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux MySQL Workbench for Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux Webyog’s SQLYog for Microsoft Windows (MySQL Workbench notes an incompatible server)
Tool –
Monitoring
MySQL Enterprise Monitor Percona Monitoring & Management (PMM) (100% open source) Webyog’s Monyog
Scalability –
Client Connections
MySQL Enterprise Threadpool Open Source Threadpool with support for priority tickets Open Source Threadpool
Scalability –
Clustering
MySQL Group Replication MySQL Group Replication, Percona XtraDB Cluster (based on a further engineered Galera Cluster) MariaDB Enterprise Cluster (based on Galera Cluster)
Security –
Encryption
Tablespace data-at-rest encryption. Amazon KMS, Oracle Vault Enterprise Edition Tablespace data-at-rest encryption with Keyring Vault plugin Tablespace and table data-at-rest encryption. Amazon KMS, binlog/redo/tmp file with Aria tablespace encryption
Security –
Data Masking
ProxySQL data masking ProxySQL data masking MariaDB MaxScale data masking
Security –
Firewall
MySQL Enterprise Firewall ProxySQL Firewall MariaDB MaxScale Firewall
Security –
Auditing
MySQL Enterprise Audit Plugin Percona Audit Plugin (OSS) MariaDB Audit Plugin (OSS)
Analytics No ClickHouse MariaDB ColumnStore
SQL –
Common Table Expressions
In-development for MySQL 8.0 (now a release candidate) In-development for MySQL 8.0 (now a release candidate) Present in MariaDB Server 10.2
SQL –
Window Functions
In-development for MySQL 8.0 (now a release candidate) In-development for MySQL 8.0 (now a release candidate) Present in MariaDB Server 10.2
Temporal –
Log-based rollback
No No In development for MariaDB Server 10.3
Temporal – system versioned tables No No In development for MariaDB Server 10.3
JSON JSON Data type, 21 functions JSON Data type, 21 functions No JSON Data Type, 26 functions
Official
client connectors
C (libmysqlclient), Java, ODBC, .NET, Node.js, Python, C++, mysqlnd for PHP C (libmysqlclient), Java, ODBC, .NET, Node.js, Python, C++, mysqlnd for PHP C (libmariadbclient), Java, ODBC
Usability – CJK Language support Gb18030, ngram & MeCab for InnoDB full-text search Gb18030, ngram & MeCab for InnoDB full-text search No
Monitoring – PERFORMANCE
_SCHEMA
Thorough instrumentation in 5.7, sys schema included Thorough instrumentation in 5.7, sys schema included Instrumentation from MySQL 5.6, sys schema not included
Security – Password authentication sha256_password (with caching_sha2_password in 8.0) sha256_password (with caching_sha2_password in 8.0) ed25519 (incompatible with sha256_password)
Security –
Secure out of the box
validate_password on by default, to choose a strong password at the start validate_password on by default, to choose a strong password at the start No
Usability – Syntax differences EXPLAIN FOR CONNECTION <thread_id> EXPLAIN FOR CONNECTION <thread_id> SHOW EXPLAIN FOR <thread_id>
Optimiser –
Optimiser Tracing
Yes Yes No
Optimiser –
Optimiser Hints
Yes Yes No
DBA –
Super readonly mode
Yes Yes No
Security – Password expiry Yes Yes No
Security – Password last changed? Password lifetime? Yes Yes No
Security – VALIDATE_PASSWORD
_STRENGTH()
Yes Yes No
Security – ACCOUNT LOCK/UNLOCK Yes Yes No
Usability – Query Rewriting Yes Yes No
GIS – GeoJSON &
GeoHash functionality
Yes Yes Incomplete
Security – mysql_ssl_rsa_setup Yes Yes No (setup SSL connections manually)
MySQL Utilities Yes Yes No
Backup locks No (in development for 8.0) Yes No
Usability – InnoDB memcached interface Yes Yes No

*Note. Third-party software (such as ProxySQL and ClickHouse) used in conjunction with Percona Server for MySQL is not necessarily covered by Percona Support services.

To get a higher level view of what Percona Server for MySQL offers compared to MySQL, please visit: Percona Server Feature Comparison. Read this for a higher level view of compatibility between MariaDB Server and MySQL written by MariaDB Corporation.

Open Community

MariaDB Server undoubtedly has an open community, with governance mixed between MariaDB Foundation and MariaDB Corporation. There are open developer meetings on average about twice per year, two mailing lists (one for developers and users), an IRC channel and an open JIRA ticket system that logs bugs and feature requests.

Percona Server for MySQL also has an open community. Developer meetings are not open to general contributors, but there is a mailing list, an IRC channel and two systems – Launchpad and JIRA – for logging bugs and feature requests.

MySQL also has an open community where developer meetings are also not open to general contributors. There are many mailing lists, there are a few IRC channels and there is the MySQL bugs system. The worklogs are where the design for future releases happens, and these are opened up when their features are fully developed and  source-code-pushed.

From a source code standpoint, MySQL makes pushes to Github when a release is made; whereas open source development happens for Percona Server for MySQL and MariaDB Server on Github.

Feature development on MySQL continues in leaps and bounds, and Oracle has been an excellent steward of MySQL. Please refer to The Complete List of Features in 5.7, as well as The Unofficial MySQL 8 Optimiser Guide.

Linux distributions have chosen MariaDB Server 5.5, and some have chosen MariaDB Server 10.0/10.1 when there was more backward compatibility to MySQL 5.5/5.6. It is the “default” MySQL in many Linux distributions (such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE and Debian). However, Ubuntu still believes that when you ask for MySQL you should get it (and that is what Ubuntu ships).

One of the main reasons Debian switched was due to the way Oracle publishes updates for security issues. They are released as a whole quarterly as Critical Patch Updates, without much detail about individual fixes. This is a policy that is unlikely to change, but has had no adverse effects on distribution.

All projects actively embrace contributions from the open community. MariaDB Server does include contributions like the MyRocks engine developed at Facebook, but so does Percona Server for MySQL. Oracle accepts contributions from a long list of contributors, including Percona. Please see Licensing information for MySQL 5.7 as an example.

A Shared Core Engine

MariaDB Server has differed from MySQL since MySQL 5.5. This is one reason why you don’t get version numbers that follow the MySQL scheme. It is also worth noting that features are cherry-picked at merge time, because the source code has diverged so much since then.

As the table below shows, it took Percona Server for MySQL over four months to get a stable 5.5 release based on MySQL 5.5, while it took MariaDB Server one year and four months to get a stable 5.5 release based on MySQL 5.5. Percona Server for MySQL 5.6 and 5.7 are based on their respective MySQL versions.

MySQL Percona Server for MySQL MariaDB Server
3 December 2010 5.5.8 GA
28 April 2011 5.5.11-20.2 GA
11 April 2012 5.5.23 GA
5 February 2013 5.6.10 GA
7 October 2013 5.6.13-61.0 GA
31 March 2014 10.0.10 GA
17 October 2015 10.1.8 GA
21 October 2015 5.7.9 GA
23 February 2016 5.7.10-3 GA
23 May 2017 10.2.6 GA

 

MySQL is currently at 8.0.3 Release Candidate, while MariaDB Server is at 10.3.2 Alpha as of this writing.

MariaDB Server is by no means a drop-in replacement for MySQL. The risk of moving to MariaDB Server if you aren’t using newer MySQL features may be minimal, but the risk of moving out of MariaDB Server to MySQL is very prevalent. Linux distributions like Debian already warn you of this.

MySQL vs. MariaDB

The differences are beyond just default configuration options. Some features, like time-delayed replication that were present in MySQL since 2013, only make an appearance in MariaDB Server in 2017! (Refer to the MariaDB Server 10.2 Overview for more.) However, it is also worth noting some features such as multi-source replication appeared in MariaDB Server 10.0 first, and only then came to MySQL 5.7.

Extensibility

MySQL and MariaDB Server have a storage engine interface, and this is how you access all engines, including the favored InnoDB/Percona XtraDB. It is worth noting that Percona XtraDB was the default InnoDB replacement in MariaDB Server 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.5, 10.0 and 10.1. But in MariaDB Server 10.2, the InnoDB of choice is upstream MySQL.

Stock MySQL has provided several storage engines beyond just InnoDB (the default) and MyISAM. You can find out more information about 5.7 Supported Engines.

Percona Server for MySQL includes a modified MEMORY storage engine, ships Percona XtraDB as the default InnoDB and also ships TokuDB and MyRocks (currently experimental). MyRocks is based on the RocksDB engine, and both are developed extensively at Facebook.

MariaDB Server includes many storage engines, beyond the default InnoDB. MyISAM is modified with segmented key caches, the default temporary table storage engine is Aria (which is a crash-safe MyISAM), the FederatedX engine is a modified FEDERATED engine, and there are more: CONNECT, Mroonga, OQGRAPH, Sequence, SphinxSE, SPIDER, TokuDB and of course MyRocks.

Storage engines have specific use cases, and have different levels of feature completeness. You should thoroughly evaluate a storage engine before choosing it. We believe that over 90% of installations are fine with just InnoDB or Percona XtraDB. Percona TokuDB is another engine that users who need compression could use. We naturally expect more usage in the MyRocks sphere going forward.

Analytics

MariaDB ColumnStore is the MariaDB solution to analytics and using a column-based store. It is a separate download and product, and not a traditional storage engine (yet). It is based on the now defunct InfiniDB product.

At Percona, we are quite excited by ClickHouse. We also have plenty of content around it. There is no MySQL story around this.

High Availability

High Availability is an exciting topic in the MySQL world, considering the server itself has been around for over 22 years. There are so many solutions out there, and some have had evolution as well.

MySQL provides MySQL Cluster (NDBCLUSTER) (there is no equivalent in the MariaDB world). MySQL also provides group replication (similar to Galera Cluster). Combined with the proxy MySQL Router, and the mysqlsh for administration (part of the X Protocol/X Dev API), you can also get MySQL InnoDB Cluster.

We benefit from the above at Percona, but also put lots of engineering work to make Percona XtraDB Cluster.

MariaDB Server only provides Galera Cluster.

Security

While we don’t want to compare the proprietary MySQL Enterprise Firewall, MariaDB’s recommendation is the proprietary, non-open source MariaDB MaxScale (it uses a Business Source License). We highly recommend the alternative, ProxySQL.

When it comes to encryption, MariaDB Server implements Google patches to provide complete data at rest encryption. This supports InnoDB, XtraDB and Aria temporary tables. The log files can also be encrypted (not present in MySQL, which only allows tablespace encryption and not log file encryption).

When it comes to attack prevention, ProxySQL should offer everything you need.

MySQL Enterprise provides auditing, while MariaDB Server provides an audit plugin as well as an extension to the audit interface for user filtering. Percona Server for MySQL has an audit plugin that sticks to the MySQL API, yet provides user filtering and controls the ability to audit (since auditing is expensive). Streaming to syslog is supported by the audit plugins from Percona and MariaDB.

Supporting Ecosystem and Tools

Upgrading from MySQL to MariaDB Server should be a relatively simple process (as stated above). If you want to upgrade away from MariaDB Server to MySQL, you may face hassles. For tools, see the following table:

Purpose MySQL Percona Server for MySQL MariaDB Server
Monitoring MySQL Enterprise Monitor Percona Monitoring & Management (PMM) (100% open source) Webyog Monyog
Backup MySQL Enterprise Backup Percona XtraBackup MariaDB Backup (fork of Percona XtraBackup)
SQL Management MySQL Workbench MySQL Workbench Webyog SQLyog
Load Balancing & Routing MySQL Router ProxySQL MariaDB MaxScale
Database Firewall MySQL Enterprise Firewall ProxySQL MariaDB MaxScale

 

Enterprise Database Compatibility

MariaDB Server today has window functions and common table expressions (CTEs). These appeared in MariaDB Server 10.2. MySQL 8 is presently in release candidate status and also has similar functionality.

Looking ahead, MariaDB Server 10.3 also includes an Oracle SQL_MODE and a partial PL/SQL parser. This is to aid migration from Oracle to MariaDB Server.

MariaDB Server 10.2 also has “flashback”, developed at Alibaba, to help with log-based rollback using the binary log.

Conclusion

Percona sees healthy competition in the MySQL ecosystem. We support all databases in the ecosystem: MySQL, MariaDB Server and Percona Server for MySQL. Our focus is to provide alternatives to proprietary parts of open source software. Percona has a strong operations focus on compatibility, application scalability, high availability security and observability. We also support many additional tools within the ecosystem, and love integrating and contributing to open source code.

For example, Percona Monitoring and Management (PMM) includes many open source tools like Prometheus, Consul, Grafana, Orchestrator and more. We have made the de facto open source hot backup solution for MySQL, MariaDB Server and Percona Server for MySQL (called Percona XtraBackup). We continue to maintain and extend useful tools for database engineers and administrators in Percona Toolkit. We make Percona XtraDB Cluster safe for deployment out of the box. We have invested in a write-optimized storage engine, TokuDB, and now continue to work with making MyRocks better.

We look forward to supporting your deployments of MySQL or MariaDB Server, whichever option is right for you! If you need assistance on migrations between servers, or further information, don’t hesitate to contact your friendly Percona sales associate.

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