SkySQL and MariaDB Working Together to Keep MySQL an Open Ecosystem

I pledged, in my first post last month, that SkySQL will do its part to promote the best of MySQL and its community. Given the recent discovery that Oracle is no longer publishing test cases for bug fixes, and the dialogue surrounding it, it feels like the right time to share my thoughts on what this means to the open source collective, and what we can do – and are doing – about it.

If you read some of the posts by the community and the media, like this one from TechCrunch, there is a faction that believes Oracle is willingly moving to end MySQL as we know it. While I do think Oracle’s decision to not make these issues public creates a burden for developers and users of MySQL, I’m also interested in the thoughts of Giuseppe Maxia, a former MySQL AB team member and current partner at Continuent. According to that train of thought, Oracle is most likely not intentionally damaging the MySQL ecosystem, but this move and its recent decision to go for an Open Core model is making it more difficult for developers and users to work with MySQL and is giving them a reason to consider the benefits of migration to another open source database.

The MariaDB team were the first to notice that there were no test cases with recent bug fixes, and this discovery created much backlash and confusion in the community.

Over the past few years MariaDB has evolved to become a truly open and very competitive alternative to MySQL. According to the 451 Research Group’s survey it's the largest MySQL fork, and 18% of MySQL users are considering or already using it as a MySQL replacement.

MariaDB daily downloads and hits have risen dramatically over the past week as an increasing number of MySQL users explore their alternatives. Many of them have discovered that the migration to MariaDB is both simple and reliable - as easy as upgrading from one MySQL release to the next.

SkySQL works closely with, and contributes to, MariaDB, because we share Monty’s belief that the MySQL ecosystem can only remain more competitive and vibrant as a true open source environment.

Together, we aspire to offer a compelling evolution path for the MariaDB server combined with high quality support and a broad range of complementary tools and technologies for MySQL users.

SkySQL enterprise customers reap the rewards of this close working relationship by being among the first to know of new MySQL issues – and receiving timely fixes for them with test cases included.

Stay tuned for more details on how SkySQL, along with MariaDB and our other trusted partners, will better service its enterprise customers and the MySQL community.

About the Author

Patrik joined SkySQL as CEO in 2012 after running the Content Cloud business at F-Secure where he was also leading the Professional Services function. Earlier, Patrik built up and led the Hosting Line of Business in Nokia Siemens Networks. Patrik has a long background with Nokia where he held various management positions in mobile phone product development, strategy and innovation, including running a cross-functional Corporate Strategy unit called Insight & Foresight. He also worked several years in management consulting with McKinsey & Company in their Paris and Helsinki offices.
Anonymous

I am skeptic

I don't see the point of this exercise. If Oracle is hiding the details of its security fixes, you can't bring them up by using a MySQL fork. What you are proposing is replacing Oracle MySQL with MariaDB. But then, I observe that

  • The core value of MySQL is InnoDB
  • The majority of InnoDB developers still work at Oracle
  • Users want InnoDB bugs to be fixed, and new features to be brought to InnoDB
  • MariaDB is made by merging (parts of) Oracle MySQL with MariaDB improvements

Thus, I ask, how can MariaDB replace Oracle MySQL? I don't see how this can happen. In fact, I see MariaDB confrontational attitude as one of the causes for Oracle stiffening its stand. I may be mistaken, but this is how it looks to me when I analyse the facts.

Giuseppe

Anonymous

MariaDB replaces InnoDB with XtraDB

"MariaDB uses by default XtraDB (an improved version of InnoDB) which is both faster and has more features than InnoDB."
Quoted from josetteorama

So you don't have to use InnoDB but instead use an upgraded version written by the open source community. That cuts more of Oracle out of the picture.

Patrik Sallner

It's about openness

Giuseppe,

Thank you for taking the time to comment on my blog post, it's good to have the feedback!

My intent was really to discuss the topic of 'openess', which is a term that defines the open source world of course. The MySQL world has been holding their breath for the past few years to see how Oracle evolves the open aspects of the MySQL product and business model. And the debate has heated in recent weeks.

What's important I think is that there is choice, that we would want the MySQL eco-system to remain open, that forks and similar activities are a natural path in open source projects, which really is the point about open source in the first place.

In that sense, MariaDB greatly contributes to the MySQL eco-system and of course we would all want for MySQL to continue to evolve, in the open, and its eco-system with it. My hope is that Oracle sees the value of retaining MySQL open for the benefit of all the users. The success that MariaDB is experiencing confirms to me the user attraction to open source alternatives.
 

And from a SkySQL perspective, we want to support customers using all of the major forks of MySQL by providing services for the best of both worlds!

Patrik