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What Is MariaDB?

MariaDB is an open-source community-supported relational database management system that’s also an enhanced version of MySQL. MariaDB is fast, scalable and supports more storage engines than MySQL. Similar to MySQL, MariaDB supports external plugins, which means you can extend the database and apply it in more use cases, such as e-commerce, data warehousing and logging applications.

MariaDB is both robust and scalable. It’s a drop-in replacement for the popular MySQL database, which means you can replace your MySQL server with a MariaDB one without changing the application code.

MariaDB or MySQL: Which Should I Use?

MariaDB has many features that are also present in MySQL, but what makes MariaDB great is the variety of additional features and performance improvements over MySQL.

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Benefits of MariaDB

MariaDB is an open-source fork of the MySQL database, which means you can use it for free. Moreover, hosting a MariaDB typically comes at a low cost. MariaDB is also a well-documented database. In case you run into trouble or need to solve a particular problem, you’ll easily find help online, such as on StackOverflow.

Content management systems (CMS) are a key application of MariaDB. A CMS is a publication system through which web creators can push and manage large quantities of content on a website. In a typical website setup, your CMS already uses MariaDB behind the scenes without you having to program it. The website code is wired with MariaDB to handle queries to the database under the hood.

Here are some reasons why you might consider using MariaDB over MySQL.

 

Licensing

The community versions of MariaDB and MySQL are both open-source databases under the GPLv2 license. What’s more, the community edition of MariaDB comes with a complete package of database features making the free database version highly usable. On the other hand, the MySQL community version only comes with a limited feature set, which restricts the free use of MySQL.

 

Performance

MariaDB performs better than MySQL in querying views from the database. This is because:

  • MySQL queries all the tables connected to the desired view.
  • MariaDB only queries the tables specified in the query.

When it comes to flash storage, MariaDB comes with MyRocks storage engine and RocksDB. Both of these engines perform better with flash storage than MySQL.

 

Multiple Threads

MariaDB’s thread pooling feature is capable of handling 200,000 simultaneous connections. Although this is possible in MySQL, the feature is only available in the paid enterprise edition.

 

Storage Engines

MariaDB supports more storage engines than MySQL. These include:

  • Connect for accessing external local or remote data
  • Spider for sharing
  • TokuDB for handling big data
MariaDB Tutorial for Beginners in 1 Hour. | Video: Ahmad Mohey

 

MariaDB or MySQL — Which Is Better?

MariaDB and MySQL are both powerful database systems that offer major advantages to businesses. The best option for you is the one that meets your needs.

That said, keep in mind that MySQL has been around for a longer time than MariaDB, which means there are more resources available to you. Also, big organizations like Netflix, Zendesk and Caterpillar are behind MySQL. This corporate investment means bug fixes happen faster and new features are released more frequently. 

MariaDB, on the other hand, brings better performance and more storage engines to store data. However, MariaDB depends on community support, which can lead to less frequent updates and sporadic bug fixes.