July 27, 2015

The Companies That Support Linux: MariaDB

MariaDB VP Roger LevyMariaDB Corporation is a provider of open source database solutions for SaaS, cloud and on-premise applications that require high availability, scalability, and performance. Built by the founder and core engineering team behind MySQL, MariaDB has more than 2 million users globally and over 500 customers in more than 45 countries -- most of whom are running Linux.

MariaDB recently joined The Linux Foundation as a new corporate member along with CloudLinux and Solace Systems. Here, Roger Levy, VP of Products at MariaDB and former GM of Novell's SUSE Linux business unit, tells us more about MariaDB; how and why they use Linux; why they joined The Linux Foundation; and how they are innovating with Linux and open source.

Linux.com: What does MariaDB do? 

Roger Levy: MariaDB is the database platform that powers billions of users on sites including Google and Wikipedia. It’s an open-source, transactional, ACID-compliant RDBMS platform that allows organizations to build web-scale databases for applications in public, private, or hybrid SaaS deployments. Our customers’ database applications are agile and achieve continuous uptime with reliable connections that scale up to meet huge demand. 

We provide an enterprise subscription offering, MariaDB Enterprise, which includes curated and hardened server binaries based on the leading open-source MariaDB community server, along with tools, connectors, subscription services and a customer portal that meet the needs of mission-critical applications. MariaDB Enterprise offers users the option to deploy MaxScale™, a database-aware proxy platform that provides capabilities such as load balancing, sharding, and firewall protection without the need to modify existing applications. The bottom line is MariaDB delivers high availability, scalability, and security beyond MySQL and other databases.

Our company, MariaDB, was founded by the creator and core engineering team behind MySQL, who collectively have more than 400 years of MySQL-related experience. Today MariaDB is the new “M” in LAMP, having displaced MySQL as the default database in the Red Hat and SUSE Linux distributions. MariaDB is also included in Pivotal Cloud Foundry, Rackspace, and other cloud stacks, and it is the database of choice for IBM POWER8 and IBM’s Turbo LAMP stack.

How and why do you use Linux?

Levy: Linux is the main development and production environment for MariaDB and for our customers because it is malleable yet offers a stable environment. We and our customers value the continued innovation in operating system functionality from Linux as well as its low total cost of ownership (TCO). We have more than two million users in more than 45 countries, and a majority of our 500+ customers are running Linux.

Why did you join the Linux Foundation?

Levy: MariaDB and the Linux Foundation are aligned in our commitment to an open-source model. Linux is the leading open-source operating system, and MariaDB is the leading open-source relational database. Linux is absolutely integral to our development program, so joining the Linux Foundation was a natural next step in ensuring that we would be part of the evolution of Linux and the future of open-source technologies.

We’re also looking forward to enabling our customers to benefit from access to the Linux Foundation’s online community with its continuous stream of innovation, broad developer ecosystem, and multitude of emerging Linux-based technologies. We’ve seen how valuable online communities can be from our own vibrant open-source community, which has contributed to MariaDB Enterprise with significant security and performance enhancements as well as collaborations with Google, Wikipedia, and Facebook. The Linux Foundation promises similar community-based benefits and provides phenomenal stewardship of Linux and its associated technologies. 

What interesting or innovative trends in data centers and storage are you witnessing and what role does Linux play in them?

Levy: We’re seeing more migration to cloud architectures, growing interest in alternative consumption models such as Platform-as-a-Service and containerization, and a veritable tsunami of data and all data types which is driving greater storage virtualization and adoption of software-defined storage. Linux is the dominant OS behind many of these trends and is fundamental to the evolution of technology solutions and the DevOps efforts linked to them. We believe increasing adoption of these emergent technologies will drive even more widespread adoption of Linux. 

How is your company participating in that innovation? 

Levy: MariaDB is enabling our customers to adopt these new virtualized and cloud-based technologies with innovations in security, scalability, replication, and performance.

Our customers with cloud databases or other cloud infrastructure demand top security, scalability, and replication capabilities. Together with Google we have built strong security features on MariaDB 10.1, and we’re building even more. ​For scalability, we’ve developed MaxScale™, a database-aware proxy platform with scalability features including read/write traffic splitting, load balancing, and schema-based sharding without the need to modify existing applications. MaxScale also delivers significant advances in replication, including innovative parallel replication and multi-source replication. ​ 

To increase database performance, MariaDB has also created optimized server binaries. These binaries—the result of careful profiling and compiler optimization for typical use cases— can increase overall database performance by more than 15 percent.

What other future technologies or industries do you think Linux and open source will increasingly become important in and why?

Levy: Linux and open-source technologies will play a key role in building platforms for machine learning, virtualization, data analytics, and devices in the IoT, such as wearables and self-driving automobiles.

As software becomes increasingly pervasive in the world, technologies and industries will need a robust operating system as their foundation. Linux is the open-source operating system of choice, with a proven track record in Internet and cloud-based technologies. Linux is proven and mature, with a huge base of knowledgeable engineers who know how to make it work in diverse applications.

Maybe even more important, Linux is also tremendously malleable, with extensive feature functionality and a wealth of compatible components. We believe Linux is well-positioned to help define the future of technology, both for those technical reasons and also thanks to its large, expert, and vibrant open-source community, which drives ongoing innovation.

Anything else important or upcoming that you'd like to share?

Levy: We have a new CTO on board, Nishant Vyas, who is helping us further the capabilities of MariaDB to make it one of the most rapidly adopted open-source database platforms worldwide. His broad, web-scale engineering experience with multiple database-related technologies will help us continue to deliver innovation for our cloud-focused and enterprise-scale IT customers.

Plus, we recently announced the release of MariaDB Enterprise Summer 2015, which accelerates deployment of open-source DBMS applications and better integrates into our customers’ DevOps environments. 

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