MariaDB and MySQL: Which One Should You Use?


MariaDB and MySQL have been rising in popularity. Both offer various benefits of their own, and it might be hard to pick one over the other. This article will brief you on what they have in common, how they differ, and which one you should use.

In both MariaDB and MySQL, there is significant performance improvement with respect to database ‘views’. ‘Views’ are essentially virtual database tables that may be queried in the same way that standard database tables are queried. When you query a view in MySQL, all the tables related to the view are queried, even if the query does not require some of the views. This has been streamlined in MariaDB such that just the tables requested by the question are queried.

What exactly is Maria DB?
The MariaDB database management system is a derivative of the MySQL database management system. The RDBMS is capable of processing data for both minor and large scale operations. This database management system is an enhanced version of MySQL. It includes a slew of sophisticated built-in features as well as various usability, security and performance enhancements not found in MySQL.

When Oracle purchased MySQL in October 2009, many team members were concerned about the future of the database. MariaDB was started and took over MySQL’s versioning, beginning at 5.1. It is licensed under the GNU General Public License and will remain free and open source. The project was named after the developer’s second daughter, and was designed to be a simple replacement for MySQL. It is frequently included as the default database in major Linux distributions such as CentOS. The MySQL API and protocols are also included in MariaDB.

Plans and projects change in the realm of open source software, and corporations may decide that they no longer want their product to be open source. In recent years, this has been the case with the popular database MySQL. When this happens, there is often turnover in the organisation. Some people are passionate enough about developing a fork to keep it alive as an open source project. This is what is happening with MariaDB.

How does MariaDB operate?
MariaDB manages preset relationships between data objects as a relational database. These elements are arranged in the form of tables, columns and rows. A primary key can be found in each table row, and foreign keys can construct rows across many plains.

Because of the way the relational model works, data tables, views and indexes are kept distinct from the physical storage of the database. This means that administrators can manage biological data without compromising logical access to it (e.g., you can rename a database file and not rename the tables stored within it).

When we talk about physical and logical, we’re also referring to database activities. Logical operations enable programs to provide the required content, whereas biological functions specify how data should be obtained and tasks completed.

This approach is simple, powerful, and widely adopted by organisations of all shapes and sizes.

Five MariaDB advantages and features
Many features and benefits distinguish MariaDB from MySQL and other open source RDBMS. Let’s look at the five aspects that set MariaDB apart from the others.

The InnoDB database: InnoDB is a general-purpose storage engine notable for its ability to balance high dependability and high performance. It is MySQL’s default storage engine and a popular choice for usage with MariaDB. It supports foreign keys and provides conventional ACID-compliant transaction capabilities. The acronym ACID stands for atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability. This ensures that each transaction is handled as a separate entity. If that transaction fails to complete, the entire transaction fails, leaving the database unaltered. InnoDB employs a dual licence, one for use with GNU GPL software and another with proprietary software.

XtraDB (ExtraDB): XtraDB, once a more popular option than InnoDB, was created as a drop-in storage engine for MariaDB. This was in versions before 10.1. InnoDB has been the default storage engine for MariaDB since version 10.2.

RocksDB/MyRocks: MyRocks is open source software created and still maintained by Facebook’s database engineering team. It is an alpha-stage storage engine that is optimised for low latency and rapid storage. Its primary purpose is to maximise storage savings. By focusing on efficiency, it helps to save money on things like SSD wear and tear, actual storage required, and greater IO capacity for query management. It is officially supported on CentOS 6.8 and 7.2.X, with best-effort support for Ubuntu 14, 15, and 16 LTS, and subsequent versions.

Cluster of Galera: Galera cluster is a ‘real multi-master cluster’ that relies on synchronous replication. Its primary goal is to ensure high uptime, prevent data loss, and be scalable for future growth. Synchronous replication ensures that the slave does not lag and that no data is lost if the node fails. It can read and write to any node at any time, and multi-threads the slave for improved speed. It has a ‘Hot Standby’ feature, which means there is no downtime during a failover because there is no failover.

Sequence storage engine: Sequence engines let you generate ascending or descending numerical sequences with a particular starting, ending, and increment value. As needed, this generates virtual ephemeral tables. There is no method to build a sequence table intentionally, and these engines do not write to a disc or develop from files; they are read-only and transactional.

What exactly is MySQL?
MySQL, created in the mid-1990s, was one of the first open source databases accessible on the market. There are numerous MySQL alternatives available nowadays. However, the differences between the variants are minor because they employ the same syntax and have the same core functionality. MySQL is an RDBMS that aids in the organisation of data in a database. It is utilised on top of a Linux distribution with the combination of PHP and Apache Web Server. To query the database, MySQL employs the SQL programming language.

Important MySQL features
Open source: MySQL is open source software, which implies that anybody can download, use, and modify it. It is free to use and simple to comprehend. MySQL’s source code can be examined and modified to meet specific needs. It makes use of the GPL, or GNU General Public License, which outlines the rules and regulations for what can and cannot be done with the application.

Scalable: The ability of systems to work quickly with small amounts of data, vast amounts of data, clusters of machines, and so on is called scalability. MySQL server has been designed to handle massive databases.

Types of data: It supports a wide range of data types, including unsigned and signed integers, float (FLOAT), double (DOUBLE), character (CHAR), variable character (VARCHAR), text, blob, date, time, DateTime, timestamp, year, and so on.

Sets of characters: MySQL supports a variety of character sets, including latin1 (cp1252 character encoding), German, Ujis, and other Unicode character sets.

Secure: It provides a safe interface since it includes a customisable password mechanism to check it, based on the host, before accessing the database. While connecting to the server, the password is encrypted.

Large database support: It supports big databases including 40 to 50 million records, 150,000 to 200,000 tables, and up to 5,000,000,000 rows.

Utility and client programs: MySQL server also includes a slew of client and utility apps. This covers command-line utilities like mysqladmin as well as graphical programs like ‘MySQL Workbench’. MySQL client programs are written in several different languages. Client libraries (code contained in modules) can be written in C or C++, and are available to clients with C bindings.

The key differences between MariaDB and MySQL
  • MariaDB now has 12 new storage engines, whereas MySQL has fewer of these.
  • MariaDB has a more significant connection pool, which can accommodate 200,000+ connections, whereas MySQL has a smaller pool.
  • When comparing the performance of MariaDB with MySQL, replication in MariaDB is faster, but repetition in MySQL is slower.
  • MariaDB is open source, but MySQL’s Enterprise Edition includes some proprietary code.
  • MariaDB does not allow data masking or dynamic columns, although MySQL does.
  • When comparing MariaDB with MySQL, MariaDB outperforms MySQL.

When should MariaDB be used instead of MySQL?

While MariaDB has superior technical qualities over MySQL, don’t base your decision just on this. Be aware of the differences in licence fees and levels of assistance, as these are significant success factors.

If you are comfortable dealing with problems independently, you will most likely profit more from MariaDB’s technical benefits. On the other hand, if you want to be sure that you will receive timely assistance (and if you can afford it), a commercial MySQL installation is undoubtedly the best option for you.

Whatever database you choose, you should consider the key aspect — whether you need to integrate that data with other essential business data. It is easier to pull data from MariaDB into other non-relational databases like MongoDB or Couch, and even Excel files. You can then save the data in a central area where everyone in your organisation can access it and query it, or examine the data using your existing BI or analytics tool.
MySQL is one of the world’s largest commercial database vendor’s corporate umbrella. There have already been some instances of forks, with many full-time engineers working around the clock to produce premium new features. When it comes to premium enhancements, MariaDB usually catches up, although this is not always immediate, and there are no promises.

MariaDB is undeniably powerful, with many capabilities that are incredibly helpful but not supported by MySQL. Such qualities make MariaDB an appealing alternative for use as the primary backend database. In general, enterprises that have previously obtained Oracle licences do not need to invest in MariaDB. However, for individuals who are starting from scratch and are unsure about which database to use, MariaDB is unquestionably a better option.

There are numerous cases in which MariaDB offers superior performance. Add to that the more agile patches and upgrades, a more reliable open source future, and a bit more optimism, and you can easily see why MariaDB is a vital and useful choice over MySQL for most users


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here