MariaDB adds distributed database features to its SkySQL cloud service

MariaDB, originally best known as a fork of open source MySQL database, has gradually added new features and architectural changes that have helped it establish its own identity and typecast. Now, MariaDB Corporation, the commercial entity behind the technology, brings about these and other changes SkySQL cloud Database as a Service (DBaaS) offer.

Shane Johnson, Senior Director of Product Marketing at MariaDB, informed ZDNet about the features of the new SkySQL release. I have provided details on the three main supports that SkySQL now provides: distributed scaling features; column storage / MPP data storage functions for massive parallel processing; and multimaster clustering.

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Multiple motors, configurations and workloads

SkySQL’s ability to function as a distributed SQL database is intended to make it competitive with globally distributed databases such as Google Cloud Key and Cockroach DB. The feature provides both high availability (HA) and write-scale performance. This has been made possible through the adoption of SkySQL by MariaDB Platform X5, which added distributed SQL functions through the platform Xpand storage motor and MaxScale HA database proxy.

Xpand joins the previously released ColumnStore engine, which allows to store data in a column way and Shard-Query, which provides the MPP query technology. The column storage / MPP query combination is great for data storage and operational analytics workloads, and with Xpand and ColumnStore on board, MariaDB can be implemented in online transaction processing (OLTP) server, distributed and grouped configurations. Developers and database administrators (DBAs) are able to leverage their core MariaDB database proficiency kits in all three use cases.

NoSQL? Not necessary.

Johnson explained that MariaDB had previously been really best suited for small / medium workloads, but that the addition of the Xpand engine means the database can grow to handle large workloads where high concurrency and write-scale performance are required without make the customer re-platform. In addition, SkySQL’s multi-master clustering, used by half of its customers, allows these features to be implemented for mission-critical, zero downtime initiatives.

Traditionally, relational databases have been difficult to scale in this way, which was a major factor in nurturing the popularity of various NoSQL databases that could be more easily scaled out. This release of SkySQL is intended to add the easy scaling of a NoSQL database to the structured data and strong consistency models that relational databases offer, and which are still in high demand.

Cloud accessibility

Johnson says “vanilla” MariaDB will not provide all of these options, whether they run open source bits locally, the Amazon RDS (Relational Database Service) for MariaDB service or Microsoft Azure Database for MariaDB service. This is because the capabilities are a part of MariaDB Enterprise Server, on which SkySQL is based.

The new release of SkySQL is available now, and MariaDB Corporation is offering a $ 500 service credit to new users of the service. SkySQL is Kubernetes-based and running on Google Cloud Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) service with an implementation of Amazon Web Services (AWS) soon. MariaDB Corporation also plans to add a Microsoft Azure-based SkySQL offering, but the timing is less clear. Johnson said an Azure offer would not come until the AWS offer is released and runs smoothly.

Trickle-up innovation

One thing is clear here: innovative technologies, such as those that came out of the NoSQL movement, are finally enjoying and also finding a way into more conventional technologies. Containerization and cloud computing then move them to the availability of managed service. So while innovators seem to be producing “fringe” offerings, they are ultimately benefiting the entire industry, making traditional platforms more versatile, even though these platforms retain the critical classic features that corporate customers need.