Pros and cons for switching to MariaDB from MySQL?

What are the advantages of switching to MariaDB from MySQL?

And are there any disadvantages?

If you like me, you may have only just heard about MariaDB. I came across it as a new option when adding a database to RackSpace Cloud hosting environment. After a quick read up about MariaDB and seeing that it was MySQL compatible. I thought why not give it a shot for the website I was working on. The website was a demo site, so there weren’t any concerns about production stability. Rackspace Cloud Hosting provided PHPMyAdmin for accessing the MariaDB. Just like you would have with MySQL. Everything appeared to look the same and work the same setting up the database. Once set-up I immediately saw that MariaDB is definitely faster than MySQL.

So what are the pros and cons for switching to MariaDB from MySQL?

Pros of MariaDB vs MySQL

  1. MariaDB has better query performance.
  2. MariaDB has more of an open source attitude.
  3. Switching to MariaDB is easy.
  4. Galera implementation is better in MariaDB.
  5. MariaDB is available as an option with some hosting environments, like RackSpace Cloud.
  6. MariaDB comes by default with some distros, like the Red Hat series.

I took a big site from MySQL to MariaDB with zero issues.

Cons of MariaDB vs MySQL

  1. Switching back from MariaDB to MySQL may not be so easy.
  2. If you are using AWS, Amazon Aurora may be even faster than MariaDB and MySQL.
  3. Your Operating System may not support MariaDB yet.
  4. Your hosting environment may not support MariaDB yet.
  5. Percona may be an even better option than MariaDB.

As with all software there are new versions in development. Each release bringing better performance with it.

So if you are looking to switch from MySQL, make sure the benefits outweigh the risks.

Wikipedia made the switch in 2013 as outlined in this blog post

Rackspace is updating all it’s Cloud Sites from MySQL to MariaDB in 2016.

Useful knowledge base articles from Maria:

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5 thoughts on “Pros and cons for switching to MariaDB from MySQL?”

  1. No doubt, much better performance and faster queries. We recently switched all of our shared servers to MariaDB. Don’t know why we didn’t make the switch earlier, now.

  2. We are planning to move very large database(70GB) with more than 450 tables from mysql to mariadb.
    We are customer of WebYog having both products Monyog and SQLYog. we have following question and need
    your advise.
    1) Monyog & SQLyog is compatible with mariadb?
    2) We are setting up mariadb on three server with Galera. All three will be master servers. Please advise
    is it a good decision for oursize database?
    3) Is there any complications involved?
    4) Our database size increasing fast so Mariadb is scalable for our requirements?
    5) Any know limitations for this scenario?
    6) How can we test 100% uptime using monyog?
    7) How can we test performance?

    Please advise.

    Thanks

    1. Hi Dharmendu,
      Thanks for the questions.
      1) Monyog and SQLyog are both compatible with MariaDB.
      2) I haven’t used Galera yet, and honestly haven’t ever grown a database to 70GB, so difficult for me to advise you.
      3) There shouldn’t be any complications involved, but the best way to find out would be try it out and run some tests.
      4) MariaDB is definitley a good choice and more companies are switching to it.
      5, 6, 7) I would advise you set-up the environment and test all the databases and functionality. Then you can compare that with your existing MySQL databases side by side to test performance and uptime.

      I hope that helps a bit, as I said I’ve never needed to use databases that big.

      Regards,
      Jon

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