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Oracle nemesis SkySQL gins up enterprise MariaDB product

Puts database, Galera cluster, and custom manager into a $20k box

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Anti-Oracle software startup SkySQL has put the finishing touches on a subscription service that wraps up the MariaDB database, Galera cluster tech, and a proprietary manager, as the company tries to get more organizations to dabble in the drop-in replacement for MySQL.

The new MariaDB Enterprise subscription service was announced by the company on Thursday and represents "the first real fruits" of the company's merger with other MariaDB development shop Monty Program Ab back in April, according to SkySQL's product manager for MariaDB Enterprise Rich Sands.

MariaDB Enterprise has been designed to ease the installation and configuration of a MariaDB database and Galera cluster. This allows admins to configure a system "in a few clicks" from bare metal, Sands claims.

The manager works via installing agents on individual database cluster nodes which then feed information back to the manager which makes decisions about how to install and configure the software according to templates and data gathered from the infrastructure.

The product is available as a yearly subscription starting at $20k (€15k in Europe) per year, which includes support for three database nodes, 24/7 support coverage, and all maintenance updates and patches.

Though MariaDB is a drop-in replacement for MySQL there are signs that the tech is gaining some features that go beyond that available in version 5.6 of its Oracle-backed counterpart, such as the Parallel Slave tech that featured in the beta of the latest version of the system.

Tech aside, SkySQL has also managed to draw some big names away from MySQL: In September, El Reg broke the news that Google was migrating its internal production servers from MySQL to MariaDB and had worked with SkySQL to implement needed features in the tech. Similarly, folks at Mozilla are migrating to MariaDB, Red Hat has made it the new storage engine in RHEL, and Fedora made it the default implementation of MySQL in Fedora 19.

Why such a wave of migration? "We're very confident that MariaDB represents an excellent alternative to MySQL," Sands says. "If people are paranoid about Oracle that's certainly one possibility."

SkySQL claims that a variety of other technically sophisticated companies like Fusion-io, HP, Fujitsu, Harvard University, and others were all using its tech.

"I think relational [databases] offer enterprises some key capabilities that NoSQL databases don't yet offer," Sands says. "I think relational is far from running out of gas." ®

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