Google quietly dumps Oracle MySQL for MariaDB

Google quietly dumps Oracle MySQL for MariaDB

Summary: Linux distributors have been moving from Oracle's MySQL to its popular fork, MariaDB - and now Google is also moving to MariaDB.


Despite being the most popular open-source database management system (DBMS), Oracle's MySQL has been sinking into trouble. Major Linux distributions like Red Hat and SUSE, are switching it out for its fork, MariaDB. Major Websites, such as Wikipedia, have also replaced MySQL with MariaDB. Now, adding insult to injury, Google is moving to MariaDB from MySQL.


As first reported by The Register, Jeremy Cole, a Google senior systems engineer announced the news at the Extremely Large Databases (XLDB) conference in Stanford, CA as part of his MySQL presentation  (PDF Link). A Google spokesperson said, "Google's MySQL team is in the process of moving internal users of MySQL at Google from MySQL 5.1 to MariaDB 10.0. Google's MySQL team and the SkySQL MariaDB team are looking forward to working together to advance the reliability and feature set of MariaDB."

This news wasn't surprising to Google open-source watchers. Sources at Google had said for some time that Google was moving to MariaDB. Earlier this year, Google assigned an engineer to work on MariaDB.

The Register reported that Cole said, "We're running primarily on [MySQL] 5.1 which is a little outdated, and so we're moving to MariaDB 10.0 at the moment," in his MySQL talk.

According to The Register, the MariaDB Foundation has been working with Google since the "beginning of the year" to help migrate Google's internal DBMS servers to MariaDB. SkySQL , the company that backs MariaDB, CEO Patrik Sallner is reported to have said that Google is "moving many of their applications that have been previously working on MySQL off to MariaDB. We've also been collaborating with them to develop features in MariaDB to enable the migration."

Specifically, Google is moving to its own customized version of MariaDB 10.0. This version of MariaDB is equivalent to MySQL 5.6. Google's version of MariaDB, according to Cole, is "Not really true 'forks' [but are] branches for internal use." He added that Google had been making its own tweaks to the MySQL DBMS family for years.

Reading Cole's presentation it appears that there are several reasons why Google is shifting to MariaDB.

First, while Cole, and Google, "value stability and performance over fancy new features. Oracle doesn’t always feel the same way." While Cole admits that Oracle does good development work, they don't do it in an open-source friendly manner. He said, Cole is "continuing to do good development, but often without much public visibility until release," and worse still, Oracle, "ignores bugs, feedback, and communication from the community."

With Google joining the exodus from MySQL to MariaDB, Oracle has another reason to regret its 2009 $7.4-billion purchase of Sun and MySQL. And the Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Python/Perl (LAMP) stack may soon be known as the Apache, MariaDB, PHP/Python/Perl stack.

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Topics: Enterprise Software, Data Management, Google, Open Source, Oracle

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  • Not surprised, but ...

    Article: "Oracle has another reason to regret its 2009 $7.4-billion purchase of Sun and MySQL"

    If Oracle ever has any regrets about its acquisition of Sun, it won't be due to anything related to MySQL. Rather, it will be due to how they managed Sun's crown jewels: Java and SPARC/Solaris. MySQL was merely icing on the cake.

    Oracle will either successfully monetize MySQL, or not. I'm not sure that it even cares. Oracle tried to monetize OpenOffice and failed. Thus, the donation to The Apache Foundation. For sure, Oracle seems to perform much better as a contributor to open-source projects (e.g., the Linux kernel, Eclipse) than as the sole manager of an open-source project (e.g., OpenOffice, MySQL).

    Just count your blessings as both VirtualBox and Netbeans, both Sun acquisitions prior to Oracle (as was MySQL), seem to be keeping on.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
  • Are you sure about one statement?

    "Google assigned an engineer to work on MariaDB"

    An engineer, as in single, one, solo engineer?

    That would indicate that Google hasn't switched many of their enormous systems inventory to Maria, yet you indicate that Google switched in its entirety.

    Care to elaborate on how much really switched so we can get a good feel for how long this will take, or does Steven have an agenda, like usual?
    • Umm

      I think the comment was one engineer earlier in the year and it really isn't hard to manage the data and databases as well migrating them as MariaDB is a version of MySQL, a fork. I would assume that this means even the files might be compatible with the older software.
  • I've also started moving away from oracle

    I stopped using virtualbox soon after I saw their shenanigans - buying sun just to try to cash in on android, which was found by a court to not have stolen java. Hahaha larry. Then switched to VMware. I also only use OpenJDK, not oracle java - runs just fine.
    • Yep

      And VMWare Player is a much better product than Virtual box!
      • YOu must be using a different product then me

        The free version Vmware player is a buggy mess that you are luck if it runs the latest version of fedora reliably. Virtual box has its flaws but its a solid piece of software.
    • DrWong: "I also only use OpenJDK, not oracle java"

      OpenJDK is Oracle's open-source Java (GPLv2). Drive your browser to the following site and scroll to the bottom of the page:

      Still not convinced? Click on the "OpenJDK FAQ" link ...
      Rabid Howler Monkey
      • Re: OpenJDK is Oracle's open-source Java

        But it is not the same as “Oracle Java” (née “Sun Java”).
        • ldo17: "But it [OpenJDK] is not the same as “Oracle Java”

          Nor is base Oracle VirtualBox, also licensed under GPLv2 and distributed in many GNU/Linux repositories along with Oracle's OpenJDK, the same as Oracle VirtualBox extension pack with its Personal Use and Evaluation License (read proprietary).

          Capice? Dr. Wong's switch from VirtualBox to a VMware product was based purely on his hatred of Oracle and had absolutely nothing to do with FOSS principles.

          P.S. VirtualBox dual-licensing existed prior to Sun's acquisition of Innotek and before Oracle's acquisition of Sun. The only change in VirtualBox licensing that I am aware of concerns enterprise use:

          Rabid Howler Monkey
  • ??

    DrWong and Owlllllnet - if you do not get paid for this I strongly advise you get professional help. What is entertaining or productive about what you guys do on here? All I can say is that I hope you guys get paid, because if not your lives must be absolutely miserable.
    • They're both annoying.

      But that's the consequence of free speech.
      • True

        Best way is just ignore em.
        • can I ignore

          you, guys, instead of DrWong? Since he knows what is talking about and usually shares pretty informative stuff here on zdnet. Sorry that he's not an MS fan.
  • I won't touch Google software...

    Android is one big half closed source piece of malware that is specifically for supporting Google's goal to collect all data about all people that it can, with your identity attached. No thanks.
    All those years of ABM shills screaming bloody murder about Windows Update, when the user chose to have it automatic, giving MS info to perform auto update, and just that and people were ranting on here but now Google has a very clunky, poorly written piece of software that does nothing but phone home and steal your identity and steal all of your emails and texts and document content.
    Google is the Danger. Don't use it. They already own so much internet property you can't help but cross it just using the internet, so they are a monopoly that needs to be sopped.
    The monopoly is not just their phone OS which has as much as Windows ever had, is controlled much more by Google so that carriers have to include and use only google approved hardware and technologies but they also monopolize your identity and data.
    Don't fool around with this, it's worse than the government having your data and forcing you to pay the Google tax on every Android phone.

    • Ha

      You're an idiot. Android is completely open (Watch he's going to pull an article from the honeycomb days)... Their apps and tools that they bundle are closed (l the play store, gmail, maps, and Google+) but, Android itself is open.
  • well done

    Sends the right message!
    LlNUX Geek
  • Quietly dumps = starting to evaluate options

    This sounds like a political move as a result of Oracle suing Google..and so I don't blame Google for trying to rid themselves of any Oracle products.

    I would like to hear the technical reasons why MariaDB is better.
    • It isn't...

      It isn't so much better, it has its strengths and weaknesses but, it seems that Oracle's real intentions for buying key pieces of MySQL were really only to protect their proprietary database and make the little DB that could irrelevant.

      MariaDB isn't as fast as MySQL was but, at least development is moving forward on the software and Oracle has no real hooks in the product.
      • makes sense

        I still think SJVN was exaggerating with his click bait headline. It will be awhile before Google moves everything over..if they even do that. I think they have bigger things to worry about than sticking it to Oracle.