Wikipedia moving from MySQL to MariaDB

Wikipedia moving from MySQL to MariaDB

Summary: If you still think MySQL is too entrenched to be moved from its spot as the number one, open-source DBMS, you might to look at what Wikipedia is doing.

Wikimedia is moving from MySQL to MariaDB for its backend DBMS.

For years, MySQL has been the dominant open-source database management system (DBMS). Recently, MariaDB, the MySQL fork created by MySQL's founder, has been making in-roads and Wikipedia, the world's sixth most popular Web site, is shifting over from MySQL to MariaDB.

Asher Feldman, Site Architect at Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), the group behind Wikipedia wrote recently, that he had" migrated one of the main production English Wikipedia slaves, db59, to MariaDB 5.5.28." I then asked him if Wikimedia planned to move all of Wikipedia to MariaDB.  He replied, "We will indeed be migrating more of our production databases to MariaDB. I'm hoping to have one of our major projects (such as the English language Wikipedia) fully migrated in production by the end of the year. I don't have a specific timeline yet, but if the assessment continues to be positive, we may fully migrate production in the first quarter of next year."

Why is Wikipedia making this move? Feldman wrote, "The main goal of migrating to MariaDB is not performance driven. More so, I think it's in WMF's and the open source communities interest to coalesce around the MariaDB Foundation as the best route to ensuring a truly open and well supported future for mysql derived database technology. Performance gains along the way are icing on the cake."

As it happens, those performance gains are quite tasty. Feldman said, "Taking the times of 100% of all queries over regular sample windows, the average query time across all enwiki slave queries is about 8% faster with MariaDB vs. our production build of 5.1-fb. Some queries types are 10-15% faster, some are 3% slower, and nothing looks aberrant beyond those bounds. Overall throughput as measured by qps [queries per second] has generally been improved by 2-10%. I wouldn't draw any conclusions from this data yet, more is needed to filter out noise, but it's positive."

In the future, he believes that "MariaDB has some nice performance improvements that our workload doesn't really hit (better query optimization and index usage during joins, much better sub query support) but there are also some things, such as full utilization of the primary key embedded on the right of every secondary index that we can take advantage of (and improve our schema around) once prod is fully upgraded, hopefully over the next 1-2 months."

Regardless of how you feel about Oracle, MySQL's owner; open-source vs. proprietary software; MariaDB's better performance at one of the world's busiest Web sites is going to draw attention from anyone running serious Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Python/Perl (LAMP) software stacks.

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Topics: Data Management, Enterprise Software, Linux, Open Source, Oracle, Servers

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  • Steven, are you sure that MySQL has been the dominant open-source DBMS?

    From the article:
    "For years, MySQL has been the dominant open-source database management system (DBMS).

    I was uncer the impression that SQLite was the dominant open-source database management system (DBMS). More here:
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • Light is not mid-weight

      sqlite is more ubiquitous in its own niche, but icould be light at times. Like in this case. In the mid weight to heavy, Mysql/MariaDB is the most popular. I guess, this was what Steve was referring to.
      I'd go with postgres, the heavy-weight king .
      • Wow

        Love my job, since I've been bringing in $5600… I sit at home, music playing while I work in front of my new iMac that I got now that I'm making it online(Click on menu Home)
      • postgres rulez!

        fastest db ever is oracle. the closest to oracle, open-source, free, community-backed choice is postgres. long live postgres..
        Erman Yelek%C3%A7i
        • Both wrong

          Oracle is not known for its speed. It is rather slow in some cases but it has enterprise level capabilities (RAC, Backup...)

          MySQL is many times faster than PostgreSQL. That's why most high traffic websites use it.

          I have run a website with 1 million users (10,000 concurrent, 150 million page views per month) with a single instance of MySQL on a double quad server. But it would take 2-3 times hardware if I wanted to use PostgreSQL.
  • Looks like...

    ...Oracle has a public relations problem. I'm guessing that it will take more than positive media coverage to fix it.
    John L. Ries
    • One big problem Oracle has

      is called "Larry"
      • He's kind of hard to get rid of

        Especially since he's the founder. However, it would be helpful to Oracle if he would stop shooting himself in the foot. But at least, he's reasonably competent, unlike certain other big tech CEOs.
        John L. Ries
    • I doubt Larry cares

      much about Open Source. If he doesn't, his managers won't either.
  • Seems like FOSS Zealotry

    Just wondering what oracle did to suggest that moving away from Mysql was a good idea; why not more to postgres instead?. I guess MariaDB's kool-aid is better than Oracles?
    • RE: why not move to postgres instead?

      Probably because PostgreSQL starts with a 'P', instead of an 'M'.
      Rabid Howler Monkey
      • MariaDB is based off of mysql and upwardly compatible

        MariaDB is pretty much a drop in replacement and you can also switch back to mysq easyl. Postgres is totally different. If you use advanced features such as triggers, it could be an extremely difficult move to postgres. Much of MariaDB makes it's way back to mysql. Postgres is completely different, and MariaDB is a fork of mysql. To put it in one word why MariaDB instead of Postgres:
        John Lauro
        • John, you and eulampius (immediately below) are correct

          My post was intended as sarcasm aimed at Steven's failure to cover other successful open-source DBMSs in his blog articles. And, in that vein, PostgreSQL would break the 'M' in the LAMP acronym that Steven is so attached to.

          In fact, PostgreSQL is more of a drop in replacement for Oracle than MySQL.

          P.S. I upvoted your comment as well as similar from eulampius.
          Rabid Howler Monkey
    • Mysql is much closer to

      MariaDB than to PostgreSQL. So this transition is more natural and safe.
    • "Seems like FOSS zealotry"

      -- does indeed sound like proprietary crap.
      • RE: proprietary crap

        @eulampius, don't forget that, while the London Stock Exchange (LSE) was a victory for Linux, Oracle's proprietary DBMS was selected as the backend DBMS:

        P.S. The LSE acquired MillenniumIT which is based on Linux, Solaris (UNIX, the real thing) and Oracle's proprietary DBMS.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
    • How to lose friends and alienate people

      I'm not sure exactly why Ellison is good at this, but he did have most of the OpenOffice developers quit on him and start the Document Foundation. I can't imagine that all of them were open source ideologues, especially given that they all previously worked for Sun and some of them had worked for Star Division before that (Star Office was proprietary back then).
      John L. Ries
  • Smells like a SVN article.

    In typical SVN style

    "I wouldn't draw any conclusions from this data yet"

    After writing a paragraph on the performance enhancements.
    Rip RATM
    • Re: "I wouldn't draw any conclusions from this data yet"

      It's called "objectivity"--have you heard of it?

      That's why SJVN's blogs are so worth reading--he is uncompromisingly fact-based.
      • LOL!

        ...oh wait.. you're serious?!