Red Hat will switch from Oracle MySQL to MariaDB, reports

Officially, Red Hat still isn't saying that MariaDB, instead of Oracle's MySQL, will be its default database management system in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. But off-the-record people close to Red Hat tell a different story.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

Is Red Hat switching from Oracle's MySQL to MariaDB for its default database management system (DBMS) in its next major operating system Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)? Officially, Red Hat hasn't decided to switch to MariaDB. Unofficially, it appears to be a different story.


According to several sources close to Red Hat, MariaDB will be RHEL 7's next main DBMS. MariaDB is the MySQL clone created and maintained by Michael "Monty" Widenius, MySQL's founder. This comes after numerous stories from Red Hat Summit in June that MariaDB would replace MySQL.

On the record, Red Hat is sticking to its story that it hasn't made up its mind yet.

Mark Coggin, Red Hat's Senior Director, of Platform Marketing still stands by his statement that "RHEL provides customers' choice by shipping with several databases supported on a 10 year life-cycle. We plan to do the same with RHEL 7 when it ships, however we are not confirming specific features such as the databases, at this time."

Coggin added that the beta of the Red Hat Software Collections 1.0 includes a wide range of dynamic languages and database options including MariaDB version 5.5, MySQL version 5.5, and PostgreSQL version 9.2."

As for RHEL 7 itself, "Despite not sharing the details, databases will be offered as part of the overall solution when RHEL 7 ships. Our intent is to offer customers broad choices and new functionality coupled with the stability that RHEL is known for."

Red Hat's community distribution, Fedora, which is also a testbed for future versions of RHEL, has already switched to MariaDB. Red Hat personnel close to the matter said "MariaDB will be RHEL 7's default DBMS. Yes, other DBMSs, like MySQL and PostgresSQL will be supported as well, but MariaDB is the future."

There are many reasons for this move. As Rikki Endsley, an IT professional and writer, recently pointed out there are many reasons users are dropping MySQL. They include: MariaDB is more open-source friendly and it's seen as both scales better, and running faster.

All this spells bad news for Oracle. RHEL is easily the most popular Linux server. The other major business Linux servers, the RHEL clone CentOS will move in turn to MariaDB after RHEL Does, and SUSE's community openSUSE has also switched from MySQL to MariaDB.

With so many Linux servers turning away from MySQL, Oracle's MySQL acquisition bet is looking more and more like a loser. Instead of being an entry-point for businesses using Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP/Python/Perl (LAMP) software stacks to move to Oracle's higher-end DBMSs, MySQL is looking more and more like a dead-end.

Indeed, given Oracle's last disappointing last few quarters, the company's 2009 purchase of Sun for Java, SPARC servers and MySQL for $7.4-billion is looking quite foolish.

MariaDB and its allies such as SkySQL are looking better and better.

Related Stories:

Editorial standards