I’ve been using MySQL for at least 7 years now and it worked more or less fine.
But few days ago on http://webconf.lv conference author of both MySQL and MariaDB Monty Widenius persuaded me to try MariaDB.
Why not? It is fully compatible with MySQL (You will not loose any features and You don’t need to change anything in Your existing infrastructure) and it works faster and on top of it has additional nice features like virtual columns which were one of the things where NoSQL had advantage before.
Also SphinxSE is well integrated into MariaDB which is a plus for me because I am actively using full text search engine Sphinx in three projects.
You can read about improvements over MySQL here:
The migration process
My personal production server uses Centos5.8 x64 with MySQL5.5 from remi repository. I uninstalled MySQL and installed MariaDB from their repository but I ran into libmysqlclient conflicts because of old php-mysql extension which is still used in few of my projects. It took me almost 20 minutes to find solution and later I updated MariaDB knowledgebase website which is meant to be better alternative to MySQL official documentation:
And now my production server runs MariaDB and so far it runs without any problems. Unfortunately I didn’t have spare time to make my own “real world” benchmarks but it seems to use little bit less resources and strangely enough it works well without ANY customizations in configuration which now has it’s own configuration folder in /etc/my.conf.d with separate files which make it easier to configure it.
For example, with MySQL default settings my server would use constantly 50% of one CPU core and this forced me to invest quite a long time to fine-tune config and use such tools as mysqltuner.pl.
I am quite confident if I will fine-tune MariaDB I will get much better improvement in speed and resource usage even if I’m OK with current metrics.
Future of MariaDB
If you are still not so impressed with current version of MariaDB and thinking about sticking with Oracle’s MySQL You should at least check progress of MariaDB 10.0 which will be next major release.
First Alpha version was released yesterday and as Monty told audience of Webconf it will be already stable at the end of this year. One of more interesting additions of 10.0 is Cassandra storage engine:
MariaDB team has the best software engineers from MySQL and they are committed to keep MySQL/MariaDB open unlike Oracle which tries to kill it. I hope community will spread the word about MariaDB to all MySQL community so more people will switch to MariaDB which will help keep it open and community oriented.
You can get started on mariadb.org/