MariaDB enters analytics market while prepping for massive Series C

+ Logo change on the way for the Bernie Sanders of big data

MariaDB is entering the analytics market with the upcoming release of its big data analytics engine ColumnStore.

ColumnStore, which will be available for beta testing in May, is, as you might imagine, a columnar storage engine. Intending to allow massively parallel distributed query execution and data loading, MariaDB has stated that the offering will support "a vast spectrum of use cases including real-time, batch, and algorithmic".

CEO Michael "Destiny" Howard claimed that while traditional columnar appliances arose as reactions to the expensive and complicated nature of Oracle, they only managed to increase complexity and cost further.

"In contrast, MariaDB ColumnStore is ACID compliant, blazingly fast, massively parallelized, and uses a distributed storage engine," said Howard.

"What's equally important is its front end – MariaDB – which provides the same interface, same security, same SQL richness simplifying management, reducing operating costs," he added.

In addition to ColumnStore, MariaDB announced MaxScale for data streaming, intending to "simplify real-time data propagation to external Data Lakes or Data Warehouses" and allow MariaDB transactions to be "replicated in real time to Hadoop or any other data store."

SQL giant Monty Widenius, who is MariaDB's CTO, said the company's analytics and streaming products "provide a holistic approach to increasingly demanding analytical processing tasks."

Monty & Howard

A logo change is also on the books for MariaDB, Howard told The Register, though apparently Monty was not the biggest fan of the idea.

"I might want to represent a new future of MariaDB with all its different shades and the flexibility and strategic position that it has," Howard told us, but Monty's "big concern is not to change or impact the community around MariaDB."

"We're getting along fabulously," Howard said of their relationship.

"Sometimes I call it a Socratic Dialogue, of sorts," he added, before noting, "that might be euphemistic, but 50 per cent of the time we're just seeing the same thing, then the other 50 per cent of the time we are iterating through differences of opinion."

"It's refreshing to me because – not to blow my own stack or whatever – I don't find too many people that can keep up with me in terms of the database industry either," added Howard, "so Monty is someone I truly respect, and I really have to think about his opinion."

Howard said: "We're having an iteration – again that's a euphemism of sorts – on the logo."

Feel the Bern

MariaDB ColumnStore is released under Open Source GPL2. In an interview with The Register, Howard explained that he'd been attracted to MariaDB by "the engineering talent, the ubiquity, the station that it has in the community, and open source, this notion that open source is becoming strategic. And this ideology that money is not everything."

Howard: The people here are not just working for money, but working because they believe they are making a better product. It's almost like Bernie Sanders in the United States. You want something to believe in, and if it's all about money that's just not going to get you that far. Certainly that's true of the competition. No one is going to work for Oracle for free, that's for sure.

El Reg: Would MariaDB be the Bernie Sanders to Oracle's Donald Trump?

Silence and smile from Howard.

El Reg: Just say yes!


Howard: You know, if Bernie Sanders becomes President, then I would say yes.

Howard explained: "In a sense, what Bernie Sanders is talking about is that there are certain issues if you infuse them with a monetary orientation it's not a good thing.

"But there has to be a balance at the same time, right, and MariaDB needs to aspire to higher levels of revenue; it needs to be able to take that revenue and put it back into the roadmap; it needs a roadmap where there's balance between the community and the engineering team; and to be sometimes ahead of what the community thinks," added Howard.

The company, which currently considers itself in an extended Series B round of funding, also announced an additional $3m from SmartFin Capital. Howard said it would be looking at bagging a large Series C round before he would lead the company to go public. ®

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