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MariaDB cuddles Kubernetes, snuggles ServiceNow and readies analytics with latest update to cloudy SkySQL

K8s 'kind of a universal key' for going multi-cloud

MariaDB has updated its cloud-native SkySQL database, promising a slew of features addressing deployment, management and analytics.

Designed to support cloud-neutral and hybrid installations, the MySQL cousin now employs Kubernetes for container services to allow deployment of the same database, whether in AWS, Azure, GCP or on-premises.

Shane Johnson, senior director of product marketing at MariaDB, told The Register: "For our customers, it means a platform for a multi-cloud strategy, which is not something to do with Amazon Relational Database Services or Azure SQL Database or any of the others.

"For us, we're not building a different version of SkySQL for each cloud: they all have Kubernetes services. We can build one platform, and then simply add additional Kubernetes targets to expand our reach. It's not just multi-cloud; you can start to look at inter-cloud or hybrid cloud, because if we're building to Kubernetes you can run on-premises with (Red Hat) Openshift. Kubernetes unlocks all those doors for us: it's kind of a universal key."

MariaDB has opted for cloud workflow specialist ServiceNow to support inventory, configuration and workflow management, creating a portal with a deployment and management interface to its database-as-a-service, no matter which cloud infrastructure customers choose.

"These are all really important features of a DBaaS in the cloud," Johnson said. "It means that our front end is completely independent. We're not tied to the big three cloud vendors. If you think of the central hub operating in neutral territory, and then it's up to the customer where they want to put the database."

MariaDB, the database, was sharded out of MySQL, the open-source relational database. MySQL had been part of Sun Microsystems since 2008, but when Oracle bought Sun in 2010, MySQL co-founder Michael Widenius forked the code to a new open-source database: MariaDB. Historically, it had been used mostly as a transactional database. But MariaDB, the company, is building features that support analytics for both offline and live data.

"With, say, Amazon, you sign up for RDS and then you sign up to Redshift to do analytics," Johnson said. "We've built that into one database service that does both for you. You don't have to worry about extract-transform-load and we're handling that conversion from row to columnar ourselves, in the background."

The columnar data is then placed in object storage – such as S3, Azure Blob storage, or Google's Cloud Storage – which is practically unlimited and much less expensive than SSDs, he said.

MariaDB also said it had introduced the first DBaaS to offer row, columnar, and combined row and columnar storage.

"That lets you mix and match transactions and analytics at the same time," said Johnson. "This is primarily for modern applications that want to take advantage of real-time analytics, as opposed to being just purely transactional. That's where things are going."

James Curtis, senior analyst for data, AI and analytics at 451 Research, said their research showed the market moving to DBaaS across hybrid IT systems as well as combining operational and analytic processing.

"Vendors that offer a consistent experience across the broadest portfolio of options will likely benefit most from the changing market dynamics."

MariaDB is adding features for cloud infrastructure and analytics, and in doing so might be setting itself apart from shops with vested interests in those markets. ®

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