From Sun to the cloud: MariaDB carves out space in database market

CEO on industry shifts that allow open source and smaller players to gain a footing

Interview In December, MariaDB floated on the New York Stock Exchange via the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Angel Pond Holdings. With the move came $104 million in funding and $18 million through private investment in public equity.

This represented a staging post in a long journey for MariaDB, which launched its first product in 2009. Leading the company since 2015, CEO Michael Howard has more than 30 years of experience in the software industry, including stints at Oracle, EMC, Information Builders, and Greenplum.

We caught up with him to find out how attitudes have changed towards open-source databases and how the market can shift towards smaller players, despite the dominance of Oracle, SQL Server, and Db2 over the last twenty years. You can view the video below.

MariaDB was sharded out of MySQL, the open source relational database that dates from 1995. MySQL had been part of Sun Microsystems since 2008, and when Oracle bought Sun in 2010, MySQL co-founder Michael Widenius forked the code to a new open source database, MariaDB.

The community-developed, commercially supported MariaDB is managed by the MariaDB Foundation. The commercial company MariaDB adopted the Business Source License (BSL) which makes the source code publicly available for non-production use.

MariaDB, the company, has just launched a second-generation cloud database service, SkySQL, offering fully managed databases, including its flagship distributed SQL product MariaDB Xpand. It counts Samsung, Nokia, Red Hat, and ServiceNow among its customers. ®

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