SQL and NoSQL come together with new MariaDB Enterprise offerings

The products are based on MariaDB 10, which became generally available on Monday

Hoping to give database managers and developers more flexibility in handling vast amounts of data, SkySQL is releasing versions of its MariaDB-based Enterprise and Enterprise Cluster products that offer integration with NoSQL databases.

The growing number of users on mobile devices and cloud services has led to a rapid increase in the amount of data handled by enterprises. This has changed demands put on databases and opened the door for NoSQL databases, thanks to their flexibility and ability to scale more easily than traditional relational database management systems.

But SQL databases, and the data consistency they offer, are still crucial to almost every enterprise, according to SkySQL, which offers commercial products based on the open-source MariaDB.

Hoping to take the first steps in bringing these two worlds together, the SQL-based MariaDB Enterprise 2 and Enterprise Cluster 2 offer, among other things, integration with NoSQL database Apache Cassandra.

The integration with NoSQL is a unique feature that's overdue, said Dion Cornett, vice president of sales at SkySQL. "Typically SQL has been the world of database administrators and NoSQL has been the world of developers. This release and the flexibility it offers is really bridging that gap," Cornett said.

The added Cassandra SE (Storage Engine) functionality allows for access to data in a Cassandra cluster. Thanks to the integration, Cassandra's columns now appear as a table in MariaDB. Users can insert data into these tables and select data from them as well. It's also possible to join data that's stored in MariaDB with data that's stored in Cassandra.

The announcement coincides with the general release of MariaDB 10 database, the drop-in replacement for the open-source MySQL that Enterprise 2 and Enterprise Cluster 2 are based on.

MariaDB 10 is much faster than both previous versions, as well as MySQL, because of features such as parallel replication, the MariaDB Foundation said in a blog post. MariaDB 10 also includes built-in sharing in the form of the Spider storage engine, allowing big database tables to be split across multiple servers, for better performance and scale.

Companies and organizations like Google and Wikipedia are already using MariaDB 10 on thousands of database instances, according to SkySQL.

The decision to jump from version 5.5 to version 10 is a big step for MariaDB, since the version name no longer mimics MySQL, which is now on version 5.6. The decision to forgo using MySQL version numbering was made back in 2012 and met with some scepticism.

The aim is to more clearly to show the differences between MariaDB and MySQL. MariaDB includes features that are similar to the corresponding features in MySQL, but the implementations differ, and it has features that aren't in MySQL, according to SkySQL.

Last week, SkySQL's MariaDB website published a high-level feature comparison of MariaDB 10 with MariaDB 5.5, MySQL 5.5 and MySQL 5.6.

It's not a coincidence that the new versions of MariaDB Enterprise 2 and Enterprise Cluster 2, as well as MariaDB 10, were announced this week. Open source database vendors and users are this week gathering in Santa Clara for the Percona Live MySQL Conference and Expo, which opens its doors on Tuesday.

Visitors who want to learn more about MariaDB 10 can attend a session with the database's creator Michael "Monty" Widenius -- who also created the MySQL database -- on Wednesday.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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