Analysts scratch heads over MariaDB's decision to ditch DBaaS crown jewels

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Database manufacture observers are slamming MariaDB's determination to ditch 2 of its halfway products arsenic it restructures nan business successful nan look of financial challenges.

Last week, nan database institution calved retired of a MySQL fork announced to investors it was ditching strategical products and cutting 28 percent of nan workforce. The institution besides announced entree to a $26.5 cardinal indebtedness facility.

Carl Olofson, investigation vice president astatine IDC, wished nan institution nan best, but said "their early is murky astatine this point."

Last week, MariaDB – which counts Samsung, Nokia, and ServiceNow among its customers – said it would extremity providing its DBaaS SkySQL and Xpand, nan distributed backmost extremity to nan service.

Olofson noted that these products had been "the company's champion drivers for early growth."

"Now it's difficult to beryllium optimistic astir MariaDB," he said. "Database users look for stableness and semipermanent viability successful a database exertion provider. They besides want to spot a early guidance that points to functionality that meets nan requirements of databases going forward."

MariaDB is classed nan seventh astir celebrated database among master developers, according to 2023 investigation from Stack Overflow. It is utilized by astir 18 percent of master developers and is up of Oracle successful nan survey. DB-Engines ranks MariaDB 13th successful nan market, 1 up of Splunk, which Cisco precocious acquired for $28 billion.

SkySQL was launched successful 2020 to rival RDBMS services from unreality vendors specified arsenic Google, Microsoft, and AWS. In 2021, MariaDB added nan Xpand distributed backmost extremity to SkySQL and successful May this twelvemonth offered a PostgreSQL compatible beforehand end. The institution won praise from analysts for nan engineering down nan products.

Last week MariaDB said it would instrumentality a scheme to "help existing customers migrate disconnected these products."

Adam Ronthal, Gartner vice main expert for information guidance and analytics, warned that it is challenging for a mini vendor to deploy unreality services.

"They request to put successful unreality infrastructure good up of request connected nan presumption of success," he said. "That business is improbable to beryllium profitable for respective years, and only reaches profitability if request materializes. In nan lawsuit of MariaDB, I fishy that nan request ne'er materialized to a level wherever nan database platform-as-a-service offering was sustainable."

Since 2019, Gartner has signaled nan database market's displacement to a cloud-based work and this twelvemonth it forecast that by 2027, much than 70 percent of nan gross successful nan world DBMS marketplace will beryllium attributed to cloud.

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"Discontinuing a unreality dbPaaS offering is not aligned pinch wherever we deliberation this marketplace is going," Ronthal said. "Competitive offerings that instrumentality unfastened root APIs (PostgreSQL aliases MySQL) person important marketplace momentum which will make it progressively difficult for MariaDB to compete effectively." Users of SkySQL who want to stay successful nan unreality could spell to MariaDB Cloud, "which is much of a managed work and not a afloat dbPaaS offering," he said. Or they could migrate to an replacement service.

"I fishy that galore will take to migrate. Remember, MariaDB, arsenic a fork of MySQL, is mostly compatible pinch offerings that instrumentality nan MySQL API. There are plentifulness of options including Oracle's MySQL Heatwave, Amazon Aurora, aliases moreover offerings for illustration PlanetScale – based connected Vitess."

The Register has offered MariaDB nan opportunity to explicate its determination and opportunity wherever it expects DBaaS customers to spell aft it discontinues nan service. A spokesperson told us: "The caller $26.5 cardinal financing demonstrates nan beardown belief our financial partners person successful our business and our strategy. We stay focused connected increasing our halfway MariaDB Enterprise Server business and person received affirmative nickname from our ecosystem partners connected nan changes we person made."

Federico Razzoli, laminitis and head of UK-based database consultancy Vettabase, said MariaDB was reacting to its "financial troubles" but was not going astir it successful nan champion way.

"The institution spent a batch of resources to create and marketplace SkySQL and Xpand, and apparently they scheme to disregard them. Xpand is simply a coagulated retention motor built upon ClustrixDB, a exertion they acquired connected 2018," he said. "The institution has chosen to make it only disposable via their unreality solution, SkySQL. Making it unfastened root could person accrued its adoption."

Razzoli said nan company's attraction connected MariaDB Enterprise only, trading support and ready-made configurations for nan unfastened root software, mightiness struggle to succeed.

"But it won't beryllium easy to person users of managed databases for illustration SkySQL to move to a non-managed solution pinch nan support of nan vendor. This would require efforts connected galore levels, including acquiring caller skills. Instead, for a customer it would beryllium simpler to move to different unreality services that connection MariaDB, specified arsenic Amazon RDS."

Meanwhile, those keen connected nan database person unfastened root options offered by nan MariaDB Foundation, wherever MariaDB and MySQL laminitis Michael "Monty" Widenius is simply a committee member.

Razzoli said nan instauration was doing awesome activity to amended unfastened root MariaDB adoption.

"They're becoming progressively much independent from MariaDB plc, and nan acquisition of Amazon arsenic their newest Diamond Sponsor goes successful this direction. The financial difficulties and choices of MariaDB plc will impact their customers, but they won't put nan early of nan MariaDB task successful danger," he predicted. ®