MariaDB Vector at Intel Vision – AI Everywhere

AI was everywhere at Intel Vision this week in London. Nearly every keynote and breakout presentation was centred around AI. I had the honour of being interviewed by Intel’s jovial Chief Commercial Officer Christoph Schell, who is just about as stereotypically German as his former neighbour from Stuttgart Jürgen Klopp (whom he referenced on-stage), namely: not at all.

Staying German but perhaps a tad less Klopp-like, Thomas Bach was one of many interviewed on-stage by Christoph. The president of the International Olympic Committee nevertheless impressed me by his quick-witted reply to Christoph’s question as to how AI would have made an impact if it had been in place during Thomas Bach’s fencing career.

MariaDB is soon a vector database, too

We say: Put your AI vectors into your RDBMS …

Relational databases are where AI data belongs. Users need their vectors along with the rest of their data, in a standard database which offers performance, scalability, and all the other traditional virtues, such as ACID compliance.

This is why we are developing MariaDB Vector. Expect to see a first preview release later this month.

… but don’t take our word for it – ask Amazon!

Now, we’re not alone in advocating the above logic. That’s probably because the logic makes sense. The best articulation of the logic of “you want your Gen AI integrated in your relational database” I’ve heard is by MariaDB Foundation Board Member Sirish Chandrasekharan, General Manager of Amazon Relational Database Services.

MariaDB Contribution Statistics, April 2024

With the first quarter of 2024 out of the way, we can take a look at the contribution statistics for the last three months. For the Foundation, this has been a very busy quarter, we have had a few big events to prepare for and attend. As well as two very large projects we are working on (Catalogs and vector indexing). This has meant that it has been difficult for us to keep up with all the wonderful contributions.

That being said, over the coming quarter we will try to rectify this and have some plans to make things better in future.

MariaDB Server 11.4 will be LTS

MariaDB Server 11.4 will be a long-term support release, on top of our current plan.

Early February, we announced that we were adjusting the MariaDB Server release model. As part of that, we already announced our move towards a yearly LTS cycle. To get our current features earlier into broad use, we have decided to make an LTS now, to cater for the needs of MariaDB 11 users expecting a full five years of bug fixes in a release with a locked feature set.

The goal of this additional LTS is to encourage a broader adoption of MariaDB Server 11.4.

MariaDB Wins at the CloudFest Hackathon

OK, MariaDB Server didn’t specifically win, but a project around the MariaDB Catalogs feature won and the team behind it was led by me. In this post, I shall dig into what the CloudFest Hackathon is, what we did there and why it is a big deal.

CloudFest and the Hackathon

CloudFest is an event that happens every year in Europa Park, which is normally an amusement park, located in Rust, Germany. It is a fantastic web hosting and cloud event that spans a whole week, and there are often a lot of entertainment events happening around the main event.

Post-mortem: PHP and MariaDB Docker issue

Years ago, I watched a film with my children (now adults themselves) called Meet the Robinsons. A running theme from the film is that it is OK to make mistakes because it is from those mistakes we can learn and “keep moving forward”.

An unfortunate perfect storm of several problems occurred which meant that on the 21st February 2024, the mariadb:latest Docker image would not work with PHP and NodeJS clients. Now, one of the things I helped introduce into the MariaDB Foundation is the concept of doing post-mortems, not just when things go wrong but when they go right too.

Adjusting the MariaDB Server release model

We changed our release model two years ago

A bit over two years ago, MariaDB Foundation and MariaDB plc jointly announced what we called our new Innovation Release Model. Since the end of 2021, we have gained experiences from it, some of which were aired by Sergei Golubchik last October in a MariaDB Unconference presentation called The Past, the Present and the Future of the MariaDB release model (a 23:05 long video).

We spoke about an emphasis on more frequent new features, and an increased engagement with the community through four yearly opportunities for contributors to see their code merged.

MariaDB Contribution Statistics, January 2024

It is the start of a new year, and with that brings the start of a new quarter, which means it is time for a contribution statistics update from us. I have lots of interesting data to walk you through this time, so let’s get started.

Year On Year Comparison

A good place to start would be to compare the previous year gone by with last year to see how we did. This table shows the number of organisations, contributors and commits to MariaDB Server in the last few years. The “Non-MariaDB” lines are contributors and commits by people who are not employed by MariaDB Plc or MariaDB Foundation.