MariaDB Server will be the default database in cPanel

MariaDB Release Model

Good news! cPanel, one of the leading control panels in the hosting world has just announced that they are going to make MariaDB Server the default database when installing new cPanel instances. This change is slated to occur in version 122 of cPanel & WHM, coming in Q3 of 2024. We at MariaDB Foundation are very happy about this decision and are looking forward to continuous collaboration, to the benefit of our users and the MariaDB Server project.

We think that this is a great decision for cPanel users because we at MariaDB have stayed true to the original values of MySQL, including:

  • Long term backwards compatibility
  • Painless upgrades and ease of use
  • Long term stable releases; no new features in GA versions

We believe that MariaDB’s core values are a great match for cPanel, because all these points are consistent with what we hear from hosting providers and their users. As community is at the core of MariaDB, and we pride ourselves in actively listening, we look forward to community feedback on the new deployments of MariaDB with cPanel.

Let me now go into the details about why we are excited about this upcoming change and why we think it’s important for our project.

The cloud market and how to scale efficiently

At MariaDB Foundation we believe that one of our keys to adoption is the growing cloud market. A big part of this cloud market is occupied by hosting providers offering managed services. Hosting providers have an interesting challenge to overcome: how does one offer excellent service through performance, reliability and great user experience all while keeping costs low? All these service goals are traditionally achieved by getting faster hardware, more storage, and more development. And what does getting more of something mean? Well… bigger expenses. But with MariaDB Server and smart use of a control panel, that need not be the case!

User experience out of the box

The user experience part is where cPanel comes in. cPanel offloads some of that work for hosting providers and also enables higher density scaling on a single machine. cPanel offers a “user frontend” that regular customers of hosting providers can use to set up their website, query their database and so on. WHM, the “administration frontend”, is the hosting provider interface where server resources can be provisioned, adjusted, customer users created etc. This takes care of the customer experience side of things rather nicely.

Scaling to many users

That leaves MariaDB Server to take care of the scaling part of the problem. But how can one do so efficiently?

cPanel & WHM currently splits a single MariaDB instance into dedicated databases for different users. This allows for multiple users to share a single resource. If a user is idle, you don’t have to spin up a whole separate VM (or container) just for that single user to run a database. More users on the same hardware means fewer costs for hosting providers so they can focus on what matters most: offering better service.

This setup is what most hosting providers offer: a hosting plan comes with a dedicated database, but you can not create too many databases and are limited by having to stay within those databases. From a scaling standpoint, that is usually good enough, but we at MariaDB Foundation have bigger plans and this is where we are looking forward to our collaboration with cPanel.

The above setup means you can’t manage your own users from the database, you can’t query performance schema reliably, you are at risk of noisy neighbors and so on. And that is where our ongoing catalogs project comes in.

Our vision long term is for catalogs in MariaDB to be the default way of offering shared hosting solutions. An end-user will see no difference to having their own fully-fledged MariaDB instance, complete with accounting of resource usage, granular permissions, etc.

We look forward to having cPanel collaborate with us on making this a reality!

You can read cPanel’s announcement here: