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.

Accelerating MariaBackup with Intel QuickAssist

With Intel QuickAssist Technology, you can see a 5x performance in your MariaBackup compression, and lower CPU usage as well. Today I’m going to show you how.

What is Intel QuickAssist?

Nearly a decade ago, Intel released a technology called QuickAssist, which started out as a PCI-e card and then became integrated in many Xeon processes starting with the Skylake generation. QuickAssist Technology (often called QAT) is a special unit that the CPU can offload compression and encryption tasks onto.

I was lucky enough to have early access to this technology back when it was new.

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.

MariaDB Server will be the default database in cPanel

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;

MariaDB Contribution Statistics, October 2023

We are in October, which means it has been 4 months since the last metrics report. It is, therefore, time for another quarterly metrics report (plus a bit more). The extra month was to allow for an announcement which is a prerequisite for this post, and it also means we are more or less aligned to real quarters. The major changes to this will come in the second half of this post, we have lots of additional data for pull requests. With that, let’s get started.


Mission Impossible: Zero-Configuration SSL

SSL (let’s call it that, even though SSL 2.0 and SSL 3.0 were long replaced by TLS 1.0–1.3 protocols) support was implemented in MySQL in 2001, so MariaDB (born in 2009) always had it. But over more than twenty years of SSL support there was one huge problem with it. It required tedious manual configuration, so most users never bothered and accepted the fact that their queries and data were sent unprotected. Which might have been slightly risky in 2001, but is definitely reckless in 2023.

The traditional approach

Let’s see. First, the user installing MariaDB or MySQL has to generate a private key and a certificate.

Run and operate MariaDB in Kubernetes with mariadb-operator

The introduction of the StatefulSet resource was a game changer when it comes to run stateful workloads in Kubernetes, introducing a wide range of features, including:

  • Predictable DNS names for each Pod, allowing one to individually address them in the network.
  • Stable persistent storage for each Pod, ensuring that each of them is bound to the same PersistentVolumeClaim.
  • Ordered graceful deployments and automated rolling updates.

However, this isn’t quite enough for running databases in Kubernetes in a reliable way. We are missing day 1 and day 2 operations, such as configuring high availability and scheduling backups, which is something not managed by vanilla Kubernetes.