Report: Red Hat to Switch Up MySQL for MariaDB

by Ostatic Staff - Jun. 14, 2013

Back in 2010, when Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems, MySQL founder Monty Widenius (shown) was very vocal about the acquisition, and raised many questions about the future of the open MySQL database, which he founded. In fact, we did an interview with Monty here on OStatic, where he said, "It's clear that Oracle is in the game for the profit and it's in their interest to get out as much money from MySQL as they can over the long term."

Monty went on to become the lead developer of MariaDB, a fork of MySQL, and now there are reports that Red Hat will switch the default database in its RHEL enterprise product, from MySQL to MariaDB, upon the release of version 7. That's a big vote of confidence in MariaDB.

Monty Widenius has been actively doing interviews in which he says there is no reason to run MySQL. For example, he told Muktware:

"MySQL has declined lately but most users it has lost to others in the MySQL ecosystem, like MariaDB... It's impossible for the community to work with the MySQL developers at Oracle."

Monty notes in the interview that Oracle's extensions for MySQL have been closed source.

In our 2010 interview with him in the wake of the Sun acquisition, he said:

"Oracle is also likely to market MySQL as something that is only usable for testing or 'low end' usage, and if one needs a 'real' database, then one should use Oracle's other commercial offerings.  You should also expect to have a hard time finding salespeople that will sell you a MySQL database offering, especially when they could instead sell  you a Oracle high end database....MySQL Enterprise will over time be only available as closed source and with a different feature set than the Community version."

All of this turned out to be pretty spot on -- a project founder talking about the impending demise of his baby.

WIth Red Hat's endorsement, Monty's newer project, MariaDB, gets a strong political endorsement, and one that could have a ripple effect. From that perspective, here is a really telling comment that Monty made in our 2010 interview with him:

"What is needed to keep a fork of MySQL alive is that a lot of vendors  that benefit from the MySQL infrastructure (but don't need commercial licenses) should come together and put a lot of money (we are talking about many millions of dollars per year) into some entity that develops a fork, and should do this without getting any direct revenue for this.  I am doing my share in this, but I can't continue to do that forever."