For DBAs: Restful Nights, Every Night – Introducing MariaDB Enterprise Server

The open source community values participation and innovation – and so do we. There are inherent risks in community releases. They include features not yet ready for production – some developed by us, some contributed by the community. And while they’re easy to install, the default configuration, perfect for running on your laptop, is not safe for production.

However, when it comes to mission-critical applications running in production environments, businesses value reliability, stability and long-term support – and when operating at scale, greater operational efficiency and security.

We believe the best way to serve both the community and our customers is to build separate community and enterprise releases. On one hand, with MariaDB Server, the community will benefit from faster innovation, more experimentation and greater collaboration. On the other, with MariaDB Enterprise Server, customers will benefit from greater reliability and stability.

Core objectives

So, what’s the difference between MariaDB Server and MariaDB Enterprise Server?

In short, MariaDB Enterprise Server is an enhanced, hardened and secure version of MariaDB Server for production deployments. It is driven by three core objectives.

  • Reliability: MariaDB Server will be released first. After all, the community gets first dibs. MariaDB Enterprise Server will then undergo an extensive QA process, and be made available to customers only when it meets our standards.
  • Safety: All non-GA plugins will be disabled by default in order to reduce the risks incurred when using unsupported features. Further, the default configuration is changed to enforce strong security, durability and consistency.
  • Stability: MariaDB Enterprise Server releases will include a number of backported features, allowing customers to benefit from critical improvements without having to incur the risk and uncertainty of a major upgrade every year.

Enterprise features

In addition, MariaDB Enterprise Server 10.4 includes a number of features available only to customers. These features address the more demanding operational challenges, and to help DBAs everywhere enjoy a restful night every night.

MariaDB Enterprise Backup

In the community version, the backup tool acquires a global read lock in order to prevent data from changing while a backup is being taken, and it waits until all queries have completed before doing so. This can be a problem with larger databases. What if there is an unexpected spike in traffic right before the backup is about to start, or worse, after it has started? Of course, it not only blocks writes, it blocks schema changes too. What if an urgent bugfix includes a schema change but a backup is still being taken? MariaDB Enterprise Backup does away with these conflicts – it’s non-blocking.

MariaDB Enterprise Cluster

The community version can encrypt table data, undo/redo logs, the binary log and backups. However, when deployed as part of a multi-master cluster, there is a gap where the data remains exposed – the transaction buffer. It’s needed for replication, and to help database instances rejoin a cluster faster. However small it may be, it can be an unacceptable risk – and not something you should have to worry about. MariaDB Enterprise Cluster plugs this gap by encrypting the transaction buffer, allowing it to be used in the most secure environments.

MariaDB Enterprise Audit

The community version includes basic auditing, but is not robust enough to meet strict security requirements and it lacks visibility. For example, audit logs do not log changes to the auditing configuration itself. As a result, nobody would know if the audit configuration was changed to log fewer events (or none at all). MariaDB Enterprise Audit logs all changes to its configuration and includes a number of improvements, including the ability to specify both user and host. It’s one less thing to worry about, and it’s easier to configure – rules are stored in internal system tables and created with SQL.

What else?

MariaDB Enterprise Server 10.4 includes the same great features available in MariaDB Server 10.4, including bitemporal tables, an expanded set of instant schema changes and a number of improvements to authentication and authorization (e.g., password expiration and automatic/manual account locking). MariaDB Server 10.3 introduced system-versioned tables, the first and only open source database to do so. With the addition of application-time period tables, it joins Oracle Database and Microsoft SQL Server as one of three relational databases to support bitemporal tables. It’s one of the many advanced features you won’t find in other open source relational databases such as Postgres and MySQL. The title of “world’s most advanced database” now belongs to MariaDB.

Want to learn more about MariaDB Enterprise Server 10.4?

Register for our upcoming webinar on Tuesday, July 25th: Your key to a better night’s sleep: Intro to MariaDB Enterprise Server 10.4.