Why DARVA in France adopted MariaDB Enterprise Server


DARVA has been a preferred partner for insurers for 35 years, handling over 7 million claims and 209 million messages every year with over 40,000 users coming from the French claims management industry. We recently spoke with Laurent Dequaie, database administrator (DBA) at DARVA, to learn why they chose to implement MariaDB Enterprise Server as their relational database of choice.

What does DARVA specialize in?
We are a French-based electronic data interchange specialist offering collaborative tools and a platform publisher for the insurance industry connecting insurers (partners, policyholders) in the automobile and home sectors.

Why did you start looking for a new database?
Since 2015, DARVA has relied on NoSQL databases and we’ve been able to develop a fully mature, performing and reliable platform. But we needed the same maturity in a relational database that could support data that require high availability and be cost effective.

We develop, maintain, and host 24/7 operational solutions that require an extremely high level of availability. Consequently, we have to host critical claims and personal data in our databases, with maximum security and availability.

Given these requirements, and the fact that our company was growing, we needed a secure, reliable relational database that could handle our needs, have zero downtime and keep our costs down.

Once we determined what we needed, our team aimed to test a database management system (DBMS) with a solid, reliable, highly resilient, and secure engine that was simple to implement. This has led to us choosing MariaDB Enterprise Server as our relational database of record.

What made you choose MariaDB?
A comparative study was conducted on the main open-source relational databases, to first assess the high availability features within an agreed budget.

After several months of workload and resilience testing, MariaDB Enterprise Server proved to be the best performer in high availability. MaxScale’s features reflect DARVA’s network topology, which requires semi-synchronous, non-multi-master replication.

In particular, we were blown away by the transaction replay feature, which allows you to change the primary node with no impact on transactions, even pending transactions.

The team also observed another important factor, that implementing MariaDB Enterprise Server with the MaxScale feature is far simpler than other market solutions.

What do you like about the MaxScale feature?
MaxScale’s clear graphical user interface does not only make it easy to implement, maintain and operate, but the feature also enables automatic primary node failover in the event of an incident or 1-click server maintenance.

Compression and partitioning capabilities were also a plus for high-volume use cases. Some examples of what MaxScale offers from a security standpoint include a firewall and data masking system, two-factor authentication, end-to-end encryption, and the option of using filters to prohibit “select” commands on tables.