MariaDB ColumnStore

MariaDB ColumnStore is a columnar storage engine that provides distributed, columnar storage for scalable analytical processing and smart transactions.

MariaDB ColumnStore is a component of MariaDB Platform.

MariaDB ColumnStore is the analytical storage engine used by MariaDB's single stack Hybrid Transactional/Analytical Processing (HTAP) solution.

MariaDB Server Convergence

MariaDB ColumnStore has been converging with MariaDB Server throughout the past few releases:

Columnar Database

MariaDB ColumnStore is a columnar database:

  • The most commonly used storage engines in MariaDB Enterprise Server and MariaDB Community Server are row-based storage engines.

  • Row-based storage engines are very performant for transactional or OLTP workloads.

  • Transactional workloads are generally characterized by a fixed set of queries using a relatively small data set.

  • Columnar storage engines are more performant for analytical or OLAP workloads.

  • Analytical workloads are characterized by ad hoc queries on very large data sets.

  • Where indexes can be used to optimize query performance for transactional workloads, the size of the data sets and the ad hoc nature of the queries preclude the use of indexes to optimize for analytical queries.

  • ColumnStore is designed specifically to handle analytical workloads.

  • Data is written to disk by column rather than row and is automatically partitioned. No indexes are necessary.

Hybrid Transactional and Analytical Processing

MariaDB ColumnStore supports Hybrid Transactional and Analytical Processing (HTAP) workloads:

  • Hybrid Transactional and Analytical Processing (HTAP) workloads require both transactional and analytical queries.

  • HTAP workloads are also known as "Smart Transactions", "Augmented Transactions" "Translytical", or "Hybrid Operational-Analytical Processing (HOAP)".

  • ColumnStore can perform as the analytical storage engine for HTAP.

  • MariaDB Enterprise Server and MariaDB Community Server provide row-based storage engines, such as InnoDB, which can perform as the transactional storage engine for HTAP.

  • MariaDB Replication can replicate data between the transactional and analytical engines to maintain data consistency.

  • MariaDB MaxScale is a high-performance database proxy, which can dynamically route transactional queries to the transactional storage engine and analytical queries to ColumnStore.

S3 Storage Manager

MariaDB ColumnStore supports S3-compatible storage:

  • ColumnStore can use any object store that is compatible with the Amazon S3 API.

  • Using cloud storage for ColumnStore data allows for practically limitless data storage while also providing high availability.

  • ColumnStore's "Storage Manager" uses a persistent local disk cache for read/write operations so that network latency has minimal performance impact on ColumnStore.

  • In some cases, it will perform better than local disk operations.


MariaDB ColumnStore is scalable:

  • ColumnStore's distributed massively parallel architecture provides linear scalability and horizontal scaling.

  • In a multi-node ColumnStore cluster, additional data nodes can be added as data grows.

  • During bulk data loads, read queries can continue uninterrupted.

  • ColumnStore's design supports targeted scale-out to address increased workload requirements, whether it is a larger query load or increased storage and query processing capacity.

High Availability

MariaDB ColumnStore provides high availability (HA) in a multi-node ColumnStore cluster:

  • ColumnStore supports data redundancy providing highly available storage and automated failover.

  • ColumnStore data redundancy leverages an open source file system called GlusterFS, maintained by RedHat.

    • GlusterFS is an open source, distributed file system that provides continued access to data and is capable of scaling very large data.

    • To enable data redundancy you must install and enable GlusterFS.

    • Failover is configured automatically by MariaDB ColumnStore, so that if a physical server experiences a service interruption, data is still accessible from another node.

  • MaxScale's ColumnStore Monitor (csmon) can be used as a database proxy for a multi-node ColumnStore cluster.

    • It determines which node is the primary server, and automatically adapts upon primary server failure.

Connectors to BI Tools

MariaDB ColumnStore includes support for multiple connectors and data adapters to enable the use of popular data ingestion and business intelligence tools such as:

  • Apache Spark

  • Pentaho

  • Tableau Desktop

Data Ingestion Tools

MariaDB ColumnStore supports data ingestion tools:

  • cpimport ColumnStore bulk data ingestion utility which includes command-line options for loading a CSV file from Amazon S3 (and compatible) buckets.

  • Apache Spark connector to directly export data from Spark DataFrames to MariaDB ColumnStore

  • Kafka data adapter for rapid data ingestion


MariaDB ColumnStore supports a Distributed User Defined Aggregate Functions (UDAF) C++ API:

  • The Distributed User Defined Aggregate Functions (UDAF) C++ API allows anyone to create aggregate functions of arbitrary complexity for distributed execution in the ColumnStore storage engine.

  • These functions can also be used as Analytic (Window) functions just like any built in aggregate function.

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