“With MariaDB, we have never been disappointed, technical support quality is brilliant.” - Alexander Eckert, Team Leader Databases/Middleware

Germany telecoms giant migrates data for 14 million customers in just a few weeks

Mobilcom-Debitel is the primary mobile phone brand of Germany’s Freenet Group. With 14 million customers, Freenet Group is the biggest network-independent carrier in Germany. The company runs 180 MySQL instances, holding many different kinds of information, from customer logins to application data. However, the cost of support for the company’s MySQL® Enterprise Edition installations was spiraling out of control, and the inflexible package meant that there was no way to access the kind of flexibility that multiple database engines could offer.


With a brand focused on meeting customer needs, flexibility and responsiveness is crucially important for Mobilcom-Debitel. Any data management solution must be able to cope easily with an environment which includes customer-facing applications such as self-service portals and the online shop, as well as enterprise tools such as network management, ERP and data warehousing. The company’s databases have to deal with data written from Apache, Tomcat and JBoss, as well as third-party software, and data must be accessed by 5,000 employees and 14 million customers.

As a market leader in the highly competitive telecoms sector, fast, reliable access to consistent, up-to-date information is crucial to making sure that the company can maintain its position. In an industry where billing and tariff data can change daily, and where customer service is a key differentiator, it’s vital that the company’s customer-facing digital assets are reliable and easy to use, and that staff can access and cross-reference customer data easily, in order to tailor products to the needs of their customers.

With that in mind, the team wanted to draw upon the capabilities of more than one database engine, and use an extended portfolio of MySQL derivatives. With a complex and highly networked IT environment, it was important for the technical team at Mobilcom-Debitel that they were not reliant on one single product. Nonetheless, it was crucial that all solutions could be supported under a single contract, to make sure that costs were kept under control.


With the technical and engineering expertise on offer at MariaDB, Mobilcom-Debitel found it an easy decision to take out a support subscription with the company. MariaDB was able to support Mobilcom-Debitel to migrate all 180 of its MySQL instances to MySQL Community Edition within a few weeks. Leaving behind its proprietary support contract allowed Mobilcom-Debitel to take advantage of the different capabilities of multiple MySQL forks.

For example, 22 of the company’s servers are now running MariaDB server, and support for these is covered by the same contract. The company’s Percona instances are also supported as part of the same arrangement. Flexibility is increased, and the total cost of ownership of the data management infrastructure has been drastically reduced. Alexander Eckert, Team Leader Databases/Middleware at Mobilcom-Debitel, was unequivocal on the success of the project. “With MariaDB, we have never been disappointed” he said, “technical support quality is brilliant.” The work that Mobilcom-Debitel has carried out means that the company’s data management strategy is no longer at the mercy of one vendor’s product roadmap, and the company can move forward with confidence.