What to Expect With the Next MariaDB Enterprise Server Release

The MariaDB team is hard at work on the next release of MariaDB Enterprise Server. We’re as excited to release it as you are to get your hands on it. Over the last few months we released tech preview versions to get initial feedback from customers. After receiving customer feedback, we developed a robust plan to add additional key features and capabilities, and expect to release a GA version in the summer of 2024.

MariaDB Enterprise Server Model

When we launched MariaDB Enterprise Server it was based on the fact that our customers’ needs are often not aligned with what community users want and need. Our enterprise customers have extremely high expectations on stability and reliability and that became the key focus of Enterprise Server. Enterprise customers often do not want to upgrade to newer versions often so our Enterprise Server versions are supported and maintained for longer periods, up to 8 years (versus 1 year for our community edition). New release series are not as frequent and come out approximately every 2-3 years so we have proper time and process to focus on stability and reliability of the release.

While we have less frequent release series for our enterprise edition, we still need ways to get key features to customers between new release series. That’s why we also support backports of key features that have been thoroughly tested and vetted. This allows us to have a very robust, reliable and stable product but still add new development without requiring major upgrades very often. A win-win for all.

Focus on Quality

One of the key focal points of Enterprise Server is quality. When we launched Enterprise Server, we added additional processes to improve the quality of the server for enterprise environments. Lately, we collaborated closely with key customers to get insight into their environments and usage of MariaDB, allowing us to implement additional testing that is more in line with our customer’s needs. This improved quality and process is a cornerstone facet of our next release series.

Bringing MariaDB Enterprise Server 10.6 to 8 Year Support

The plan was always to release Enterprise Server on a new lifecycle with a 5+3 year support plan for the new upcoming release series, as we discussed here previously. We decided to retroactively extend the life of the last Enterprise Server release, version 10.6 to bring it in line with this new policy. The new end of life (EOL) date for MariaDB Enterprise Server 10.6 is 23 of August 2029. This extension will go into effect immediately and applies to all MariaDB customers who run MariaDB Enterprise Server.

Next MariaDB Enterprise Server Release Highlights

There’s a lot to be excited about for the new upcoming release but here are a few that we are particularly excited about based on customer requests.

  • Online Schema Change and Optimistic ALTER TABLE for replication: We developed these features together with some of our key customers as the previous disruptiveness of ALTER TABLE operations can have negative impact on busy environments, especially in replication topologies.
  • Furthering JSON functions in MariaDB: We added JSON functions to MariaDB Server for quite a while, with new functions being added in an iterative way with each release. For this latest release, we added the following new functions in our tech preview versions so far: JSON_SCHEMA_VALID, JSON_OVERLAPS, JSON_EQUALS() and JSON_NORMALIZE(), JSON_KEY_VALUE, JSON_ARRAY_INTERSECT, JSON_OBJECT_TO_ARRAY, JSON_OBJECT_FILTER_KEYS.
  • Improved InnoDB Tablespace management: Managing InnoDB tablespace is typically not easy to do. However, in collaboration with customers, we made some significant improvements such as automatic reclaim of space and simplified tablespace import.
  • Enhanced Privilege System: In version 10.5, we introduced new fine grained privileges to replace the SUPER privilege that had access rights that were too broad. In the latest release of Enterprise Server, we are finishing the process and SUPER is no longer an alias for the fine grained privileges but instead they must be explicitly granted. This improves the overall security of the server by only granting the privileges needed for administrative tasks.
  • New Optimizer: The optimizer is vastly improved by going from a mostly rule based optimizer to a truly cost-based optimizer. Huge effort went into improving the calculations of the optimizer costs, taking into account state of the art SSD disks, different characteristics of storage engines, etc. These changes greatly improve the performance out-of-the-box for many queries.

Want to learn more about the new version of MariaDB Enterprise Server and learn the differences from the Community release? Watch our webinar: What’s New in MariaDB Community Server 11.02 and Enterprise Server 23.07.