Today, we’re excited to announce the first ever release of MariaDB Enterprise Server, which includes versions of MariaDB Enterprise Server 10.4, 10.3 and 10.2. A lot of sweat and tears have gone into this release by the MariaDB Server team and I am extremely proud of what we’ve achieved in a short period of time. Over the last year, since our last major release, our team has created two versions of MariaDB Server – a community version of 10.4 and a hardened version for enterprise customers that takes MariaDB to an all new height.
What is MariaDB Enterprise Server?
For the past couple of years, we have been collaborating very closely with some of our large enterprise customers. From that collaboration, it has become clear that their needs differ vastly from that of the average community user. Not only do they have different requirements on quality and robustness, they also have different requirements for features to support production environments. That’s why we decided to invest heavily into creating a MariaDB Enterprise Server, to address the needs of our customers with mission critical production workloads.
MariaDB Enterprise Server 10.4 is the first release of our new MariaDB Enterprise Server. It has all the features of MariaDB Community Server 10.4 but in addition goes through additional QA, testing cycles, ships configured for security and also includes additional enterprise features that our customers need.
New MariaDB Enterprise Server 10.4 Features
MariaDB Enterprise Server 10.4 has a lot of new exciting features for everyone. Some of my favourites include instant ALTER TABLE operations and Application Time, which we’ll talk about in more detail in upcoming blogs. In addition, we added an Enterprise version of the Audit plugin, Enterprise Backup and full encryption for the Enterprise Cluster. The feature I am most excited about is Enterprise Backup. It’s a feature we worked on closely with customers in order to make backups with large databases work efficiently and seamlessly. The base setup behind the problem is fairly common – you have large tables and you want to take backups of them. The problem occurs when customers also need to be able to perform DDL on the tables (i.e. change the table structure: ALTER TABLE). The larger your tables, the longer both the backups and the DDL changes take, which can result in the two blocking each other. To solve this, we worked on an improved version of table locking that allows the backup process to incrementally escalate the locks as it gets further and further in the backup process. This allows DDL statements to work until the final stages of the backup process thus minimizing any time wasted on waits and at the same time making sure all operations finish with the data still in fully consistent states in the backups.
Enterprise Backup is a good example of new innovation and, at the same time, collaboration with our enterprise customers.
The MariaDB Backup example is also a good story to illustrate another key benefit of MariaDB Enterprise Server: Backporting. Some of our customers have extremely large usage scenarios with hundreds of thousands of MariaDB instances. Deploying a new major version in this scenario takes quite a bit of time and planning, with potential application changes needed. We decided to take a closer look at our development process. When we have new features of GA maturity, we analyze the feature in detail to check a) if it fits a particular need that could be useful in older versions and b) whether it can cause instability in other parts of the code. If the analysis is favorable, then the feature could be backported to older versions of the server within the framework of MariaDB Enterprise Server. This is always done on a case-by-case basis, and Enterprise Backup is the perfect example where this made sense to backport. Both MariaDB Enterprise Server 10.2 and MariaDB Enterprise Server 10.3 also have the Enterprise Backup feature so customers who are not able to do a major version upgrade quickly can still immediately benefit from this new feature. In fact, we’re working with several customers now to implement backported versions of MariaDB Enterprise Server to take advantage of features such as Enterprise Backup.
Thank you to the entire MariaDB Server team for all their hard work. I am very excited about MariaDB Enterprise Server and about taking MariaDB to a whole new height where we’re transforming open source into enterprise open source.
Stay tuned for more blogs that will review all the great features in MariaDB Enterprise Server 10.4 in more detail.