MariaDB vs MySQL – Difference Between Them

Key Difference between MariaDB and MySQL

  • MariaDB has 12 new storage engines, whereas MySQL has fewer storage engines.
  • MariaDB has a larger connection pool, supporting up to 200,000+ connections, whereas MySQL has a smaller connection pool.
  • Comparing MariaDB vs. MySQL performance, In MariaDB, replication is faster, whereas in MySQL, replication is slower.
  • MariaDB is open source, whereas MySQL uses some proprietary code in its Enterprise Edition.
  • MariaDB doesn’t support data masking and dynamic columns, while MySQL supports it.
  • Comparing MariaDB to MySQL, MariaDB is faster than MySQL.

Difference between MariaDB and MySQL
Difference between MariaDB and MySQL

Here, I have analyzed the difference between MariaDB and MySQL and will comprehensively evaluate their pros and cons.

What is MariaDB?

MariaDB is a fork of the MySQL database management system. The RDBMS offers data processing capabilities for both small and enterprise tasks.

This DBMS is an improved version of MySQL. It comes with numerous inbuilt powerful features and many usabilities, security, and performance improvements that you cannot find in MySQL.

What is MySQL?

Developed in the mid-90s., MySQL was one of the first open-source databases available on the market. Today, there are many alternative variants of MySQL. However, the differences between the variants are not significant as they use the same syntax, and basic functionality also remains the same.

MySQL is an RDBMS that helps you keep the data that exists in a database organized. It is used with a combination of PHP and Apache Web Server on top of a Linux distribution. MySQL uses SQL to query the database.

Difference between MariaDB and MySQL

Let me explain the major differences between MariaDB and MySQL:

Difference between MySQL and MariaDB
MariaDB vs MySQL
Parameter MariaDB MySQL
Storage Engines MariaDB has 12 new storage engines that you won’t find in MySQL. It has fewer options for storage compared to MariaDB.
Speed Improvements MariaDB shows improved speed when compared to MySQL. MySQL exhibits a slower speed when compared to MariaDB.
Initial release 2009 1995
Server operating systems FreeBSD
Faster cache/indexes With the memory storage engine of MariaDB, an INSERT statement can be completed 24% faster than in standard MySQL. The memory storage engine of MySQL is slower compared to that of MariaDB.
Larger and Faster Connection Pool MariaDB comes with an advanced thread pool capable of running faster and supporting up to 200,000+ connections. The thread pool provided by MySQL cannot support up to 200,000 connections at a time.
Improved Replication In MariaDB, replication can be done safely and faster. Updates can also be done 2x faster compared to traditional MySQL. MySQL’s community edition allows a static number of threads to be connected. MySQL’s enterprise plan comes with thread capabilities.
New Features/Extensions MariaDB comes with new features and extensions, including the JSON, WITH, and KILL statements. The new MariaDB features are not provided in MySQL.
Missing Features MariaDB lacks some of the features provided by the MySQL Enterprise Edition. To address this, it offers alternative open-source plugins. The Enterprise Edition of MySQL uses proprietary code. Only users of MySQL Enterprise Edition have access to this.
Priority code MariaDB doesn’t allow access to this proprietary content and is a closed source. MySQL uses some proprietary code in its Enterprise Edition.
Data Masking No Yes
Dynamic columns No Yes
Monitoring SQLyog MySQL Workbench
Routing MariaDB MaxScale Mysql Router
Analytics MariaDB ColumnStore No
Secondary database model Document Store and Graph DBMS Document store
GitHub stars 2.8 k 4k
Forks 868 1.6 K
Famous companies using Nrise, Accenture, Docplanner, and Grooveshark. Airbnb, Uber Technologies, Netflix, and Dropbox.

Why use Maria DB?

Google Trends MariaDB vs MySQL
Google Trends: Difference between MySQL and MariaDB

From what I have observed, here are the advantages of adopting MariaDB:

  • It operates under GPL, BSD, or LGPL licenses.
  • MariaDB supports a popular and standard querying language.
  • It comes with many storage engines, including high-performance ones that can be integrated with other relational database management systems.
  • It offers advanced Galera cluster technology.
  • MariaDB supports PHP, a popular language for web development.


Stack Overflow Questions MySQL vs Maria

Stack Overflow Questions MySQL vs Maria

There are several relational database management systems in the market. One may ask why we would choose MySQL over the other database management systems. The answer to this question depends on several factors.

  • MySQL supports multiple storage engines, each with its own specifications, while other systems, like SQL servers, only support a single storage engine.
  • MySQL has high performance compared to other relational database systems. This is due to its simplicity in design and support for multiple-storage engines.

History of MariaDB

  • 5.1, GA released by the MariaDB Foundation in February 2010
  • November 2010, MariaDB 5.3
  • February 2012 MariaDB 5.5
  • April 2012 MariaDB Galera Cluster
  • MariaDB 10.0.10 (March 2014)
  • MariaDB 10.1.8 (October 2015)
  • Maria DB 10.2: 8 April 2016
  • Maria DB 10.3: 16 April 2017
  • Maria DB 10.4: 9 November 2018
  • Maria DB 10.5: 3 December 2019
  • Maria DB 10.6: 26 April 2021

History of MySQL

  • The first internal release version of MYSQL was on 23 May 1995
  • Version 3.20: January 1997
  • A Windows-supported version was released in 1998 for Windows 95 and NT.
  • Version 3.23: beta from June 2000
  • Version 4.0: beta from August 2002
  • Version 4.01: beta from August 2003
  • Version 4.1: beta from June 2004
  • Version 5.0: beta from March 2005
  • Acquired by Sun in 2008
  • Version 5.1: 14 November 2008
  • Oracle Corp. acquired Sun Microsystems, Inc. in 2010
  • Version 5.5: 3 December 2010
  • Version 5.6: 5 February 2013
  • Version 5.7: 21 October 2015
  • Version 8.0: 19 April 2018

Features of Maria DB

In my work with MariaDB, I have noted the following important features:

  • Offers Backward Compatibility
  • Open-source Software
  • It is based on the MySQL Community Version.
  • New Storage Engine (PBXT, XtraDB, Maria, FederatedX)
  • Percona Server (Based on MySQL Server, Other MySQL Fork Version)

Features of MySQL

Here are some important features of MySQL that I have worked with extensively.

  • Scalability and Flexibility
  • High Performance
  • High Availability
  • Robust Transactional Support
  • Web and Data Warehouse Strengths

Who uses MySQL?

  • BBC
  • Big Fish Games
  • Spotify
  • Uber
  • Netflix
  • NASA

Who uses MariaDB?

  • Samsung
  • Financial Network, Inc.
  • Virgin Media O2
  • Campus Cloud Services
  • Auto Europe
  • Nokia

Disadvantages of MySQL

From my experience, these are the disadvantages of using MySQL:

  • It is hard to scale.
  • Oracle owns it, so there are lots of restrictions.
  • MYSQL is not ideally suitable for large-sized data.
  • It is invisible from client applications.
  • Triggers can impose a high load on the database server.

Disadvantages of MariaDB

In my professional use, I have identified these drawbacks of MariaDB:

  • The engine is still fairly new, so there’s no guarantee further updates and versions will be forthcoming.
  • As with many other free database engines, you have to pay for support.

How to Choose Between MariaDB and MySQL

Having worked extensively with both systems, I find MariaDB’s extensive storage engines and improved speed offer more flexibility and efficiency than MySQL, particularly in high-traffic environments.