MariaDB, Oracle MySQL, and Percona MySQL give you several options for using MySQL within your organization. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, so the right choice for your use cases may be quite different from another company’s. Let’s take a look at them.
Oracle MySQL has the most longevity out of these three database management systems. It’s commonly seen as the default installation on web hosts and it also acts as the default selection for WordPress.
Oracle offers two versions of MySQL: a free community edition and a commercially licensed version. Depending on the way that you’re using Oracle MySQL, the company may require you to use the commercial edition. Both MariaDB and Percona MySQL are fully open source. MariaDB also offers an Enterprise Subscription Model.
The biggest advantage to using Oracle MySQL is the stable code base and the large community. When you have web applications that depend on an incredibly reliable and predictable system, then Oracle’s offering stands out.
MariaDB and Percona MySQL are forks of MySQL. You can use them as a drop-in replacement. While they do have some similar features and will draw from each other in several ways, there are some major differences when it comes to their overall focuses.
MariaDB pushes the envelope with MySQL. They look towards the future of database management and develop new features based on that view. The query optimizer is one of the biggest draws for MariaDB, as it adds a lot of flexibility for developers that use many types of queries for a project, rather than the same ones over and over. Features such as GTID replication, AD integration and more were first developed and implemented by MariaDB. Redhat and CentOS replaced (Version 7 onwards) MySQL with MariaDB as their default distribution repository
You also have a better selection of storage engines and on-disk database encryption. Another area where this fork shines is through its scalability features, such as multi-source replication. The idea use cases are for large cloud hosting applications that leverage multiple servers, and projects that have varying queries.
Percona MySQL takes a more conservative approach to better support extremely demanding application requirements. Your resource-intensive applications will appreciate the performance improvements and optimization tools that Percona MySQL has available.
It features XtraDB, which is an alternative to InnoDB that is more performance-oriented, and plenty of ways to monitor and improve its operation. XtraDB Cluster and XtraBackup offer other tools to work with that engine. If you have compatibility issues with other MySQL forks, Percona MySQL is closer to the base code. Percona also offers a set of Opensource MySQL tools as part of their MySQL toolkit which is very handy for the DBAs to help with their daily administration activities.
Another area that Percona MySQL stands out is bringing enterprise features into their fully open-source MySQL version. If the commercial licenses for Oracle MySQL exceed a project’s budget, Percona may have the features that you’re looking for.
Ultimately, the best choice for your applications depends on the size, scale, and resource demands that you have for the database. Each MySQL flavor offers plenty of benefits, and in some cases, it may come down to the development team’s personal preferences.