Choosing the right database with Rackspace Cloud Databases

  • Last updated on: 2018-04-24
  • Authored by: Ross Diaz

Cloud Databases supports MySQL 5.1 and 5.6, Percona 5.6, and MariaDB 10 and 10.1. This article highlights some key aspects to consider to decide which MySQL-based datastore fits your application best.

MySQL overview

MySQL is an open-source database developed by Oracle and is the recommended choice of the MySQL database administrator community. MySQL is a good fit for customers who are concerned about maintaining compatibility with upstream, and who prefer a quick release schedule for upstream updates. For more information, see the MySQL documentation.

Benefits of using MySQL

MySQL offers the following benefit:

  • Upstream is controlled by Oracle.

MySQL limitations

MySQL has the following limitation:

  • Bug fixes are delayed behind forks that might have already been resolved by community patches.

Percona Server overview

Percona Server is a good solution for customers who want improved performance right out of the box and want to maintain close (but not exact) compatibility with the upstream source. It has many optimizer improvements when compared to the upstream MySQL. Percona Server includes XtraDB, a drop-in replacement for InnoDB with many optimizations that improve performance on multi-core systems. For more information, see the Percona Server documentation.

Benefits of using Percona Server

Percona Server offers the following benefits:

  • Drop-in replacement for MySQL.

  • Compatibility with MySQL through remerges with the upstream source code after each new MySQL release.

  • Community patching.

  • Improved performance on multi-processor systems.

  • Improved query optimizer.

  • Increased log verbosity options, status and performance counters, and INFORMATION_SCHEMA content.

  • Thread pool option without the need for MySQL Enterprise.

Percona Server limitations

MySQL has the following limitation:

  • After using features that are specific to Percona, you might not be able to directly roll back the database.

MariaDB overview

MariaDB was developed by many of the original developers of MySQL and aims to maintain compatibility with MySQL. It offers the best performance and features out of the box. MariaDB is a good database choice for customers who are less concerned with maintaining direct compatibility with upstream. For example, instead of merging with code provided by upstream, MariaDB attempts to re-implement features as they are released if they are not already provided. MariaDB offers the best optimizer performance of all of the solutions presented in this article and has the largest selection of storage engines by default. For more information, see the MariaDB documentation.

Benefits of using MariaDB

MariaDB offers the following benefits:

  • Drop-in replacement for MySQL.

  • Re-implements features as they are released by Oracle.

  • Fork of MySQL with many new features and a long-term goal to maintain binary compatibility.

  • Community patching.

  • Improved performance on multiprocessor systems.

  • Improved query optimizer.

  • Increased log verbosity options, status and performance counters, and INFORMATION_SCHEMA content.

  • Thread pool option without the need for MySQL Enterprise.

  • Increased quantity of storage engines by default.

MariaDB limitations

MariaDB has the following limitations:

  • After using features that are specific to MariaDB, you might not be able to directly roll back the database.

  • While MariaDB started from MySQL upstream, much of the MySQL source code has been directly modified.

  • In many cases, upstream bugs are already resolved. You might need to wait for re-implementation of the patch.

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