Learn more about these open-source databases including advantages, disadvantages and uses.

MariaDB vs. MySQL: What Are They?

MariaDB is an open-source Relational Database Management System (RDBMS). MariaDB provides various additional functionalities compared to MySQL and is gaining popularity due to its flexibility and availability.
MySQL is the legacy (RDBMS) currently developed by Oracle Corporation and remains as one of the most popular database systems to date.

MariaDB vs. MySQL: What Are Their Histories?

Released in 1995 by a Swedish company, MySQL, was initially developed for internal usage. MySQL was based on mSQL, which is a low level language based on ISAM considered inept for usage; a new interface and backward compatibility allowed developers to quickly adapt with MySQL. Oracle Purchased MySQL in 2010.
MariaDB started as a fork of MySQL. Micheal Widenus, together with many of the original developers, dedicated themselves to the new open-source project. They did not agree with Oracle corporation regarding the future of the original product, and instead wished for an architecture similar to Eclipse. Over the years MariaDB has made significant progress in the areas of scalability and reliability, and has emerged as a competitor to MySQL.

MariaDB vs. MySQL: What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages? 

 MySQL advantages:
  1. Data masking; Any field that is deemed sensitive can be masked efficiently, and appropriate encryption and decryption mechanism exists. These have been found excellent in their performance.
  2. Legacy system; As one of the first popular RDBMS, MySQL supports old implementations to this data for smooth functionality.
  3. Replication support; This allows data to be available at each node in a distributed setup. Data is automatically copied to the destination node to enhance accessibility.
  4. Support for distributed databases; MySQL supports distributive implementation in a Master-Slave configuration. These configurations allow low access times for large datasets.
  5. Query caching; A feature that stores recent access data in a cache, subsequent similar requests are processed with a low turnaround.
MySQL disadvantages:
  1. Lack of standard practices; Using an Oracle foundation instead of following the SQL standard introduced custom functionality, which can lead to complications in data migrations.
  2. Caches; MySQL caches are known to be troublesome, and don’t serve updated, real-time high volatility situations.
  3. Limited support for conditional statements; Conditional statements within queries are very limited, often requiring more effort in structuring CRUD operations.
  4. Low throughput in nested queries; In MySQL, queries with three or more layers have low throughput. This is due to the management of cache and direct access of data inside the architecture.
MariaDB advantages
  1. Configuration ease; MariaDB is easy to setup and configure as the syntax of configuration files is simple and well structured.
  2. Support for distributed databases; MariaDB supports distributive configurations, which out-perform MySQL in throughput.
  3. High compatibility; MariaDB excels in backward compatibility, as well as seamless integration with third party systems to enhance functionality and capacity.
  4. Source code availability; MariaDB is open source, allowing developers to fork and customize as per requirement.
  5. Additional features; MariaDB extended existing features in MySQL to better simplify implementation and extensibility.
MariaDB disadvantages
  1. No data masking support; MariaDB does not support data masking. However, the feature can be included using plugins.
  2. Relatively weak encryption; Data security in MariaDB is weak, and requires  developers to take voluntary precautions.
  3. Scalability limits; Within a table there are limits on the number of rows and data size, which makes MariaDB unsuitable for high-volume usage.
  4. Not suited for big data; Due to its lack of ability to handle larger datasets, MariaDB isn’t suited to support big data.
  5. Weak cache; MariaDB has a limited cache which can result in longer throughputs in instances of larger datasets.

MariaDB vs. MySQL: Final Word

MariaDB is suitable for small to medium size implementations, where datasets do not increase for more than one hundred thousand rows per table. For any workloads with larger table sizes, additional configurations are required.  
MySQL has good support for larger datasets; however, caching problems require custom configurations that can increase development cost.


SingleStoreDB is a real-time, distributed SQL database that unifies transactions and analytics in a single engine to drive low-latency access to large datasets, simplifying the development of fast, modern enterprise applications. SingleStoreDB provides support for large scale databases with analytics and takes care of most configuration, and also supports various distributions for deployment.
SingleStore is MySQL wire compatible and offers the familiar syntax of SQL, but is based on modern underlying technology that allows infinitely higher speed and scale versus MySQL. This is one of the many reasons SingleStore is the #1, top-rated relational database on TrustRadius.