CBR sat with Patrik Sallner, CEO of MariaDB to talk through the company’s vision of open source, SaaS and encryption.
"SaaScified", that was how MariaDB‘s CEO Patrik Sallner described the company.
According to the CEO, the global database market is about $35 billion a year in revenues and that is dominated by four companies: Oracle, Microsoft, IBM and SAP.
With its headquarters in Helsinki, MariaDB has reached out to the world, and works now alongside Google, IBM and even the EU.
MariaDB has been named after its founder, Ulf Michael Widenius, youngest daughter. The CEO said: "MySQL is named after his older daughter, her name is My [reads ‘Mu’ in Finish], and Maria it’s his younger daughter."
CBR spoke to Patrik Sallner a "month or two" before the release of MariaDB 10.1 which will feature more encryption tools.
CBR: How important is open source to MariaDB?
PS: Open source is really becoming more and more common. Firstly, Linux is the most common operating system across any platform. Whether we talk about data centre servers, Android, or even car systems, they are Linux based. That is all open source, and that has happened first in OSs and now it is spreading to virtualisation software and databases.
With open source software, because it is a cloud cooperative effort, we can have multiple different people participating in the development. This means there is more innovation and security issues which can be fixed more quickly.
Another driving force is cloud infrastructure. There is a lot of cost saving in cloud and all cloud stacks are pretty much built on open source software. So as cloud becomes more pervasive, we have much more use of open source.
In addition, open source is pushed by big data. The volumes are so immense that if companies charged per server, it would just become too expensive and would not make any sense. We see this trends of increased innovation, better need for security, more cloud adoption, big data, all driving the increasing use of open source..
CBR: How can MariaDB leverage information on a SaaS environment?
PS: We started very early focusing on requirements for the really high end software to service deployment. We had two visible MariaDB users: Wikipedia and Google.
Wikipedia has billions of searches every day and all those searches go into a MariaDB database. The online encyclopaedia is an example of a SaaS, people do not install Wikipedia on their machine. It is a service that is running from the cloud.
As for Google, all the searches, again billions a day, are also stored in MariaDB database. We have worked with both companies to optimise the performance in a SaaS environment features in MariaDB.
An important thing in SaaS is high availability. If Google goes down for an hour, many people would get frustrated.
On the database side, we focus a lot on replication allowing for data stored in a server to be replicated all the time to other servers, so that in case of one server going down, companies can quickly switch over to another one, keeping things always working.
Sometimes these two servers can be in the same place, in the same data centre, but companies also need to have replication in another site to avoid local power outages or earthquakes for instance. That gives them disaster recovery or geographic redundancy.
CBR: You have also done work with scaling. Can you develop this using Google and Wikipedia as an example?
PS: Google and Wikipedia are huge. They have their own teams to solve problems by themselves. Then we have thousands of other companies that bump into this scaling problem. Start-ups for instance, do not know how big their company is going to be and they do not want to invest in IT too early.
As they develop, they have some surprises: if a start-up launches a new game, and millions of people try to download it on the first day, the server goes down and they need to quickly find solutions. They will not recruit the best talent from Silicon Valley, they need to get something quick, what we do is sort of productising the innovations that companies like Google and Wikipedia have made to roll them out to thousands of other companies.