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Google Waves Goodbye To MySQL In Favor Of MariaDB

The First Law of Thermodynamics states, quite simply, that energy cannot be destroyed, it can only be transferred from one form to another. In business terms, this natural law can also apply: do a company wrong and someday that company may come back to bite you on the butt later.

That will never be the official reason why search engine Google is moving all of its Oracle MySQL relational database systems to MySQL’s forked descendant MariaDB, but even the unintentional, karmic implications against Oracle are blindingly obvious.

After all, Oracle has spent a lot of time and legal effort over the past few years establishing that Google had committed copyright infringement by copying portions of Java code into Google’s Android operating system. including 37 application programming interfaces that tap into the Java programming language. That case was ruled in Google’s favor in Federal court, but is still in appeal. And Google apparently has a long memory.

The revelation that Google was dumping MySQL for the MariaDB database came from Google Senior Systems Engineer Jeremy Cole in a presentation at the Extremely Large Databases conference at Stanford University this week.

According to The Register, Cole revealed during the presentation that Google was working with the MariaDB Foundation to patch and update MariaDB 10.0 and get it ready for Google to migrate thousands of MySQL instances to MariaDB.

“We’re running primarily on [MySQL] 5.1 which is a little outdated, and so we’re moving to MariaDB 10.0 at the moment,” Cole said…

Google later confirmed the plan in a statement to The Register:

Google’s MySQL team is in the process of moving internal users of MySQL at Google from MySQL 5.1 to MariaDB 10.0. Google’s MySQL team and the SkySQL MariaDB team are looking forward to working together to advance the reliability and feature set of MariaDB.

The work to make this migration apparently began at the beginning of the year, but outward signs of the plan didn’t get noticed until last month, when it was noticed that Google was assigning a full-time engineer to work at the MariaDB Foundation.

At the time of this move, speculation focused on Google trying to strengthen MariaDB in order to keep diversity within the MySQL community alive. Since Oracle gained control of the MySQL database in 2010 when it purchased Sun Microsystems, the MySQL database community has had to contend with an Oracle that admittedly was putting in some solid technical work to the popular open-source database, but letting very few contributions from outside Oracle into the MySQL codebase.

This frustrated users of MySQL who wanted to see their changes placed into the main line of MySQL development (known as the “trunk”) as well, and not have every technical change within MySQL dependent on the whims of Oracle.

Bullet points on Cole’s slides from his presentation laid out his (and apparently Google’s) position on Oracle MySQL:

Continuing to do good development, but often without much

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