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Databases Wikipedia Open Source Oracle IT

Wikipedia Moved To MariaDB 5.5 133

Posted by timothy
from the sharks-and-jets-typing-furiously dept.
Peetke writes "As we all know Oracle is not the biggest friend to the Open Source Community. Long standing OSS supporter Wikipedia has now moved from an optimized fork of MySQL 5.1 to MariaDB 5.5, for both its English and German sites. Wikipedia expects all other languages to follow within a month. Performance-wise, this move has no big implications, but it will ensure our biggest community database will live long and prosper."
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Wikipedia Moved To MariaDB 5.5

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  • That's simple (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @09:52AM (#43524281)

    As we all know Oracle is not the biggest friend to the Open Source Community

    That's because the "communitah!" is a bunch of sniveling brats. I wouldn't be their friends either. Either way Oracle has made and contributed to plenty open source software products over the years.

  • by Annirak (181684) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @09:57AM (#43524309)

    RTFA.

    For the last several years, we’ve been operating the Facebook fork of MySQL 5.1 with most of our production environment running a build of r3753. We’ve been pleased with its performance; Facebook’s MySQL team contains some of the finest database engineers in the industry and they’ve done much to advance the open source MySQL ecosystem.
    That said, MariaDB’s optimizer enhancements, the feature set of Percona’s XtraDB (many overlap with the Facebook patch, but I particularly like add-ons such as the ability to save the buffer pool LRU list, avoiding costly warmups on new servers), and of Oracle’s MySQL 5.5 provide compelling reasons to consider upgrading. Equally important, as supporters of the free culture movement, the Wikimedia Foundation strongly prefers free software projects; that includes a preference for projects without bifurcated code bases between differently licensed free and enterprise editions. We welcome and support the MariaDB Foundation as a not-for-profit steward of the free and open MySQL related database community.

    It's part performance and part philosophical. Given that wikipedia is a strongly philosophical enterprise, this seems reasonable.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @09:58AM (#43524323)

    Replacing one database named after one of the author's daughters, with a database named after another of the author's daughters. Seems pretty consistent to me.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @10:02AM (#43524355)

    MariaDB has quite a few improvements over MySQL. More information here: https://kb.askmonty.org/en/mariadb-versus-mysql-features/

    Note that this does not address the specific storage backend features, which are quite attractive on their own. There are even plans to revive a key-value store backend at some point.

    Said improvements may or may not be a factor in their decision to move, but it's almost a completely drop-in replacement. So the real question would by why not. Simply having it running on my servers gives me that clean and tidy feeling. You know the one I mean.

  • Re:That's simple (Score:2, Informative)

    by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @10:21AM (#43524575)

    Also, if Oracle is not friends with open source why have they sponsored numerous Linux and FOSS conferences?

  • Re:Information (Score:4, Informative)

    by Errol backfiring (1280012) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @10:25AM (#43524619) Journal
    Correct.At the last line on the page, there is a link to the statement: https://blog.wikimedia.org/2013/04/22/wikipedia-adopts-mariadb/ [wikimedia.org]
  • by kthreadd (1558445) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @10:38AM (#43524761)

    Her name is just My.

  • Re:seriously? (Score:5, Informative)

    by rvw (755107) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @10:53AM (#43524929)

    So an organization who asks for donations, waste their money changing Database systems for the sole purpose that they didn't like the company that bought the old one, although they didn't show any signs that they are going to damage the product or make it worse for them in any ways? Sounds like a wast of donated money to me.

    So you didn't RTFA [wikimedia.org]???

    For our most common query type, 95th percentile times over an 8-hour period dropped from 56ms to 43ms and the average from 15.4ms to 12.7ms. 50th percentile times remained a bit better with the 5.1-facebook build over the sample period, 0.185ms vs. 0.194ms. Many query types were 4-15% faster with MariaDB 5.5.30 under production load, a few were 5% slower, and nothing appeared aberrant beyond those bounds.

    Better performance on such a heavy traffic site is neither a waste of time nor money! ;-)

  • Re:seriously? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @10:58AM (#43524983)

    Since Oracle took over MySQL they've shown they routinely delay releasing patches for CVE security flaws for months until they can all be released together without documenting what fixes what issue. Several times updates have either ignore issues, removed fixes to earlier ones or in at least on case I remember applied a fix for an issue which failed to fix it and actually introduced a new one. This despite multiple FOSS projects (Debian,RHEL,MariaDB,Percona) having developed working patches separately which Oracle chose not to use.

    They also don't disclose the details of many security vulnerabilities. That sounds reasonable on first glance, but it makes it a nightmare for sysadmins to assess whether it is worth system downtime to apply a patch, especially when that means upgrading to a newer DB version not tested against the application and which might break the application in several cases (for example due to the newer reserved keywords lists). A firewall or other measures may be sufficient to mitigate the threat, but that can't be assessed without seeing the details.

  • Re:seriously? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dancindan84 (1056246) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @11:32AM (#43525405)

    Ummmm... that's not what happened. They weren't using a stock release of MySQL. They were using an old 5.1 fork that Facebook created and has been maintaining. They decided they wanted the enhancements that the newer releases offered, and had a choice of migrating to a newer release of MySQL, or migrating to a newer release of MariaDB. Either way, they were migrating and had to put forth the effort to do so.

  • Re:seriously? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @11:42AM (#43525539)
    They aren't changing database systems. They are upgrading to the latest mainline version of the database they were already using. Don't be confused by the name change: MariaDB is a recent fork of MySQL where most (all?) new open development occurs. See MariaDB [wikipedia.org] for the relevant history. Basically, "switching" from MySQL to MariaDB is like "switching" from OpenOffice.org to LibreOffice or from XFree86 to Xorg. MySQL got taken over by Oracle so the real development was forked with the new name of MariaDB.
  • by DragonWriter (970822) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @11:54AM (#43525673)

    Wikipedia was using a non-Oracle fork of MySQL (a Facebook maintained fork of MySQL 5.1) and moved to a different non-Oracle fork (MariaDB). The comment about Oracle not being a friend of OSS seems to be a non-sequitur.

  • by Gyske (687847) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @12:05PM (#43525831)
    He also has a son named Max: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MaxDB [wikipedia.org]
  • Re:seriously? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @12:07PM (#43525847)
    Not only this (but please mod up anyway!), but as far as I know MariaDB is compatible with plugins designed for a comparable version of MySQL. At least for my Django and PHP work this holds true. I mean, isn't this the reason most developers abstract the database library anyway?
  • Re:seriously? (Score:5, Informative)

    by gmuslera (3436) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @12:16PM (#43525959) Homepage Journal

    If well MariaDB is backward compatible with MySQL, have some advantages on its own, like more choices for storage engines (i.e. Aria as a better myisam than myisam, xtradb instead of innodb, and others), and should have better performance in general than Mysql for the same equivalent version in the same hardware.

    That Oracle is being bad right now with their concept of "open" (like suing Google for using Java [cnet.com]) is an extra motivation.

  • Re:seriously? (Score:5, Informative)

    by drakaan (688386) on Tuesday April 23, 2013 @01:09PM (#43526721) Homepage Journal

    Most likely they had some MariaDB fanboi (or fangoil) who was willing to do this, but was not willing to upgrade MySQL instead.

    Doubtful. More likely they wanted to be able to get decent community support for the forseeable future. Something that's not a given for a previously community-based software product that got gobbled up by a succession of commercial entities.

    Oracle has gone to great lengths to make MySQL a second-class citizen to its own database in terms of support, and worse, they're not really getting the whole community part of why people used MySQL in the first place...or maybe they *do* get it and just want MySQL to go away so they can sell Oracle DB.

    Either way, the folks at Wikipedia must have seen value in moving to a compatible, open-source, community-based database...just like the one they started with.

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