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Upgrade MySQL or switch to MariaDB?

 
Ulf Dittmer
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My company runs the production systems on MySQL 5.1. For a new server that'll come live over the next couple of months we'd like to avail ourselves of the performance improvements made in both MySQL 5.5 and MariaDB (5.2 or 5.3, the latter still in beta). Since both are supposed to be drop-in replacements for MySQL 5.1, the decision can go either way. Has anyone here compared the two and have opinions or advice either way? Pointers to other folks' experiences would be welcome, too.
 
Jelle Klap
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No experience with MariaDB, but I've checked it out and from a non-technical viewpoint, I could see support (or lack thereof) potentially being an issue.
If you're not already using the MySQL community server that is. In my experience management types tend to stubbornly favour ridiculously priced support contracts over community support, and pesky details like logic and reason often hold no sway.



 
Pat Farrell
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Same here, no real world experience to make an engineering decision. But I agree with @Jelle, for some reason expensive "support" contracts have huge attraction for many management types. Most of the time, you get little to no support for the mega dollar contracts.

I personally think its better economics to go free and if needed, pay someone $300 per hour for support. Most of the time, you won't use more than a few hours per year.
 
Ulf Dittmer
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So far we don't have a support contract, and we'll likely continue without one. Being the manager in charge, I'm comfortable with that. Consequently I'd like to base the decision whether to go with one or the other more on technical or maintenance-related reasons.
 
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