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Azure Database Drops Support for MariaDB

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Microsoft recently announced that Azure Database will drop support for MariaDB. Over the coming months, users will no longer be able to create new MariaDB databases through the console or CLI, with a scheduled sunset for existing instances in 2025.

To ensure continued support, the cloud provider recommends migrating Azure Database for MariaDB workloads to Azure Database for MySQL Flexible Server. In the article "What's happening to Azure Database for MariaDB?", Karla Escobar, program manager at Microsoft, and Mark Ghanayem, senior content developer at Microsoft, write:

We're investing in our flagship offering of Azure Database for MySQL - Flexible Server better suited for mission-critical workloads. Azure Database for MySQL - Flexible Server has better features, performance, an improved architecture, and more controls to manage costs across all service tiers compared to Azure Database for MariaDB.

Launched in 2017 as an "enterprise-ready, fully managed community MariaDB". MariaDB joined PostgreSQL and MySQL as a managed SQL database on the Azure platform. But MariaDB 10.3, the latest supported version, reached EOL last May. In replying to a user worried about the lack of an upgrade option, the Azure support team acknowledged last April:

We plan to support v10.3 on MariaDB till September 2025. We do not plan to release any new MariaDB versions. Customers would be able to create new v10.3 MariaDB servers until further notice.

Escobar and Ghanayem explain why the MySQL flexible server offer is a better choice:

Azure Database for MySQL - Flexible server zone-redundant deployment provides 99.99% availability with zonal-level resiliency, whereas MariaDB provides resiliency in a single availability zone. Flexible Server's High Availability (HA) architecture deploys a warm standby with redundant compute and storage (with each site's data stored in 3x copies) as compared to MariaDB's HA architecture, which doesn't have a passive hot standby to help recover from zonal failures.

Azure is not the only cloud provider offering a managed service for MariaDB workloads: AWS RDS recently announced support for MariaDB 10.11, the latest long-term supported major version from the MariaDB community. Last year AWS added support for the MyRocks storage engine, IAM integration, delayed replication, and multi-major upgrades. MariaDB Corporation provides instead SkySQL, a cloud database service on Google Cloud targeting enterprise workloads.

Azure plans to drop support for creating new MariaDB instances from the Azure portal on December 19th and from the CLI on March 19th. Existing databases are scheduled for retirement by September 19, 2025. An article on the Azure Database for MySQL Blog explains how to migrate to Azure Database for MySQL.

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