MariaDB goes bigly on cloud-native smart apps

MariaDB Corporation is upping its cloud-native playbook.

At the same time, MariaDB is aiming to up its approach to so-called ‘smart’ applications., so before we define the parameters at play here, let’s look at the news.

The database company’s mysteriously named MariaDB Platform X4 is new to the table and is described as a cloud-native open source database for developers to build modern applications using smart transactions and cloud-native data storage. 

We know that modern applications (that aspire to be smart) require access to vast amounts of data — and that data needs to be optimised for analytical queries and Machine Learning (ML) models.

In this way, transactions can be augmented with data insights, turning them into smart transactions.

“The use of mobile devices and the rapid pace of technology has fundamentally changed how we interact with applications and what we expect from them,” said Gregory Dorman, vice president of distributed systems and analytics, MariaDB Corporation.

Dorman suggests that the trick that developers should be looking to pull off here is the ability to add the ‘smarts’ (plural) elements without impacting the performance of transactions, so this is why the company implemented a dual storage layout for data.

How does a  dual storage layout for data work? It’s row based for transactions and columnar based for ‘true’ analytics.

MariaDB insists that today, most web and mobile applications run on ‘dumb transactions’ or simple create, read, update and delete (CRUD) operations with a few complex queries. 

Smart transactions defined

With smart transactions, applications take advantage of what MariaDB calls “true” analytics before, during and/or after a transaction. 

So these are applications using smart transactions that can anticipate user needs, create context to be more helpful and take advantage of vast historical records to predict outcomes such as on-time flight performance, best pricing options or sales forecasts for better decision-making or automation. 

“Similar to newer analytical solutions such as Snowflake, MariaDB Platform X4 implements a cloud-native disaggregated architecture for analytics using an API compatible with AWS S3 for up to 70% cost savings over block storage, 99.999999999% durability and 99.99% availability, storage across multiple availability zones and unlimited storage capacity,” said the company, in a press statement.

Unlike pure analytical cloud-native solutions, MariaDB Platform X4 also uses block storage, such as AWS EBS, for fast transactions along with object storage, such as AWS S3, for fast, scalable analytics.

Developer enablement

MariaDB is publishing new material to try and help developers build modern applications using smart transactions. This new enterprise documentation includes install and deployment guides and outlines new platform functionality. 

MariaDB is also creating sample applications available on GitHub.

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