MariaDB pops up on Azure with new cluster service

The offering is provided through Microsoft's Azure marketplace for software vendors

Companies interested in deploying the increasingly popular MariaDB open source database on Microsoft's Azure cloud platform now have an easy way to do so, thanks to a new offering provided through the Azure Marketplace. 

Database administrators can deploy the new MariaDB Enterprise Cluster with MaxScale fairly simply by finding it inside Azure's storefront for software vendors and going through a brief setup process. As the name implies, the system is set up as a system of three different MariaDB Enterprise instances, connected by Galera and MaxScale middleware. It's provided by the MariaDB Corporation, a company built to help govern and make money off the open-source database of the same name. 

According to Roger Levy, MariaDB Corporation's vice president of product, the offering mirrors a fairly common configuration that businesses deploy on their own premises. In order for companies to get started, they need to grab an Enterprise Download Token from the company outside of Microsoft's cloud platform. But once they're set with that, getting started should be fairly straightforward. For companies that already deploy MariaDB on premises, they can use an existing token. 

Users who want additional support with their deployments can also purchase a MariaDB Enterprise subscription, which includes services like notifications of important updates personalized to a particular deployment and enhanced support coverage for the database service. 

Azure isn't the first major cloud platform to support the increasingly popular database. Amazon Web Services recently added MariaDB as a database choice in its Relational Database Service, alongside others like MySQL and Amazon's rapidly growing Aurora database.

MariaDB has also seen growing interest in the Linux world with both Red Hat Linux and SUSE Linux choosing it as the default database for their distributions of the popular open-source operating system.

The two cloud offerings are slightly different, though: Compared with Amazon'a offering, the new Azure configuration gives database administrators more control over how their database architecture is set up, Levy said. 

There's also a valuable distinction for the MariaDB Corporation: It can make money off the Azure service. By contrast, it doesn't make a cent from Amazon's deployment, since AWS is just using the open-source version of MariaDB. 

The new service is also a sign of where Microsoft's cloud platform is going. The Azure Marketplace is a way for the tech giant to add capabilities to its cloud platform without having to build them in-house. This new service is a key example of how that helps Microsoft keep up, to a degree, with its competitor in the cloud space without having to build and manage a new service itself. 

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