MariaDB is a popular open source relational database that is part of most cloud and Linux distributions. It’s made by the original developers of MySQL and built upon the values of performance, stability, and openness.
Kaj Arnö is CEO of the MariaDB Foundation, which is furthering MariaDB adoption and is working on openness so everybody can contribute to it.
Kaj, please tell us something about yourself and your tasks at MariaDB.
My name is Kaj Arnö, I'm the CEO of the MariaDB Foundation. I'm nowadays based in Finland, close to one of the Hetzner sites. My task is to ensure that we fulfill our mission, which is then related to technology development, meaning that the people who want to improve MariaDB Server, can get their code contributions into the codebase because openness is very important to us.
And then of course, I'm speaking at events where we have a website, we talk about adoption, we want everybody who uses relational databases to use our database.
What is MariaDB Foundation?
At MariaDB, we have several entities. We have the MariaDB Foundation and we are coordinating the open source aspects of MariaDB server. We're doing adoption so that everybody uses it. We're working on openness so everybody can contribute to it.
And then by contrast, there is a commercial entity that is one of our sponsors called MariaDB PLC, and they are about 200 people we are ten. I hope you don't think it sounds too pretentious, but I think MariaDB Foundation is fundamentally about making the world a better place through databases, one database at a time.
And we do that by the very design of our ecosystem and where we are not just by name open source, but our entire process is one based on open source from which everybody benefits through cost and through the lack of lock in into a particular vendor.
What Hetzner Services do you use?
The role played by Hetzner for MariaDB Foundation is basically hosting a variety of our web presences. So our website mariadb.org, and then the services that we manage ourselves, such as the downloads, the archive, our Zabbix or Grafana, our internal applications over the web, we host them with Hetzner.
Tell us about the buildbot you run on Hetzner Servers.
So the buildbot we use at Hetzner, it's something we've set up - we have several high performance servers, lots of platforms. The idea is for us to be able to ensure that after a commit on GitHub that we really know that that commit is working on all platforms. We have a buildbot tree that hopefully is green all the time, but if it's red, we have something called a protected branch, meaning that the commit doesn't go through.
Why did you choose Hetzner?
With Hetzner there are three things that we really appreciate: it’s reliability, it's latency and it’s cost.
Reliability means it just works and latency is important because we move between data centers a lot. Moving from Falkenstein to Helsinki has not caused latency issues. The latency is very, very low. Last but not least, Hetzner has a reasonable cost structure and it has even provided some sponsorship for us for which we are grateful.
What are the future plans of MariaDB?
So the future for MariaDB Server I think is a lot related to two things MySQL compatibility and migrating off MySQL to MariaDB and artificial intelligence. Generative A.I. creates a lot of data and that's best stored in a relational database. So the two key items for our own future is making us even more compatible with MySQL to ease migration and to be a platform for generative A.I.. And we're definitely looking forward to making all this possible together with Hetzner.