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Community Blog Why Use Alibaba Cloud for MariaDB TX Deployments

Why Use Alibaba Cloud for MariaDB TX Deployments

This article introduces MariaDB, an open-source and potent database service, and discusses the deployment options made available by Alibaba Cloud ApsaraDB.

By Afzaal Ahmad Zeeshan.

Ironically, a few debates will never end, so is the case with the argument of choosing the best technological solutions and their infrastructure for deployment and hosting for your enterprise needs. Which can be the most efficient programming language, what development platform should be considered, which is the most affordable and reliable hosting service, and a hundred of such root questions come in the planning phase of a product development life cycle. Likewise, the quest to find a suitable database as per your product needs is also one of the toughest decisions which require some strong POCs and detailed analysis before making a final call. This article intends to introduce yet another open-source and most potent database service to give you a thorough insight into its overall infrastructure and use-cases, which is MariaDB, and we will then discuss the deployment options made available by Alibaba Cloud product and database umbrella suite, ApsaraDB.

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MariaDB – Platform and High-level Infrastructure

Undoubtedly, MariaDB is one of the most potent open-source databases for hybrid transactional and analytical data processing (either locally or on the cloud), developed and maintained as the relational database by original developers of MySQL database platform. It guarantees to stay open source. MariaDB has a SQL interface to query data from the client. Support for new datatypes has been available and the latest release has data support in GIS (Graphical Information System) and JSON format—helping it to compete against other open sourced relational databases such as PostgreSQL, and in my previous articles I have discussed the importance of PostgreSQL in a cloud environment, you can read those articles to understand a bit more on that, but this article is for MariaDB.

Robust and highly-available infrastructure, quick and secure deployment, and low-resource consumption are three standout features that make MariaDB proliferating. MariaDB TX (transactions) and MariaDB AX (analytical) are the two major distributions of the MariaDB platform; to meet both the transactional and historical data requirements of any organization such as performing diversified huge transactions, querying from real-time analytical data, monitoring actions at the greater scale etc. We will come to these points later on in the article as we explore the different ways of storing the data and querying the data from MariaDB.

A wide range of businesses choose MariaDB as its first choice, and if they have not, then they are migrating from other databases to MariaDB due to its stable ecosystem, storage pipelines, plugins tools, and services—and their faith in the developers of MySQL. MariaDB can be deployed on the server, virtual machines, or even on containers. Google, WordPress.com, Samsung, and Nokia are the big Enterprises that have made MariaDB their ultimate choice – this ensures its reliability and promising performance anyway – and it is the most leading database supported by top-tier Linux distributions such as Red Hat, CentOS, and SUSE as the default database.

Infrastructure Demands

This brings us to the main point of this article, since MariaDB is a complete suite of database systems, it has some advanced requirements for the infrastructure and the resources that are needed. Being a cloud-native database engine, requires the database to scale out elastically, it also needs to take a huge amount of traffic without crashing or causing performance degradation.

Moreover, the storage requirements grow each day and thus requires a cloud-native plan for data storage, and Alibaba Cloud OSS might have something for this—we will see how that fits in this image later.

Alibaba Cloud ApsaraDB for MariaDB

Alibaba Cloud is the leading cloud provider to offer enterprise-level support of MariaDB TX by ApsaraDB. It provides support for multiple data storage engines where MySQL InnoDB comes at the top to meet the diversified user requirements. MariaDB TX is highly compatible with Oracle and ensures a wide array of vibrant features to meet enterprise-level requirements. When we discuss ApsaraDB, we not only talk about a specific product, rather a whole family of the relational and non-relational databases. For example, here you can see the RDS options available under ApsaraDB.

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These are the primary relational database offerings made available by ApsaraDB product. As you can see in the screenshot, most of the configurations are straight-forward, even for a beginner. Like every other Alibaba Cloud product, this solution also comes in a subscription as well as a pay-as-you-go model.

Note: If you purchase the database using a subscription model, you can get up to 40% off on the purchases.

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High demand for resources by MariaDB

As we have already discussed that MariaDB deployments would require a strong cloud-native infrastructure to be deployed and made available for an instance to run and properly function. Alibaba Cloud is a strong candidate for such deployments, and the reason being, that Alibaba Cloud has a perfect mixture of cloud-native solutions. Ranging from ECS, SLB and OSS to completely provide a highly-available, traffic optimized, storage optimized solution in a cheaper way. The pricing is very flexible for each instance that is created and provides a scalable way of hosting your databases.

Each primary instance is charged on a subscription or an hourly basis, and their cloned versions are also charged in a similar manner. Each instance is provided a free quota of storage, with free performance and monitoring tools. Auditing is also disabled by default but can be enabled later. You can read a complete detail of the pricing here.

Here is a sample solution being purchased:

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Alibaba Cloud will create the resources on its infrastructure that will host the solution. The solution also comes in a complete suite of user management, database management, backup and restoration of the data, and everything that you might need from a database management system.

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Go ahead and create a new service—it is under 1 USD for a trial—and explore the different areas of the product.

Let us discuss a few of the use cases of Alibaba Cloud and MariaDB, for several industries and see how they can benefit from ApsaraDB deployment for MariaDB.

System Control and Instant Disaster Recovery

Sensitive enterprises, more importantly, banking, and finance security firms, are highly concerned about their data security and consistency. They deal with large transactions of a billion and trillion-dollar by keeping their business values and consumer trust at risk. Keeping such requirements in mind for such firms, MariaDB TX provides you with a complete ecosystem that ensures instant security event auditing and fraud prevention. It enforces a mechanism to pre-detect and prevents any kind of malware attack and security breach. The logical separation of DB instances allows stability while entertaining and responding to huge transactions in parallel.

MariaDB TX by ApsaraDB also ensures the same city failover and standby recovery to fulfill the data high availability requirements. It also supports remote disaster recovery, fault tolerance across multi-region and multi zones.

To facilitate the finance industry, MariaDB TX provides the option of IP whitelists, prevention from SQL injections, and multiple encryption methodologies, including SSL.

Easy Read/Write Accessibility and Cost Effectiveness

MariaDB TX supports standalone multiple read-only instances to meet the requirements of the application, which are more read intensive (they entertain very few write requests and many reading requests)—kind of like a caching system. This way, the application gets more read request stability and performance. Also, this is cost-effective since you pay only for the requests which are really meaning full and revenue-generating for you.

The examples of such businesses are websites, blogs, read-only user surveys-based portals, etc. They can use read-only instances to scale their applications as required and handle massive user requests at low cost.

Fast Gaming Servers with High availability

Fast and quick response is guaranteed with high compute capabilities to build and deploy highly available, dedicated, and efficient gaming servers with maximum ease and 24/7 support. MariaDB TX provides support for data rollback on gaming server instances to restore data in times of failure.

The active and standby architecture enables encryption without disturbing transmission speed automatically while the quick data restoration service ensures the high availability of your data on the servers without an interruption. MariaDB TX promises to provide data availability for up to 90% of the user connections, which is enormous.

Big Data Computation and Monitoring Dashboards

Being relational in nature, MariaDB TX provides extensive support of computational data techniques and AI-based scientific simulation and integrates perfectly with the Alibaba Cloud suite of products, such as E-MapReduce, HybridDB, and DataV. It also supports scalable and competitive data storage choices to test and implement these analytical big data methodologies, intelligent business operations, and historical data analytics.

For event-driven logging and monitoring, you get an option to avail BinLog service supported by MySQL. Depending upon your requirements, you can switch between Classical network and Virtual Private Network, which are the Alibaba Cloud provided networks for ApsaraDB for MariaDB. The key differentiator is:

  • The classical network is the generalized one; support for an isolated network is not provided. However, unauthorized actions and access requests can easily be restricted using IP whitelist and block policy.
  • Whereas, the VPN guarantees secured access and activities over the network. You can have customized entries in the routing table and IP range. Also, in a virtual private network, you can host cloud resources in your data centers; otherwise, you can migrate your data to the cloud using VPN and fully authorized leased line.

MariaDB TX Features and Benefits

  • Multiple data types and object formats are supported by Oracle PL/SQL, JSON, GIS, and Dynamic SQL packages.
  • InnoDB and MyRocks are the two provided choices for the storage engines; InnoDB is the oldest storage engine with rich and stable features-set while MyRocks storage engine is an optimized version of storage engine for optimized space and compression techniques.
  • Alibaba Cloud is the first public cloud vendor establishing the partnership with enterprise MariaDB that ensures high service quality, database scalability, and schema changes right from the online web portal.

Database Security and Pre-Protection

IP whitelist, SQL audit, security tracking, and always-on monitoring are the security features by default. Links and online activities are encrypted using Secure Socket Layer to avoid security breach and malicious attacks such as man-in-the-middle etc. Furthermore, for the stored data protection in the disks, Transparent Data Encryption is implemented. For other ill-intend activities and most common security threats, anti-DDoS and pre-protection are automatically enabled.

Active Disaster Recovery

The active standby architecture ensures that the two instances will run on different servers to synchronize data from one instance to another instance within a few seconds and without disturbing the system performance and continuity before switches the connection to this standby instance. Moreover, for the instant recovery from anywhere, data recovery from remote access is supported.

Flexibility and Scalability

MariaDB provides highly cost-effective plans; you pay bills for the instances which are running. This motivates users to expand their businesses without fear of increasing cost freely.

As per the requirements and intended business needs, there are mainly three editions of MariaDB; standalone – security agnostic and stable edition, standby edition for quick backup and data restoration and a three-member edition in which we get a hidden instance other than the primary and secondary instances.

Auto-scaling saves you from the manual configuration and underlines resource management such as several servers, memory, and space on the disk.

Multiple Maintenance Features for Cost-Effectiveness

MariaDB on Alibaba Cloud is a highly maintained, improved, and performant database, so there is no cost of spending money on maintenance, etc. Automatic upgrades from minor to significant versions happen within minutes and is yet another useful feature. It provides performance and optimization checks and reports to diagnose the failure points in your system.

So, these are the primary reasons why Alibaba Cloud is the best suited environment for your online database engines—especially MariaDB TX. This post can go on and on, and we can list down more features, but maybe that will bore you down. In future, I will publish a sample MariaDB project on Alibaba Cloud, stay tuned on Alibaba Cloud blog!

The views expressed herein are for reference only and don't necessarily represent the official views of Alibaba Cloud.

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