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Azure Embraces MariaDB

While Microsoft Azure has enjoyed a lot of publicity lately, primarily through their new deal with Red Hat, the team responsible for the ongoing development of the Azure platform has been hard at work on other deals and partnerships, too. More specifically, their latest collaboration with the MariaDB Enterprise Cluster platform, an open source database framework, customers of Azure will now have access to increased options regarding web services across the board.

What is MariaDB?

Originally launched in 2009, MariaDB is an open source, community-developed offshoot of the popular MySQL database system. With the initial development led by the developers of the original MySQL framework, the platform has enjoyed its own success since its introduction. The latest stable release of MariaDB, which was released in November 2015, marks version 10.1.9 of the product.

Paige Liu, a software engineer with Microsoft Azure, commented on the efficiency and effectiveness of the MariaDB platform by saying: "MariaDB is the database that powers billions of users on sites like Booking.com and Wikipedia. It has more than two million users globally, and 500 customers in more than 45 countries subscribe to MariaDB Enterprise Server."

Liu continued her statement by saying: "With partnerships such as the one we are announcing today, we continue our journey to provide first-class experiences for open-source practitioners in a hyper-scale, hybrid cloud platform. If you are looking to accelerate time-to-market for your open-source-based data solutions and applications or to start exploring cloud-native open-source solutions, check out our trial and get started for free."

However, Microsoft's Azure service wasn't the first cloud provider to integrate MariaDB into their framework. Amazon Web Services, a top competitor of Azure, has been using MariaDB to complement their Relational Database Service for some time now. Regardless, the announcement by Microsoft to include support for MariaDB in their own web service bodes well for both Azure and MariaDB.

Additional Upgrades

Apart from their newly announced integration with MariaDB, Microsoft's Azure platform also presented preview versions of their OLTP (online transaction processing) technology, which utilizes internal memory, a new Real-Time Operational Analytics for Azure SQL Database feature and Dynamic Data Masking for increased security.

The new OLTP is able to take advantage of internal server memory, as opposed to the traditional, disk-based storage systems. As such, customers are able to benefit from a vast increase in speeds when working with large workloads within the database.

Moreover, thanks to the new Real-Time Operational Analytics feature, customers are able to use internal memory to process and analyze disk-based data. This results in a substantial performance increase.

Ronit Reger, senior program manager with Microsoft's SQL Data Security group, explained how Dynamic Data Masking works to increase cloud security across the board by saying: "ynamic Data Masking can be used to hide sensitive data in your applications, while the logic of which fields to mask and how to mask is centralized in the database itself. It can also be used to avoid exposure of the data to engineers or IT ops personnel that connect to the production database for maintenance or troubleshooting purposes."

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