Database maker MariaDB acquires rival Clustrix to boost its technology

MariaDB Corp., a prominent database provider backed by over $98 million in funding, today announced that it has acquired competitor Clustrix Inc. for an undisclosed amount.

The deal was reportedly financed in part by a new extension to the company’s $54 million funding round last year. The capital came from information technology automation giant ServiceNow Inc., which runs more than 85,000 MariaDB database nodes internally.

Both MariaDB and Clustrix are so-called MySQL drop-in replacements. They way they handle key tasks such as organizing data is fully identical to how it’s done by MariaDB, the world’s most popular relational database, which removes the hassle of accommodating a new system’s unique requirements. That in turn simplifies both the initial deployment process and ongoing maintenance.

One of the main benefits that Clustrix offers over MySQL is improved scalability. According to MariaDB, some customers rely on the system to store billions of rows of data. One user, market intelligence provider Nielsen Holdings PLC, uses its Clustrix environment to carry out more than 100,000 database transactions per second.

Companies can set up their deployments both on in-house infrastructure and the public cloud. According to Clustrix’s website, the system is capable of providing up to 10 times better performance than Amazon Web Services’ MySQL-based Aurora database service.

MariaDB will integrate Clustrix into its platform to provide better support for large-scale deployments of customers like ServiceNow. In addition to MySQL, the acquisition should make the company more competitive against relational databases from Oracle Corp. and other rivals. 

MariaDB Chief Executive Officer Michael Howard took a direct swipe at Oracle in a statement. “Today, the choices for a scale-out database option are limited – go with a traditional solution like Oracle with high cost and bloat or choose a NoSQL solution that has limited capabilities for data integrity,” Howard said. “With Clustrix, MariaDB can provide a better solution for our customers that have challenging scale-out enterprise environments.”

Even with the rise in the use of NoSQL databases for storing unstructured information over recent years, relational systems geared towards structured business records continue to be a core pillar of enterprise information technology. A part of the reason is that MariaDB and the other players in this segment have had more time to build out the advanced reliability features required by large companies.

San Francisco-based Clustrix had raised $71.7 million in funding from Sequoia Capital and other investors prior to the acquisition. 

Photo: Clustrix

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