In Chapter 1, we discussed the history of MySQL’s acquisition by Sun Microsystems, then Sun’s acquisition by Oracle Corporation, and how the server has fared through these stewardship changes. But there is much more to the story. MySQL isn’t available solely from Oracle anymore. In the process of two acquisitions, several variants of MySQL appeared. Although most users are unlikely to want anything but the “official” version of MySQL from Oracle, the variants are genuinely important and have made a big difference to all MySQL users—even those who would never consider using them.
There have been a handful of MySQL variants over the years, but three major variants have stood the test of time so far. These three are Percona Server, MariaDB, and Drizzle. All of them have active user communities and some degree of commercial backing. All are supported by independent service providers.
As the creators of Percona Server, we’re biased to some extent, but we think this appendix is fairly objective because we provide services, support, consulting, training, and engineering for all of the variants of MySQL. We also invited Brian Aker and Monty Widenius, who created the Drizzle and MariaDB projects, respectively, to contribute to this appendix, so that it wouldn’t just be our version of the story.
Percona Server (http://www.percona.com/software/) grew out of our efforts to solve customer problems. In the second edition of this book, we mentioned ...