Azure Drops MariaDB Support, Adds Free SQL DB
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Monday, 02 October 2023

Microsoft has announced changes to its Azure database services that will see support dropped for MariaDB and a free tier added for the preview of Azure SQL databases.

The announcement says that Azure Database for MariaDB is on the retirement path and is scheduled for retirement by September 19, 2025.

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As part of this retirement, there is no extended support for creating new MariaDB server instances from the Azure portal from December 19, 2023. The advice is that if you still need to create MariaDB instances, you can use Azure CLI until March 19, 2024.

Microsoft says it is investing in Azure Database for MySQL - Flexible Server, which it describes as better suited for mission-critical workloads because of better features, performance, an improved architecture, and more controls to manage costs across all service tiers compared to Azure Database for MariaDB. Microsoft says the better cost optimization includes support for burstable tier compute options, and that the improved uptime includes the ability to configure a hot standby on the same or a different zone, and a one-hour time window for planned server maintenance.

One key point to note is that on 19 September 2025, workloads running Azure Database for MariaDB will be deleted and associated application data will be lost. Deleting data, rather than offering an automatic migration seems a harsh route, though the date is still two years away.

Organizations who want to stay with MariaDB do have options; Amazon AWS RDS supports MariaDB 10.11, and has recently added support for MariaDB features including the MyRocks storage engine. MariaDB Corporation also has its own cloud-based database in the form of SkySQL on Google Cloud.

Microsoft has also announced a preview for Azure SQL Database that is available free of charge with 100,000 vCore seconds of compute every month. This free offer provides a General Purpose database for the lifetime of your subscription.

Microsoft says the free SQL Database offer is designed for new Azure customers looking to get started with Azure SQL Database, and existing customers who may need a development database for a proof of concept. Azure SQL Database is a fully managed platform as a service (PaaS) database engine that is essentially Microsoft SQL Server on Azure.

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More Information

Azure MariaDB Retirement Announcement

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