Microsoft Ending Azure Database for MariaDB Service in 2025
Microsoft wants orgs to migrate workloads to Azure Database for MySQL -- Flexible Server.
Microsoft announced on Monday that it plans to "retire" its Azure Database for MariaDB service on Sept. 19, 2025.
The announcement recommended that organizations using Azure Database for MariaDB should plan to move to Azure Database for MySQL -- Flexible Server instead. Microsoft contends that "there's a high application compatibility between Azure Database for MariaDB and Azure Database for MySQL, as MariaDB was forked from MySQL," per its FAQ document.
Microsoft also argued that Azure Database for MySQL -- Flexible Server is more cost effective than Azure Database for MariaDB. Azure Database for MySQL -- Flexible Server has support for "burstable tier compute options." It has "improved performance" for production workloads requiring "low latency, high concurrency, fast failover, and high scalability," and it offers improved uptime via hot standbys, with "a one-hour time window for planned server maintenance."
While the retirement of Azure Database for MariaDB service is set for Sept. 19, 2025, organizations continuing to use it will face earlier deadlines that can affect production. Here are those important milestones:
- Dec. 19, 2023: support ends for "creating new MariaDB server instances" via the Azure Portal.
- March 19, 2024: support ends for creating new MariaDB instances using the "Azure CLI" tool.
In other words, organizations get a mere three months' reprieve when switching to the Azure CLI tool.
The Sept. 19, 2025 end date is rather final for organizations, as they are facing possible workload deletions. Microsoft stated in this article that "on 19 September 2025, workloads running Azure Database for MariaDB will be deleted and associated application data will be lost."
Microsoft's decision to abandon Azure Database for MariaDB wasn't wholly explained. The FAQ offered a cost and efficiency rationale, stating that "we're investing in our flagship offering of Azure Database for MySQL -- Flexible Server [because it's] better suited for mission-critical workloads." However, Microsoft's decision, "was not a surprise," according to Andrew Snodgrass, research vice president with independent consultancy Directions on Microsoft:
The service only ever supported two MariaDB versions (10.2 and 10.3) and they both left community support in May 2022 and May 2023, respectively. There are a bunch of newer versions (10.4 through 10.11) that Microsoft would never commit to releasing, so I think the decision to retire MariaDB was actually made two years ago.
Currently, MySQL 5.7 and MySQL 8 are supported by Microsoft, but MySQL 5.7 will lose support on Oct. 21, 2023, so customers likely will have to use version 8, "which is substantially different," Snodgrass noted.
The MariaDB Foundation oversees the free and open source software licensing of the MariaDB Server code base. MariaDB was forked from MySQL after Oracle bought MySQL from Sun Microsystems, per a Wikipedia article, which is recommended by the MariaDB Foundation. Both products are named after lead developer Michael "Monty" Widenius' daughters, namely "My" and "Maria," per the Wikipedia account.
MariaDB was supposed to be highly compatible with MySQL, but there are some differences and incompatibilities, as listed in this MariaDB article.
Migration advice for organizations planning to move from Azure Database for MariaDB to Azure Database for MySQL can be found in this Microsoft article.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.