Applying the Business Source Licensing (BSL)

I believe that Open Source is one of the best ways to develop software. However, as I have written in blogs before, the Open Source model presents challenges to creating a software company that has the needed resources to continually invest in product development and innovation.

One reason for this is a lack of understanding of the costs associated with developing and extending software. As one example of what I regard to be unrealistic user expectations, here is a statement from a large software company when I asked them to support MariaDB development with financial support:

As you may remember, we’re a fairly traditional and conservative company. A donation from us would require feature work in exchange for the donation. Unfortunately, I cannot think of a feature that I would want developed that we would be willing to pay for this year.”

This thinking is flawed on many fronts -- a new feature can take more than a year to develop! It also shows that the company saw that features create value they would invest in, but was not willing to pay for features that had already been developed and was not prepared to invest into keeping alive a product they depend upon. They also don't trust the development team with the ability to independently define new features that would bring value. Without that investment, a technology company cannot invest in ongoing research and development, thereby dooming its survival.

To be able to compete with closed source technology companies who have massive profit margins, one needs income.

Dual licensing on Free Software, as we applied it at MySQL, works only for a limited subset of products (something I have called ‘infrastructure software’) that customers need to combine with their own closed source software and distribute to their customers. Most software products are not like that. This is why David Axmark and I created the Business Source license (BSL), a license designed to harmonize producing Open Source software and running a successful software company.

The intent of BSL is to increase the overall freedom and innovation in the software industry, for customers, developers, user and vendors. Finally, I hope that BSL will pave the way for a new business model that sustains software development without relying primarily on support.

For those who are interested in the background, Linus Nyman, a doctoral student from Hanken School of Economics in Finland), and I worked together on an academic article on the BSL.

Today, MariaDB Corporation is excited to introduce the beta release of MariaDB MaxScale 2.0, our database proxy, which is released under BSL. I am very happy to see MariaDB MaxScale being released under BSL, rather than under an Open Core or Closed Source license.  Developing software under BSL will provide more resources to enhance it for future releases, in similar ways as Dual Licensing did for MySQL. MariaDB Corporation will over time create more BSL products. Even with new products coming under BSL, MariaDB Server will continue to be licensed under GPL in perpetuity. Keep in mind that because MariaDB Server extends earlier MySQL GPL code it is forever legally bound by the original GPL license of MySQL.

In addition to putting MaxScale under BSL, we have also created a framework to make it easy for anyone else to license their software under BSL.

Here follows the copyright notice used in the MaxScale 2.0 source code:

* Copyright (c) 2016 MariaDB Corporation Ab
* Use of this software is governed by the Business Source License
* included in the LICENSE.TXT file and at www.mariadb.com/bsl.
* Change Date: 2019-01-01
* On the date above, in accordance with the Business Source
* License, use of this software will be governed by version 2
* or later of the General Public License.

Two out of three top characteristics of the BSL are already shown here: The Change Date and the Change License. Starting on 1 January 2019 (the Change Date), MaxScale 2.0 is governed by GPLv2 or later (the Change License).

The centrepiece of the LICENSE.TXT file itself is this text:

Use Limitation: Usage of the software is free when your application uses the Software with a total of less than three database server instances for production purposes.

This third top characteristic is in effect until the Change Date.

What this means is that the software can be distributed, used, modified, etc., for free, within the use limitation. Beyond it, a commercial relationship is required – which, in the case of MaxScale 2.0, is a MariaDB Enterprise Subscription, which permits the use of MaxScale with three or more database servers.

You can find the full license text for MaxScale at mariadb.com/bsl and a general BSL FAQ at mariadb.com/bsl-faq-adopting. Feel free to copy or refer to them for your own BSL software!

The key characteristics of BSL are as follows:
  • The source code of BSL software is available in full from day one.
  • Users of BSL software can modify, distribute and compile the source.
  • Code contributions are encouraged and accepted through the "new BSD" license.
  • The BSL is purposefully designed to avoid vendor lock-in. With vendor lock in, I here mean that users of BSL software are not depending on one single vendor for support, fixing bugs or enhancing the BSL product.
  • The Change Date and Change License provide a time-delayed safety net for users, should the vendor stop developing the software.
  • Testing BSL software is always free of cost.
  • Production use of the software is free of cost within the use limitation.
  • Adoption of BSL software is encouraged with use limitations that provide ample freedom.
  • Monetisation of BSL software is driven by incremental sales in cases where the use limitation applies.
Whether BSL will be widely adopted remains to be seen. It’s certainly my desire that this new business model will inspire companies who develop Closed Source software or Open Core software to switch to BSL, which will ultimately result in more Open Source software in the community. With BSL, companies can realize a similar amount of revenue for the company, as they could with closed source or open core, while the free of cost usage in core production scenarios establishes a much larger user base to drive testing, innovation and adoption.


Foundation report for 2015

This is a repost of Otto Kekäläinen's blog of the MariaDB foundations work in 2015.

The mariadb.org website had over one million page views in 2015, a growth of about 9% since 2014. Good growth has been visible all over the MariaDB ecosystem and we can conclude that 2015 was a successful year for MariaDB.

Increased adoption

MariaDB was included for the first time in an official Debian release (version 8.0 "Jessie") and there has been strong adoption of MariaDB 10.0 in Linux distributions that already shipped 5.5. MariaDB is now available from all major Linux distributions including SUSE, RedHat, Debian and Ubuntu. Adoption of MariaDB in other platforms also increased, and MariaDB is now available as a database option on, among others, Amazon RDS, 1&1, Azure and Juju Charm Store (Ubuntu).

Active maintenance and active development

In 2015 there were 6 releases of the 5.5 series, 8 releases of the 10.0 series and 8 releases of the 10.1 series. The 10.1 series was announced for general availability in October 2015 with the release of 10.1.8. In addition, there were also multiple releases of MariaDB Galera Cluster, and the C, Java and OBDC connectors as well as many other MariaDB tools. The announcements for each release can be read on the Mariadb.org blog archives with further details in the Knowledge Base. Some of the notable new features in 10.1 include:
We are also proud that the release remains backwards compatible and it is easy to upgrade to 10.1 from any previous MariaDB or MySQL release. 10.1 was also a success in terms of collaboration and included major contributions from multiple companies and developers.

MariaDB events and talks

The main event organized by the MariaDB Foundation in the year was the MariaDB Developer Meetup in Amsterdam in October, at the Booking.com offices. It was a success with over 60 attendees In addition there were about a dozen events in 2015 at which MariaDB Foundation staff spoke.

We are planning a new MariaDB developer event in early April 2016 in Berlin. We will make a proper announcement of this as soon as we have the date and place fixed.

Staff, board and members

In 2015 the staff included:
  • Otto Kekäläinen, CEO
  • Michael "Monty" Widenius, Founder and core developer
  • Andrea Spåre-Strachan, personal assistant to Mr Widenius
  • Sergey Vojtovich, core developer
  • Alexander Barkov, core developer
  • Vicențiu Ciorbaru, developer
  • Ian Gilfillan, documentation writer and webmaster
Our staffing will slightly increase as Vicențiu will start working full time in 2016 for the Foundation. Our developers worked a lot on performance and scalability issues, ported the best features from new MySQL releases, improved MariaDB portability for platforms like ARM, AIX, IBM s390 and Power8, fixed security issues and other bugs. A lot of time was also invested in cleaning up the code base as the current 2,2 million lines of code includes quite a lot of legacy code in it. Version control and issue tracker statistics shows that the foundation staff made 528 commits, reported 373 bugs or issues and closed 424 bugs or other issues. In total there were 2400 commits made by 91 contributors in 2015.

The Board of Directors in 2015 consisted of:
  • Chairman Rasmus Johansson, VP Engineering at MariaDB Corporation
  • Michael "Monty" Widenius, Founder and CTO of MariaDB Corporation
  • Jeremy Zawodny, Software Engineer at Craigslist
  • Sergei Golubchik, Chief Architect at MariaDB Corporation
  • Espen Håkonsen, CIO of Visma and Managing Director of Visma IT & Communications
  • Eric Herman, Principal Developer at Booking.com
MariaDB Foundation CEO Otto Kekäläinen served as the secretary of the board. In 2015 we welcomed as new major sponsors Booking.com, Visma, Verkkokauppa.com. Acronis just joined to be a member for 2016. Please check out the full list of supporters. If you want to help the MariaDB Foundation in the mission to guarantee continuity and open collaboration, please support us as with individual or corporate sponsorship.

What will 2016 bring?

We expect steady growth in the adoption of MariaDB in 2016. There are many migrations from legacy database solutions underway, and as the world becomes increasingly digital, there are a ton of new software projects starting that use MariaDB to for their SQL and no-SQL data needs. In 2016 many will upgrade to 10.1 and the quickest ones will start using MariaDB 10.2 which is scheduled to be released some time during 2016. MariaDB also has a lot of plugins and storage engines that are getting more and more attention, and we expect more buzz around them when software developers figure out new ways to manage data in fast, secure and scalable ways.


Foundation report for 2014

2014 was a productive year for the MariaDB Foundation.

Here is a list of some of the things MariaDB Foundation employees have
accomplished during 2014:

The 3 full-time MariaDB Foundation developers have worked hard to make MariaDB better:
  • Some 260 commits
  • Some 25 reviews of code from the MariaDB community.
  • Fixed some 170 bugs and new features. For a full list, please check Jira.
  • Reported some 160 bugs.
Some of the main new features Foundation developers have worked on in 2014 are:
  • Porting and improving MariaDB on IBM Power8.
  • Porting Galera to MariaDB 10.1 as a standard feature.
  • Query timeouts (MDEV-4427)
  • Some coding and reviews of Parallel replication in MariaDB 10.1.
  • Working with code from Google and Eperi to get table space and table level encryption for InnoDB and XtraDB.
  • Allowing storage engines to shortcut group by queries (for ScaleDB) (MDEV-6080).
  • Moronga storage engine (reviews and porting help)
  • Connect storage engine (reviews and porting help)
  • Spider storage engine (merging code with MariaDB)
  • Query timeouts (MDEV-4427)
  • Merge INET6_ATON() and INET6_NTOA() from MySQL-5.6 (MDEV-4051)
  • Make "CAST(time_expr AS DATETIME)" compatible...SQL Standard) (MDEV-5372)
  • Command line variable to choose MariaDB-5.3 vs MySQL-5.6 temporal data formats (MDEV-5528)
  • Added syntax CREATE OR REPLACE to tables, databases, stored procedures, UDF:s and Views (MDEV-5491. The original TABLE code was done by Monty, other parts was done as a Google Summer Of Code project by Sriram Patil with Alexander Barkov as a mentor.
  • Upgraded the bundled Perl Compatible Regular Expression library (PCRE) to 8.34 (MDEV-5304)
  • Reduced usage of LOCK_open (MDEV-5403) (MDEV-5492) (MDEV-5587)
  • Ported patches from WebScaleSQL to MariaDB (MDEV-6039)
  • Better preallocation of memory (MDEV-7004)
  • Lock-free hash for table definition cache (MDEV-7324)
  • A lot of speed optimizations (changing mutex usage, better memory allocations, optimized bottlenecks, memory barriers etc).
The MariaDB documentation/knowledgebase:
has now 3685 articles about MariaDB and MySQL. Foundation employees added during 2014 223 new ones and did 6045 edits.

Some of the main new articles from us are:
We also have a lot of outside contributors and translators. Thanks a lot to all of you!

We also visited and talked about MariaDB at a lot of conferences:
In addition I had several talks at different companies who were moving big installations to MariaDB and needed advice.

We where also able to finalize the MariaDB trademark agreement between the MariaDB corporation and the MariaDB Foundation. This ensures that that anyone can be part of MariaDB development on equal terms. The actual trademark agreement can be found here.

On the personnel side, we were sad to see Simon Phipps leave the position as CEO of the Foundation.

One the plus side, we just had 2 new persons join the MariaDB foundation this week:
  • We are happy to have Otto Kekäläinen join us as the new CEO for the MariaDB foundation! Otto has in the past done a great work to get MariaDB into Debian and I am looking forward to his work on improving everything we do in the MariaDB foundation.
  • Vicențiu Ciorbaru has joined the MariaDB foundation as a developer. In the past Vicențiu added ROLES to MariaDB, as part of a Google Summer of Code project and he is now interested to start working on the MariaDB optimizer. A special thanks to Jean-Paul Smets at Nexedi for sponsoring his work at the foundation!
Last, I want to give my thanks to the MariaDB foundation members who made all the foundation work possible for 2014:
For 2015 we welcome a new member, Visma. Visma will be part of the foundation board and will help push MariaDB development forwards.

As the above shows, the MariaDB Foundation is not only a guarantee that MariaDB will always be an actively developed open source project, we also do a lot of development and practical work. This is however only possible if we have active members who sponsor our work!
If you are interested in helping us, either as a member, sponsor, or by giving development resources to the MariaDB foundation, please email us at foundation at mariadb.org !


MariaDB foundation trademark agreement

We have now published the trademark agreement between the MariaDB Corporation (formerly SkySQL) and the MariaDB Foundation. This agreement guarantees that MariaDB Foundation has the rights needed to protect the MariaDB server project!

With this protection, I mean to ensure that the MariaDB Foundation in turn ensures that anyone can be part of MariaDB development on equal terms (like with any other open source project).

I have received some emails and read some blog posts from people who are confusing trademarks with the rights and possibilities for community developers to be part of an open source project.

The MariaDB foundation was never created to protect the MariaDB trademark. It was created to ensure that what happened to MySQL would never happen to MariaDB: That people from the community could not be part of driving and developing MySQL on equal terms as other companies.

I have personally never seen a conflict with having one company own the trademark of an open source product, as long as anyone can participate in the development of the product! Having a strong driver for an open source project usually ensures that there are more full-time developers working on a project than would otherwise be possible. This makes the product better and makes it useful for more people. In most cases, people are participating in an open source project because they are using it, not because they directly make money on the project.

This is certainly the case with MySQL and MariaDB, but also with other projects. If the MySQL or the MariaDB trademark would have been fully owned by a foundation from a start, I think that neither project would have been as successful as they are! More about this later.

Some examples of open source projects that have the trademark used or owned by a commercial parent company are Wordpress (wordpress.com and Wordpress.org) and Mozilla.

Even when it comes to projects like Linux that are developed by many companies, the trademark is not owned by the Linux Foundation.

There has been some concern that MariaDB Corporation has more developers and Maria captains (people with write access to the MariaDB repositories) on the MariaDB project than anyone else. This means that the MariaDB Corporation has more say about the MariaDB roadmap than anyone else.

This is right and actually how things should be; the biggest contributors to a project are usually the ones that drive the project forward.

This doesn't, however, mean that no one else can join the development of the MariaDB project and be part of driving the road map.

The MariaDB Foundation was created exactly to guarantee this.

It's the MariaDB Foundation that governs the rules of how the project is developed, under what criteria one can become a Maria captain, the rights of the Maria captains, and how conflicts in the project are resolved.

Those rules are not yet fully defined, as we have had very few conflicts when it comes to accepting patches. The work on these rules have been initiated and I hope that we’ll have nice and equal rules in place soon. In all cases the rules will be what you would expect from an open source project. Any company that wants to ensure that MariaDB will continue to be a free project and wants to be part of defining the rules of the project can join the MariaDB Foundation and be part of this process!

Some of the things that I think went wrong with MySQL and would not have happened if we had created a foundation similar to the MariaDB Foundation for MySQL early on:

  • Claims that companies like Google and Ebay can't get their patches into MySQL if they don't pay (this was before MySQL was bought by Sun).
  • Closed source components in MySQL, developed by the company that owns the trademark to MySQL (almost happened to MySQL in Sun and has happened in MySQL Enterprise from Oracle).
  • Not giving community access to the roadmap.
  • Not giving community developers write access to the official repositories of MySQL.
  • Hiding code and critical test cases from the community.
  • No guarantee that a patch will ever be reviewed.

The MariaDB Foundation guarantees that the above things will never happen to MariaDB. In addition, the MariaDB Foundation employs people to perform reviews, provide documentation, and work actively to incorporate external contributions into the MariaDB project.

This doesn't mean that anyone can push anything into MariaDB. Any changes need to follow project guidelines and need to be reviewed and approved by at least one Maria captain. Also no MariaDB captain can object to the inclusion of a given patch except on technical merits. If things can't be resolved among the captains and/or the user community, the MariaDB Foundation has the final word.

I claimed earlier that MariaDB would never have been successful if the trademark had been fully owned by a foundation. The reason I can claim this is that we tried to do it this way and it failed! If we would have continued on this route MariaDB would probably be a dead project today!

To be able to understand this, you will need a little background in MariaDB history. The main points are:

  • Some parts of the MariaDB team and I left Sun in February 2009 to work on the Maria storage engine (now renamed to Aria).
  • Oracle started to acquire Sun in April 2009.
  • Monty Program Ab then hired the rest of the MariaDB engineers and started to focus on MariaDB.
  • I was part of founding SkySQL in July 2010, as a home for MySQL support, consultants, trainers, and sales people.
  • The MariaDB Foundation was announced in November 2012.
  • Monty Program Ab and SkySQL Ab joined forces in April 2013.
  • SkySQL Ab renamed itself to MariaDB Corporation in October 2014

During the 4 years before the MariaDB foundation was formed, I had contacted most of the big companies that had MySQL to thank them for their success and to ask them to be part of MariaDB development. The answers were almost all the same:

"We are very interested in you succeeding, but we can't help you with money or resources until we are using MariaDB ourselves. This is only going to happen when you have proved that MariaDB will take over MySQL."

It didn't help that most of the companies that used to pay for MySQL support had gotten scared of MySQL being sold to Oracle and had purchased 2-4 year support contracts to protect themselves against sudden price increases in MySQL support.

In May 2012, after 4 years and spending close to 4 million Euros of my own money, to make MariaDB possible, I realized that something would have to change.

I contacted some of the big technology companies in Silicon Valley and asked if they would be interested in being part of creating a MariaDB Foundation, where they could play bigger roles. The idea was that all the MariaDB developers from Monty Program Ab, the MariaDB trademark and other resources would move to the foundation. For this to happen, I need guarantees that the foundation would have resources to pay salaries to the MariaDB developers for at least the next 5 years.

In the end two companies showed interest in doing this, but after months of discussions they both said that "now was not yet the right time to do this".

In the end I created the MariaDB Foundation with a smaller role, just to protect the MariaDB server, and got some great companies to support our work:

  • Booking.com
  • SkySQL (2 years!)
  • Parallels (2 years!)
  • Automattic
  • Zenimax

There was also some smaller donations from a variety of companies.

See the whole list at https://mariadb.org/en/supporters.

During this time, SkySQL had become the biggest supporter of MariaDB and also the biggest customer of Monty Program Ab. SkySQL provided front line support for MySQL and MariaDB and Monty Program Ab did the "level 3" support (bug fixes and enhancements for MariaDB).

In the end there were only two ways to go forward to secure the financing of the MariaDB project:

a) Get investors for Monty Program Ab
b) Sell Monty Program Ab.

Note that neither of the above options would have been possible if Monty Program Ab had not owned the MariaDB trademark!

Selling to SkySQL was in the end the right and logical thing to do:

  • They have good investors who are committed to SkySQL and MariaDB.
  • Most of the people in the two companies already know each other as most come from the old MySQL team.
  • The MariaDB trademark was much more known than SkySQL and by owning it would make it much easier for SkySQL to expand their business.
  • As SkySQL was the biggest supporter of the MariaDB project this felt like the right thing to do.

However, to ensure the future of the MariaDB project, SkySQL and Monty Program Ab both agreed that the MariaDB Foundation was critically needed and we had to put a formal trademark agreement in place. Until now there was just a verbal promise for the MariaDB trademarks to the foundation and we had to do this legally right.

This took, because of a lot of reasons too boring to bring up here, much longer time than expected. You can find the trademark agreement publicly available here.

However, now this is finally done and I am happy to say that the future of MariaDB, as an open source project, is protected and there will never again be a reason for me to fork it!

So feel free to join the MariaDB project, either as a developer or community contributor or as a member of the MariaDB Foundation!


Why SkySQL becoming MariaDB Corporation will be good for the MariaDB Foundation

Today SkySQL is changing its name to MariaDB Corporation. This is something that I had both anticipated and I think it's a great step for MariaDB.

I wanted here to to share my thoughts on how this change affects the MariaDB community.

The short version: As the MariaDB Corporation is the main driving force behind the development of the MariaDB server and the biggest support provider for it, it makes sense to give it a name that clearly communicates this fact.  The name change doesn't of course stop the company to continue it's excellent support for MySQL.

For MariaDB users and customers, the name change should not affect them in any way, except that it will make it easier for them to find more information about MariaDB as there is fewer names involved.

For the MariaDB Foundation, there is no big change either. After all, the MariaDB foundation was created to protect the MariaDB server, not the MariaDB trademark as such.

The longer version, for those who want more context, starts with some history.

After the Sun acquisition of MySQL AB, I started Monty Program to work on a branch of the MySQL code base named MariaDB after my youngest daughter. In 2010, I was one of the founders behind SkySQL as an alternative service provider for Oracle MySQL customers. Last year SkySQL merged with Monty Program to increase the support behind MariaDB. As the adoption of MariaDB has grown, SkySQL’s business has evolved to provide products and services to over 2 million MariaDB users.

Talking about a company called SkySQL, that provides subscription services for MariaDB while also supporting MySQL, was becoming too complicated and confusing. To make things simpler, and reinforce the company’s focus, I both agreed and recommended that a name change was due.

Having the company using the MariaDB name will also help ensure that the company will focus on MariaDB and put even more development resources on MariaDB.

I assume that some people will wonder if the MariaDB Foundation is needed anymore?  I think it's needed now more than ever to ensure that the MariaDB server is always guaranteed to be open for development by the community! The Foundation will continue in its role at the center of the open, independent and dynamic community that drives the adoption of MariaDB.  The Foundation will also need more paying members to be able to continue interacting with the ever growing external MariaDB developer community.

We’ve been working with the team at MariaDB Corporation (formerly SkySQL!) and have come to agreement on how the trademark will be used. Details of this will be published soon on http://www.mariadb.org.

I continue to believe passionately that the world needs an open, actively developed relational database platform that is adopting to your needs and is better suited for modern web scale application development than other alternatives. MariaDB is that platform. We, the MariaDB developers and all other people at the MariaDB foundation and MariaDB Corporation, are all excited that so many of you are choosing MariaDB. We are all committed to making this choice a success.

MariaDB would not be what it is today without your support!  Thank you for this!


Logs and more logs, who has time to read them ?

While working on some new features in MariaDB 10.1, I noticed that a normal user couldn't disable the slow query log, which I thought was a bit silly.

While implementing and documenting this feature, I noticed that the information about the different logs is quite spread around and it's not that trivial to find out how to enable/disable the different logs.

To solve this, I created a new MariaDB kb entry, "Overview of the MariaDB logs that I hope MariaDB and MySQL users will be find useful.

Here follows a copy of the kb entry. If you have any comments or things that could be added, please do it in the kb entry so that it will benefit as many as possible!

Overview of MariaDB logs

There are many variables in MariaDB that you can use to define what to log and when to log.

This article will give you an overview of the different logs and how to enable/disable logging to these.

The error log

  • Always enabled
  • Usually a file in the data directory, but some distributions may move this to other locations.
  • All critical errors are logged here.
  • One can get warnings to be logged by setting log_warnings.
  • With the mysqld_safe --syslog option one can duplicate the messages to the system's syslog.

General query log

  • Enabled with --general-log
  • Logs all queries to a file or table.
  • Useful for debugging or auditing queries.
  • The super user can disable logging to it for a connection by setting SQL_LOG_OFF to 1.

Slow Query log

The binary log


If you know that your next query will be slow and you don't want to log it in the slow query log, do:


If you are a super user running a log batch job that you don't want to have logged (for example mysqldump), do:


mysqldump in MariaDB 10.1 will do this automatically if you run it with the --disable-log-querys option.

See also


For your eyes only (or Adding better encryption to MariaDB)

With MariaDB and MySQL we have always taken security seriously.

In MariaDB 10.0 we added roles to make it easier to administrate many users.

MariaDB and MySQL has also many different encryption functions, but what has been neglected in the past is to make encryption easy to use.

This is now about to change.

I recently had a meeting with Elmar Eperiesi-Beck from eperi about simplifying the usage of encryption. We agreed to start a close collaboration around encryption for MariaDB with an agenda to deliver something very secure and easy to use soon.

The things we are initially focusing on are:

  • Adding column level encryption.
    • This will be done at the field level, invisible for the storage engine.
  • Block level encryption for certain storage engines.
    • Initially we will target InnoDB and XtraDB.

MariaDB will initially support storing the security keys on a remote file systems, accessed only at startup, and later also support using a daemon for key management.

The above will make your encrypted data in MariaDB secure for:

  • Database users that has user access to the database.
  • Anyone that would attempt to steal the hard disk with the database.

By using the daemon approach a MariaDB installation will even be secure against database administrators, as they will not have any way to access the key data.

eperi has 11 years of experience with encryption and I am very happy to see them engage with MariaDB to provide better security to MariaDB users!