Managed Services

MariaDB’s Bad Week: Layoffs and an End to Azure Support

It's not a great week for MariaDB. But the clouds around the database technology company seem like they've been gathering for quite some time now.

An SEC filing on October 12, 2023 revealed MariaDB will undergo a restructuring plan "to better align its workforce with the needs of its business and to reduce the Company’s operating costs." As part of that plan, MariaDB will lay off 84 people, or approximately 28% of the company's workforce, according to the filing. Of those, the filing noted that "an estimated 13 employees are expected to be provided transition packages that will provide for continued services through various dates of the Company’s fiscal year 2024."

The company expects the plan will result in "restructuring charges consisting of approximately $3.1 million in employee severance and notice period payments, benefits, and related costs and $0.1 million in non-cash stock-based compensation expense related to vesting of share-based awards, and cash expenditures of approximately $0.8 million to satisfy amounts owed due to earned vacation time," according to the filing.

As part of the Plan, the company will focus its attention on its core MariaDB Enterprise Server database product. Products not related to the core MariaDB Enterprise Server business, including SkySQL and Xpand, will no longer be sold and the company has implemented a plan to help existing customers migrate off these products.

Microsoft Retiring Azure Database for MariaDB Service

Speaking of migrating off MariaDB products, Microsoft has announced 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 said 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.  

While the retirement of Azure Database for MariaDB service might seem far in the future, it's not that simple. Microsoft said December 19, 2023 will mark the end of support for creating new MariaDB server instances and March 19, 2024 will see support end for creating new MariaDB instances using the Azure CLI tool. In short, organizations are given a three-month reprieve when switching to the CLI tool.

Trouble on Top of Trouble for MariaDB

It's not entirely clear if these two announcements are related -- but to further muddy the waters, let's consider this: Earlier this year, MariaDB cut 26 jobs and reiterated a "going concern" warning over its financial viability.

In a statement in March 2023, the database vendor, which floated on the New York Stock Exchange at the end of 2022, said it reduced headcount "to achieve cost reduction goals and to focus the company on key initiatives and priorities."

In February 2023, MariaDB filed a 10-Q warning that the company's then-current cash and cash equivalents "would not be sufficient to fund our operations, including capital expenditure requirements for at least 12 months from… February 13, 2023, raising substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern."

The March 24 statement said the company anticipated that the money raised by database subscriptions and services "would not be enough to meet its projected working capital and operating needs after September 30, 2023 ... Going forward, we cannot be certain when or if our operations will generate sufficient cash to fully fund our ongoing operations or the growth of our business." It seems that time is still not at hand.