Should you be using MariaDB or MySQL?Print
In a recent webinar by database consulting company and highly regarded MySQL experts Percona Colin Charles discussed the assertion that MariaDB is actually a "drop-in" replacement for MySQL at this juncture. His presentation outlines many places that MariaDB and MySQL have diverged, and particularly in the areas of data encryption, backup/restoration and replication, there are many significant interoperability issues.
He also points out that in the areas of performance and features, MySQL has taken a substantial step forward recently with the release of version 5.7 and the development 8.0x line. There is even a valid question as to whether the company behind MariaDB is actively interested in retaining its heritage as a MySQL alternative.
The presentation notes are available here and include references and source material links that anyone who regularly works with mysql or MariaDB will likely find to be valuable. It's a great primer for jump starting inquiry into recent MySQL and MariaDB features like GTID's, MySQL's new JSON datatype, and the MySQL X protocol.