Giuseppe Maxia had a great blog post recently about the potential problems facing the Percona Server and MariaDB projects.
I’ve been a big fan of both Percona Server and MariaDB for years. I switched to MariaDB a little over a year ago, after using Percona for several years. For me, the primary driver was the simple integration with the Sphinx search engine, which I use on several of my sites. There are some other benefits, as the MariaDB folks have been working on their own optimizations and features to set them apart from “stock” MySQL.
I have to admit, though, that the MySQL 5.6 release is extremely tempting. I’m really interested in the performance of the InnoDB / memcache integration, as that could be very useful for some of my sites. I use HandlerSocket a fair amount, but I’ve never been a fan of its lack of real security. The memcache integration in MySQL 5.6 seems to have addressed that pretty elegantly by forcing you to define views for your memcache store. HandlerSocket is more powerful, since it can access (and update!) any InnoDB table on your system, but that’s quite a security concern as well.
If there was a way for me to more easily integrate Sphinx with MySQL 5.6, I think I’d switch in a heartbeat. As it is, I’m very seriously considering dealing with compiling the Sphinx storage engine myself, as the features may just be worth that cost.