Connect to Azure Database for MariaDB with redirection


Azure Database for MariaDB is on the retirement path. We strongly recommend for you to migrate to Azure Database for MySQL. For more information about migrating to Azure Database for MySQL, see What's happening to Azure Database for MariaDB?

This topic explains how to connect an application your Azure Database for MariaDB server with redirection mode. Redirection aims to reduce network latency between client applications and MariaDB servers by allowing applications to connect directly to backend server nodes.

Before you begin

Sign in to the Azure portal. Create an Azure Database for MariaDB server with engine version 10.2 or 10.3.

For details, refer to how to create an Azure Database for MariaDB server using the Azure portal or Azure CLI.


Redirection is currently not supported with Private Link for Azure Database for MariaDB.

Enable redirection

On your Azure Database for MariaDB server, configure the redirect_enabled parameter to ON to allow connections with redirection mode. To update this server parameter, use the Azure portal or Azure CLI.


Support for redirection in PHP applications is available through the mysqlnd_azure extension, developed by Microsoft.

The mysqlnd_azure extension is available to add to PHP applications through PECL and it's highly recommended to install and configure the extension through the officially published PECL package.


Support for redirection in the PHP mysqlnd_azure extension is currently in preview.

Redirection logic


Redirection logic/behavior beginning version 1.1.0 was updated and it's recommended to use version 1.1.0+.

The redirection behavior is determined by the value of mysqlnd_azure.enableRedirect. The table below outlines the behavior of redirection based on the value of this parameter beginning in version 1.1.0+.

If you're using an older version of the mysqlnd_azure extension (version 1.0.0-1.0.3), the redirection behavior is determined by the value of mysqlnd_azure.enabled. The valid values are off (acts similarly as the behavior outlined in the table below) and on (acts like preferred in the table below).

mysqlnd_azure.enableRedirect value Behavior
off or 0 Redirection isn't be used.
on or 1 - If the connection doesn't use SSL on the driver side, no connection is made. The following error is returned: "mysqlnd_azure.enableRedirect is on, but SSL option isn't set in connection string. Redirection is only possible with SSL."
- If SSL is used on the driver side, but redirection isn't supported on the server, the first connection gets aborted. The following error is returned: "Connection aborted because redirection isn't enabled on the MariaDB server or the network package doesn't meet redirection protocol."
- If the MariaDB server supports redirection, but the redirected connection failed for any reason, also abort the first proxy connection. Return the error of the redirected connection.
preferred or 2
(default value)
- mysqlnd_azure uses redirection if possible.
- If the connection doesn't use SSL on the driver side, the server doesn't support redirection, or the redirected connection fails to connect for any nonfatal reason while the proxy connection is still a valid one, it falls back to the first proxy connection.

The subsequent sections of the document outline how to install the mysqlnd_azure extension using PECL and set the value of this parameter.


  • PHP versions 7.2.15+ and 7.3.2+
  • php-mysql
  • Azure Database for MariaDB server
  1. Install mysqlnd_azure with PECL. It's recommended to use version 1.1.0+.

    sudo pecl install mysqlnd_azure
  2. Locate the extension directory (extension_dir) by running the below:

    sudo php -i | grep "extension_dir"
  3. Change directories to the returned folder and ensure is located in this folder.

  4. Locate the folder for .ini files by running the below:

    sudo hp -i | grep "dir for additional .ini files"
  5. Change directories to this returned folder.

  6. Create a new .ini file for mysqlnd_azure. Make sure the alphabet order of the name is after the mysqnld one, since the modules are loaded according to the name order of the ini files. For example, if mysqlnd .ini is named 10-mysqlnd.ini, name the mysqlnd ini as 20-mysqlnd-azure.ini.

  7. Within the new .ini file, add the following lines to enable redirection.

    mysqlnd_azure.enableRedirect = on/off/preferred

Confirm redirection

You can also confirm redirection is configured with the below sample PHP code. Create a PHP file called mysqlConnect.php and paste the below code. Update the server name, username, and password with your own.

$host = '<yourservername>';
$username = '<yourusername>@<yourservername>';
$password = '<yourpassword>';
$db_name = 'testdb';
  echo "mysqlnd_azure.enableRedirect: ", ini_get("mysqlnd_azure.enableRedirect"), "\n";
  $db = mysqli_init();
  //The connection must be configured with SSL for redirection test
  $link = mysqli_real_connect ($db, $host, $username, $password, $db_name, 3306, NULL, MYSQLI_CLIENT_SSL);
  if (!$link) {
     die ('Connect error (' . mysqli_connect_errno() . '): ' . mysqli_connect_error() . "\n");
  else {
    echo $db->host_info, "\n"; //if redirection succeeds, the host_info differs from the hostname you used to connect
    $res = $db->query('SHOW TABLES;'); //test query with the connection
    print_r ($res);

Next steps

For more information about connection strings, see Connection Strings.