I installed "MariaDB-server" on CentOS using offical repos. "service mysql start" took an awful lot of time, resulting in a time out. Investigation revealed that the function wait_for_ready() defined in /etc/init.d/mysql was using 'mysqladmin ping' to check the status of the server. Ironically, mysqladmin wasn't marked as dependency of 'MariaDB-server' package and hence wasn't installed. Installing "MariaDB-client" did the trick.
To sum up, MariaDB-server uses a tool which is provided by MariaDB-client, but doesn't request it(as dependency) during installation resulting in service management.