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Rackspace Offers FathomDB As Service

The Rackspace Cloud moved its competition with Amazon up a notch by offering its FathomDB database as a service.

The Rackspace Cloud Thursday launched database-as-a-service, (DaaS). The FathomDB service will move Rackspace up a notch in terms of being able to compete with other cloud suppliers, such as Amazon, which already offers MySQL, Oracle and DB2 in the cloud.

FathomDB is a front-end system for the open source MySQL database. It simplifies setting up a database through point-and-click-configuration. And it automatically monitors the database and backs it up without requiring a database administrator or cloud user to learn the specifics of database operation.

FathomDB CEO Justin Santa Barbara said his firm eventually plans to offer additional databases, such as PostgreSQL, through the same graphical user interface that now serves as its front end for MySQL.

"It's not enough just to know your database is running. Your next question is why isn't it running faster. We have a whole set of analytics that can help answer that question, without a DBA," said Santa Barbara in an interview.

The FathomDB service will add .5 cent per hour to the 1.5 cents that Rackspace currently charges for an entry level server.

Santa Barbara said paying for database system use in the cloud by the hour is a way to avoid purchasing a license from a commercial database vendor. "We're very much about not locking you in," he said.

Chandler Vaughn, director of product development at Rackspace Cloud, said FathomDB adopts the Rackspace Cloud's approach of making use of resources as easy to manage as possible for the remote user.

Vaughn said he expected MySQL use to increase in general, and on Rackspace Cloud in particular, after the open source system becomes part of Oracle because it will give Oracle a way to stem Microsoft's expansion into the database business through low end customers. Oracle will add business features to MySQL, such as replication, and continue to give it away to erode Microsoft's base for expansion, he predicted.

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