Will Rackspace Partnership Save FathomDB?

Rackspace (s rax) said today that it would offer a database in the cloud through a partnership with FathomDB, a company that provides a relational database as a service. The move will add to Rackspace’s portfolio of enterprise-level offerings and follows on a similar announcement in late October when Amazon (s amzn) announced its own cloud-based relational database service.

It may also help FathomDB, a Y Combinator startup that hosts its database-as-a-service offering on Amazon’s cloud, stay alive and compete against that company’s rival service. Signing up with Rackspace gives it a protector (and one that likes to buy innovative startups), and also adds some competition to the emerging database-in-the-cloud market. Microsoft (s msft) has one coming on Azure as well.

Competition and big service providers that enterprise buyers can trust are essential. However, when it comes to putting a database in the cloud, while the ability to scale is a benefit, of equal importance in some cases will be the speed at which that database in the cloud can talk to the web servers requesting the data.

Image courtesy of Tim Morgan on Flickr.