In a move that will please devotees of open source cloud storage, hosting giant Rackspace (RAX) has announced it will officially support two additional types of open source MySQL databases, from MariaDB and Percona.

MariaDB and Percona offer distributions of MySQL, the ever-popular relational database software. While the MySQL world traditionally has been dominated by Oracle's implementation, with similar storage systems such as Microsoft SQL Server meeting much of the rest of the enterprise demand for relational databases, MariaDB and Percona provide alternative versions of MySQL that are forked from the main MySQL code.

The new support for MariaDB and Percona databases, which Rackspace announced July 28, will make those platforms available as pre-configured storage options on Rackspace Cloud Databases. Rackspace staff also now will support issues related to these two systems.

Rackspace said the decision to support MariaDB and Percona's MySQL databases reflects requests from developers as "MariaDB and Percona Server are gaining in popularity as part of common web-application stacks." Chris Lalonde, Rackspace senior director of Product, also cited the simplification of developers' workflows and the maximization of scalability as goals behind the new support.

What Rackspace hasn't explicitly said, but what also probably matters a lot, is the significance of this move for appealing to organizations that are strongly invested in open source—or that just don't like Oracle. MariaDB and Percona's MySQL forks were born out of concern over the status of the main MySQL code after Oracle took control of that project in 2009, following its acquisition of Sun, which had purchased MySQL a year earlier. While Oracle has kept its promise to preserve MySQL as open source since that time, part of the momentum behind MariaDB and Percona's alternative MySQL offerings is their independence from Oracle and any changes it may make in the future about the licensing of the main MySQL platform. Now, Rackspace has made it easier to use its public cloud without deploying Oracle storage.