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Industry: Technology
Location: United States
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Teradata relies on SUSE to provide faster, better service to its customers


  • SLES provides a mature, scalable, secure, and flexible replacement to Unix-and Microsoft-based systems
  • Partnership with SUSE allows Teradata to develop unique extensions or make modifications that drive performance and deliver customer value
  • Reduced company costs and simplified systems management


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Teradata Corporation is the world’s leading analytic data solutions company, focused on integrated data warehousing, big data analytics, and business applications. Teradata’s innovative products and services deliver data integration and business insight to empower organizations to make the best decisions possible for competitive advantage. Its assets include a strong diversified client base of more than 1,450 customers worldwide.


Teradata turned to SUSE for a bullet-proof, enterprise-quality operating system. Today, because of our part­nership in customizing and optimizing SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) per­formance, SUSE is the exclusive oper­ating system offered in Teradata prod­ucts—and used internally.

The Challenge

A top-ten software company with more than in market cap and a leader in data warehousing and integrated marketing management, Teradata consistently drives innovation and customer satisfaction. This requires the ability to run the business of thousands of Teradata customers and meet the mission-critical demands that result, including handling big data securely, reliably and quickly.

Consequently, the company developed and supported its own version of UNIX, called “MP-RAS.” According Chris Two­good, vice president of product services and marketing at Teradata, “We needed the scalability, security, really the maturity and flexibility, of a really strong operating system to meet the scale our customers required from us.”

Although MP-RAS was reliable, maintaining security and function updates was becom­ing a problem. More important, customers were concerned about speed and staying up-to-date, so Teradata was constantly trying to push performance. “It became very complex for Teradata to manage, support and drive MP-RAS,” says Twogood.

“SUSE Linux Enterprise delivered the maturity, scalability, security, and flexibility that we needed.”

SUSE Solution

It was time to replace MP-RAS and, as it turned out, support just a single operating system. Teradata was attracted to Linux. The open source operating system of­fered the right technical functionality and an open community for maintenance and updates. In 2007, Teradata looked at SLES as well as other distributions. “SUSE Linux Enterprise Server delivered the maturity, scalability, security, and flexibility that we needed,” says Twogood. Teradata chose SUSE as the foundation of its integrated sys­tems because of its bullet-proof, enterprise quality operating system and its willingness to engage in partnership.

The two companies then worked together to optimize SLES to drive the performance Teradata and its customers required. In collaboration with the SUSE team, Teradata was able to understand what components of SLES needed to be optimized, and the partnership was born.

According to Scott Gnau, president of Tera­data Labs, “Our tight relationship with SUSE enables us to develop unique extensions or make modifications that drive performance and deliver value to our customers.”

Thanks to this strong partnership, Teradata was able to replace MP-RAS and Windows. With SLES, the company was able to reduce costs and support only one code stream. Today, it continues to provide the benefit of open source technology, best-in-class support and innovations to meet demand­ing Teradata standards and customers.

Equally, SLES is crucial to those products that enable Teradata customers to make the best decisions possible. Teradata’s internal cor­porate IT infrastructure uses standard SLES, and the entire platform family of Teradata products is based on the optimized version of SLES. The tight engineering relationship with SUSE continues, involving monthly calls, quarterly updates, and annual business re­views.

The Results

Because of its technology and partnership, SUSE is helping Teradata to:

  • Process big data without any issues—securely, reliably, and fast. Teradata has more customers with a petabyte of storage than any other vendor in the marketplace. Twogood reports, “Our largest single implementation has over 40PB of spinning data space, using SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.”
  • Provide faster, better service. Teradata and SUSE work to expedite issue resolu­tion for Teradata customers.
  • Lower costs. With one code stream and partnership with SUSE, Teradata can produce best-in-class products in less time with SUSE’s easy customization and expert help.

Chris Twogood sums up these results: “Our relationship with SUSE has enabled us to be successful with our customers.”