Why Apple, eBay, and Walmart have some of the biggest data warehouses you’ve ever seen

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In an age of Hadoop and a general analytics revolution, it’s easy to poke fun at legacy data warehouse vendors such as Teradata. Some people might even call it fun. After all, they sell expensive appliances and weren’t built from the ground up to handle the unstructured data that most people think of when they think of “big data.”

But whatever you think about Teradata’s approach to handling big data workloads, make no mistake about the company’s clout: It has been around for decades, and it’s still analyzing boatloads of data for some of the biggest names in business. I spent a day in February touring the Teradata Labs facility in San Diego, and although I heard all about the technology and the company’s vision for a Teradata-Hadoop-Aster analytics super-environment, the thing that stuck out most were the users. Walmart, eBay, Continental … Apple.

Here’s how they’re all using Teradata and at what scale (try not to faint when you think of the bill):

Rows of Teradata appliances.

Of course, Teradata has lots of other petabyte-scale customers, with Verizon, AT&T and Bank of America among them. Here are a few more interesting use cases:

None of this means Teradata is destined to continue being a huge name in analytics (Scott Yara, co-founder of rival EMC (s emc) Greenplum, recently called data warehouses this generation’s mainframe), but it’s still interesting to learn how big companies are analyzing their data, regardless what they’re running on. And with exabytes worth of data no doubt residing in customer systems across the world, Teradata isn’t going anywhere soon.

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