SUSE Marks 20 Years of Linux Love With Global Events

Linux distributor SUSE plans to celebrate its 20th anniversary with a series of global events commemorating key technology, corporate and community milestones.

SUSE is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a yearlong campaign highlighting the company's history and future.

The longtime provider of enterprise Linux solutions will showcase major historical milestones and discuss plans for the future through a series of worldwide events that will include SUSECon 2012, the premier event for SUSE customers, partners and enthusiasts. The company€™s roots go back to the fall of 1992.

"We have a lot to celebrate in 2012," Nils Brauckmann, president and general manager of SUSE, said in a statement. "SUSE today is the recognized market leader in several important segments, and is well-positioned to take advantage of an ever-expanding market for commercial Linux and open-source technologies. We plan to recognize the people, the events and the technological developments that have helped bring us to where we are today."

SUSE plans to roll out information and activities highlighting how the company has evolved from its early beginnings in the open-source industry, to forging partnerships with some of the world's leading technology vendors to deliver innovation, investment protection and enterprise-quality software infrastructure to a generation of customers.

In September 1992, three German university math students and a recently graduated software engineer formed a company to develop software and function as an advisory Unix group. Seeing the potential of Linux, the team decided to distribute Linux operating systems and offer support services. It chose the name "S.u.S.E," using an acronym for a German term that meant software and systems development. The name was eventually shortened to "SUSE."

In 1999, SUSE forged a partnership with IBM that spawned several other projects, including a joint effort to port Linux code to the mainframe. A year later, SUSE was the only company to offer a Linux operating system for IBM mainframes that was enterprise-ready and commercially supported, SUSE officials said. Around the same time, SUSE partnered with SAP's LinuxLab, eventually becoming the first Linux provider to be designated a "SAP Global Technology Partner," the company said.

Meanwhile, in 2006, SUSE signed a landmark business and technical collaboration agreement with Microsoft that led to a joint research facility for improving Linux interoperability with Microsoft Windows. Today, the partnership continues to help customers maximize utilization and minimize the costs of managing their heterogeneous, mixed IT environments. And SUSE continues to maintain active partnerships with other established global technology leaders such as AMD, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Intel, Oracle and VMware that have resulted in helping customers solve today's incredibly complex IT challenges.

SUSE product milestones begin with the 1994 shipment of the company€™s first Linux distribution€”S.u.S.E Linux 1.0. Its next significant product followed in 1996 with the release of S.u.S.E. Linux 4.2, the first version to be developed completely by SUSE, rather than simply translated. In 2000, SUSE introduced SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, a server operating system targeting corporate users. SUSE officials said it was the first globally distributed, fully supported Linux server operating system for enterprise production environments.

Other notable product introductions include SUSE Studio, an appliance and application image creation tool launched in 2009. SUSE Manager, the company's Linux Server management solution, launched in 2011. And most recently, SUSE debuted its OpenStack-powered cloud infrastructure solution.

A stalwart of the open-source community, SUSE has long served and contributed to a large number of open-source projects and partnerships. Perhaps the biggest is the openSUSE project, which was established in 2005. Commercially supported Linux software from SUSE had always been developed and distributed under open-source models and licenses, but openSUSE further opened up development processes, allowing programmers and users to test and help contribute toward the development of its community and commercial versions, SUSE officials said.

Meanwhile, regarding its corporate milestones, in its 20-year history, SUSE has undergone two notable ownership changes. SuSE Linux AG was acquired by Novell Inc. in early 2004. Seven years later, Novell was acquired by The Attachmate Group, which reestablished SUSE as an autonomous business unit.

During its two decades in existence, SUSE has brought the power of Linux to a wide variety of customers, including the London Stock Exchange, BMW, Walgreen's, SONY, Sesame Workshop and Office Depot. Indeed, SUSE Linux Enterprise Linux powers all manner of mission-critical IT systems, from high-volume market data and trading, to manufacturing and production, to e-commerce and air traffic control, just to name a few.

"We have a rich history as a Linux pioneer,€ said Hubert Mantel, an original founder of SUSE, in a statement. €œWe're proud to be part of the open-source community and long-serving contributors to Linux. Celebrating our 20th anniversary provides an opportunity to reflect upon our history and share our visions for the future. The possibilities for SUSE today are more exciting than ever. Perhaps even more exciting than when we started 20 years ago."

To commemorate its achievements of the last 20 years, SUSE will host a series of events worldwide culminating in SUSECon 2012, September 18-21 at the Caribe Royale Hotel in Orlando, Fla.