Bessemer has been investing in industry-leading IT infrastructure companies for close to forty years, yet we have never been more excited about the potential for innovation in this arena. Several key technology trends and market developments promise to transform the industry (again) in the coming decade, creating the opportunity for a new set of industry leaders to emerge.
Several key factors are converging to usher in this renaissance in technology infrastructure:
Big Data. The explosion of digital information is amplifying traditional infrastructure pain points. The data centers of tomorrow must support workloads from a growing variety of data hungry platforms and devices, exchanging structured and unstructured information, at high volumes and in real time. No industry or business function will be left untouched by big data.
Cloud Computing. The trend towards on demand computing and storage has altered traditional models of IT consumption, changing the economics and breaking historical limitations of technology. New architectures and business models are emerging to challenge the dominance of legacy vendors. As cloud computing matures, we expect these “as a service” deployment models to pervade the technology stack–from applications to platforms to infrastructure.
Virtualization. The rise of virtualization promises to make IT infrastructure ever more agile, efficient, and scalable. It is also shifting the performance bottlenecks in the data center and driving greater consolidation and interoperability of hardware. Server virtualization has already reached a tipping point…and virtualization of storage and networks may be just around the corner.
Hardware Evolution. Fundamental changes in hardware platforms and standards are redefining what’s possible. Multi-core processers are enabling higher compute densities with smaller footprints. The growing availability of flash media is delivering a solid state revolution in storage. Continued migration to 10/100 Gb Ethernet is enhancing connectivity and new open networking protocols promise to disaggregate the vertically integrated networking stack.
We look for investment opportunities spanning all stages across several core themes:
Data Storage. Innovative product categories and market segments that challenge traditional barriers of performance, capacity, and cost in enterprise and cloud scale environments have begun to disrupt the storage landscape. Converged infrastructure, innovative data caching, cloud and hybrid storage and scale-out capacity are a few of the many trends setting the storage industry on fire, leading to historic growth and M&A activity.
Networking. New approaches are needed at every layer of the stack to support the communication and connectivity requirements of tomorrow. Many of these opportunities enable and exploit network virtualization, software defined networking, and fabric unification.
Other Data Center Technologies. New tools that integrate, accelerate, virtualize, automate, analyze, and protect technology infrastructure and the data streams within them are essential. Many of these solutions enable IT administrators to manage increasingly complex environments and distributed workloads more efficiently and reliably. Others enable business users to derive insights from raw data to drive better decision-making at shorter intervals.