A while back I suggested that datacenter infrastructure would move from an on-premise operation to the cloud. It may have seemed counter-intuitive that the infrastructure itself would become available from the cloud, but that’s exactly what’s happening. We’ve now seen everything from security to system management to storage evolve into as-a-service datacenter offerings, yielding all the benefits of SaaS — rapid innovation, pay-as-you-go, no hardware installation — while at the same time providing rich enterprise functionality.
While big data is one of the newer parts of the infrastructure stack — and should have been architected and delivered as a service from the start — an estimated 90+% of Fortune 2000 companies carry out their big data analytics on-premise. These on-premise deployments are complex, hard to implement, and have already become something of a boat anchor when it comes to attempts to speed up big data analytics. Without question the time has come to move big data to the cloud and deliver this part of the infrastructure stack as a service. Enter Cazena — our latest investment in the big data sector. MORE
What is Silicon Valley’s greatest reigning monopoly? How did PayPal manage to emerge from the dotcom implosion? Can you build a great tech company and keep it private forever? And how did Elon Musk manage to wreck an uninsured, million-dollar car with Peter Thiel in the passenger seat speeding on the way to a VC meeting? Marc Andreessen and Thiel discuss all of it in a wide-ranging conversation that toggles off the topics in Thiel’s new book “Zero to One.”
Against the backdrop of compute moving into all kinds of things we never imagined would be considered “computers” — your phone, your thermostat — Chris Granger, Co-Founder of Eve, describes how software development is evolving to keep pace with the change. Granger’s talk was part of the 2014 a16z Academic Roundtable. (Spoiler Alert: C++ will not save us.) 12 minutes
We now have over 2 billion iOS and Android devices on earth, and this will grow in the next few years to well over 3 billion. This kind of scale is unprecedented in the computing industry (there are only 1.6 billion PCs even now), and it tends to break prior assumptions in lots of interesting ways. One of the most interesting stress points for me is in the way that we think about ecosystems. It’s not clear how ‘winner-takes-all’ dynamics work, and it’s not clear how far ecosystems are global. MORE
It’s not everyday that $100-plus billion companies split themselves in two. Late last month, eBay decided to spin off its fast-growing payments division, PayPal; last week, Hewlett-Packard moved to separate its PC and printer divisions off from its enterprise hardware and service groups. And most recently, Symantec announced it would split into security and data storage. On the other end, we just witnessed the largest acquisition in the history of cloud computing — where one of the largest software companies in the world, SAP, is buying Concur, a provider of on-demand travel and expense management software-as-a-service, for $8.3 billion.
Beyond the question of what these tech companies are worth, it’s important to ask what’s going on here? The developments can only be described as an “inversion” caused by a new shift in cloud computing. And I say inversion because the pattern we see today is almost the reverse of developments evident in the past… MORE