When you list out the various market segments where Big Data plays a role one market that stands out is right under our collective noses — it’s log data (and other forms of network, security alerts, server, enterprise app, storage systems activities) from the very devices that make up the infrastructure. Most people have seen Big Data applications through the eyes of the high volume websites of the world — Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo!, Google… and the dream of these Web facing applications is to improve ad targeting, keep visitors on the site longer, provide richer experiences… the stuff that makes serious money for the big Web properties. Meanwhile, others have been quietly sucking up infrastructure generated data sets with the intention of improving the operational and cost aspects of their infrastructure. Splunk, the clear leader so far, filed their S1 (mandatory reading by the way) and is heading for a $1B valuation through an IPO which might happen any day now. Others in the space include Guavus, focused on complex service providers and Boundary focused on Big Data infrastructure. According to its S1 filing, Splunk has signed up over 3,000 customers in just a few years — tapping what is possibly the richest vein of the Big Data treasure hunt — optimizing infrastructure fundamentals. Splunk is probably the best evidence that there is a “there, there” with regard to investing in Big Data startups.