What it is: Distributing compute, connectivity and storage to allow dynamic sharing of technological resources across endpoints, network and cloud, “Fog Computing” represents the continuum between data sources, Edge Computing and Cloud Services.
What it does: Fog Computing facilitates the operation of compute, storage and networking services between end devices and cloud computing data centers. Extending cloud computing to the edge of an enterprise’s network, Fog Computing determines which data needs to be pushed to the cloud, and what can be analyzed locally, at the edge.
Why it matters: The total installed base of Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices is projected to amount to 75.44 billion worldwide by 2025, adding profound pressure to adopt distributed computing where needed. Fog computing lowers volume and cost of data transmission, reduces latency to and from the cloud, enables persistent connectivity, secures data locally, consolidates workloads, and enables analytics and AI.
What to do about it: Consider how Fog Computing can help reduce reliance on cloud-based platforms. Determine when it is more effective to analyze data locally, verses taking data to the cloud. Data sets that require more sophisticated algorithms may be better handled in the cloud, whereas more simple analytical processes are often best kept at the edge.
- More options for processing data wherever it is most appropriate to do so.
- Ability to process data as quickly as possible in cases where connected machines must respond as soon as possible.
- Use of low-latency network connections reduces the amount of bandwidth needed, compared to sending data back to a data center or cloud for processing.
- When no bandwidth connection to send data exists, Fog Computing allows data to be processed close to where it is created.
- Security features can be placed in a fog network, from segmented network traffic to virtual firewalls.
- Automotive – semi-autonomous and self-driving cars
- Intelligent homes and smart grids
- Smart cities – traffic monitoring, waste collection
- Industrial, manufacturing and supply chain – predictive maintenance and factory automation, logistics
- Financial and retail – personalization
- Security – video analytics, surveillance and anomaly detection
- Smart agriculture and healthcare
- Government and military and emergency services
Fog Computing refers to the way data is processed from the location where it is created to the place it will be stored. Edge computing refers to processing data close to where it is created. Fog computing includes edge processing, and the network connections needed to transfer data from the edge to the end points.
- GigaOm Blog Post, “5 questions for… ADLINK. Edge-Fog-Cloud?” by Jon Collins
- The OpenFog Consortium is a consortium of high tech industry companies and academic institutions across the world aimed at standardization and promotion of fog computing in various capacities and fields.
- Cisco Blog, How We Use Fog Computing: Vertical Markets, Use Cases, and Applications, by Helder Antunes