How Can Your Business Benefit from Fog Computing?
How much data do we create every day? The World Economic Forum reports that the entire digital world is expected to reach 44 zettabytes by 2020. So, each day, we witness the colossal growth of data and this pace is only increasing with the growth of IoT. The agility and flexibility of big data applications are the foundation of the Internet of Things (IoT). The escalation of IoT has resulted in an increased volume of digitally generated data and managing that data has become a major challenge. This has led to the emergence of fog computing – an answer to the new challenges of computing technologies.
Read more: Gearing up for IoT in 2020
Defogging The Term Fog Computing
Let us start by defining it.
What is fog computing?
Fog computing is a decentralized computing infrastructure in which computing resources such as data, computers, storage, and applications are located between the data source and the cloud. This term refers to a new breed of applications and services related to data management and analysis.
According to Mung Chiang, Dean of the Purdue University, “fog provides the missing link for what data needs to be pushed to the cloud, and what can be analyzed locally, at the edge.” In simple terms, fog computing is a distributed network fabric that stretches from the outer edges of data creation to the point of storage.
Are fog computing and edge computing the same?
Edge computing is a subset or a component of fog computing. For example, if fog computing is compared to a basket of various fruits, edge computing would be one fruit from a single variety.
Edge computing refers to data being analyzed locally, at the point of creation. Fog computing encapsulates edge processing as well as the network connections required to bring that data from the edge (point of creation) to its endpoint.
Evidently, fog computing and edge computing are complementary.
Difference between fog computing and cloud computing
Just as the literal fog is a cloud closer to the ground, fog computing is stationed as a layer to reduce the latency in hybrid cloud scenarios. Cloud computing forms a comprehensive platform that helps businesses with the power to process important data and generate insights. Fog computing is like the express highway that supplies computing power to IoT devices which are not capable of doing it on their own.
How Does Fog Computing Work?
Fog computing uses the concept of ‘fog nodes.’ These fog nodes are located closer to the data source and have higher processing and storage capabilities. Fog nodes can process the data far quicker than sending the request to the cloud for centralized processing.
The cloud is getting cluttered due to the enormous number of devices connecting to the internet. Since cloud computing is not viable in some cases, it has become necessary to use fog computing for IoT devices. It can handle the enormous data generated by these devices.
When implemented, fog-empowered devices locally analyze time-critical data that includes alarm status, device status, fault warnings, and so on. This minimizes latency and prevents major damage. Fog computing can effectively reduce the amount of bandwidth required, which in turn speeds up the communication with the cloud and various sensors.
Fog computing example:
If a user with a hand-held device wants to review the latest CCTV footage from a locally positioned IoT security camera, he would need to request the stream from the cloud since the camera does not have storage. This could take a bit of time, which can be eliminated with fog computing, where a local fog node can be accessed for video streaming which is far quicker.
Step-by-step Fog Computing Process:
- Signals are wired from IoT devices to an automation controller which executes a control system program to automate those devices.
- A control system program wires data through a protocol gateway.
- Data is converted into a protocol such as HTTP so that it can be understood easily by internet-based services.
- A fog node collects the data for further analysis.
- It filters the data and saves it for later use.
Key Takeaways for Your Business
- Increased business agility: It is evident that fog computing is cost-effective because it makes the production of revenue-generating products and services more efficient. It accelerates rollout cycles, broadens revenue bases, and reduces costs.
This revenue stream creates value for IoT fostering highly functioning internal business services. Fog computing also provides a common framework for seamless collaboration and communication helping OT and IT teams to work together to bring cloud capabilities closer.
- Privacy control: Fog computing facilitates better control of privacy because you can process and analyze sensitive data locally instead of sending it to a centralized cloud for analysis. It also enables the IT team to track, monitor, and control any device that collects or stores data.
- Data security: Since fog computing allows you to connect multiple devices to a network, it helps identify threats such as potential hacks, or malware. Additionally, such identified threats can be curbed at the device level without risking the entire network.
The Future is Fog Computing
Fog computing has several advantages over cloud computing. Fog computing can boost usability and accessibility in various computing environments. Soon, cloud computing for IoT may fade away but fog computing will take over. IoT is seeing an impressive growth rate and so it needs a special infrastructure base that can handle all its requirements. Fog computing is the key to accomplish this critical work. So get in touch with us and let’s get this happening for your business.
With the rise in the use of mobile phones and other smart devices, came the need for software to be ubiquitous. The amount of big data being dealt with, by enterprises across industries has also been on the rise. While we were busy wanting to access everything from everywhere, cloud computing was the technology that made it all manageable for companies and available for us.
Everyone wants to access everything from everywhere.
Cloud computing was introduced in 2000, to meet all of these demands, and provide people with ubiquitous, convenient and on-demand access to the network. It basically made use of a pool of shared configurable processing resources, such as the network and servers, that could be promptly provisioned and released with very little management efforts. The Internet of Things (IoT), also helped a great deal in keeping devices connected and enabled sharing of resources.
However, now we are faced with even higher levels of data, demand for flexible provisioning of resources as well as ubiquitous, on-demand access to the network. This explosion of data usage is what led to the emergence of a new, innovative computing mechanism that can provide healthy and strong real-time data analytics to clients, known as Fog Computing.
Fog computing, also known as fogging, is a kind of distributed computing system or infrastructure, in which only some of the application services are handled by the remote data centre (such as the cloud) while the rest of the services are handled at the network edge in a smart device. It is basically aimed at improving efficiencies and reducing the amount of data that is sent to the cloud for analysis, processing and storage.
While fog computing is often chosen for efficiency purposes, it can also be used for security and compliance reasons.
How it works
In a fog computing environment, most of the data processing happens in a smart mobile device, through a data hub, or on the edge of the network, through smart routers or other gateway devices.
In the normal case, a bundle of sensors generate immense volumes of data and send them to the cloud for processing and analysis. This process is not so efficient as it requires a huge bandwidth, not to mention the costs. The back-and-forth communication between the sensors and the cloud also affects the performance, leading to latency issues.
In fog computing, the analysis of data, decision-making as well as action, happen simultaneously, through IoT devices, and only the relevant data is pushed to the cloud for processing.
A fog computing environment comprises three basic components:
- The Internet of Things (IoT) verticals or devices
- The Orchestration layer
- The Abstraction layer
All of these layers include physical as well as virtual systems that play an important role in the efficient and dynamic functioning of the fog computing system.
The IoT verticals consist of tenant applications or basically products which are rented for use. They support multi-tenancy, which enables multiple clients to host their application on a single server or a single fog computing instance. This is a very useful feature, as fog computing environments are all about flexibility and interoperability.
The orchestration layer is for data aggregation, decision making, data sharing, migration and policy management for fog computing. It consists of different APIs such as Data API and Orchestration layer API. The orchestration API holds the major analytics and intelligence services for fog computing. It also includes the policy management module, which is meant to facilitate secure sharing and communication in a distributed infrastructure.
The abstraction layer provides a uniform and programmable interface to the client. Like the cloud computing model, this layer makes use of virtualization technologies and provides generic APIs that clients can apply while creating applications to be hosted in a fog computing platform.
How does fog computing find its relevance in the real world?
Consider the example of Smart Transportation Systems (STSs). The traffic light system in a state, say, Chicago, is equipped with sensors. On an occasion of celebration, the city is likely to experience a surge of traffic around specific times, depending on the occasion. As and when the traffic starts coming in, data gets collected from the different individual traffic lights. The application that is developed by the city to monitor traffic and adjust light patterns according to timings, which runs on each edge device, automatically takes control and changes light patterns in real-time. They work according to the traffic patterns and obstructions that rise and fall, collected by the sensors. Thus, traffic is monitored flawlessly.
In the normal case, there is not much traffic data being sent to the cloud on a daily basis for analysis and processing. The relevant data here is the data that is different from the usual scenario, that is on a day of celebration or a parade. Only this data is sent to the cloud and analyzed.
Why “fog” computing
The word fog in fog computing is intended to convey the fact that cloud computing and its advantages need to be brought closer to the data source, just like the meteorological relevance of the words fog, meaning clouds that are closer to the ground.
By all means, this technological innovation is something that the world really needs now. For all those businesses who have been waiting to find the perfect solution to your data issues, fog computing is definitely the way to go.
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