As the internet of things evolves, high speed data processing and shorter response time are becoming necessary. Fulfilling these requirements through a cloud-based IoT system is a complex process. But, it is possible due to fog computing, which is a decentralized architectural pattern.
Fog computing, first coined by CISCO basically refers to the need for bringing the advantages of cloud computing near to where the data is generated. Fog computing reduces the amount of data transferred and improves security.
Let’s discuss how transitioning from the cloud to the fog can help in dealing with certain challenges.
Where the problem lies in the cloud?
The reason for the growth of IoT is the connection of physical things and operation technologies. Currently, these resources are provided by only cloud services. However, cloud is not applicable to environments where there are operations which are time critical.
Also, when every device is connected to the cloud and sending raw data, there can be privacy, security and legal implications.
Fog computing is a saviour
IoT nodes do not have the computing and storage resources to perform machine learning and analytics. Cloud servers however have the horsepower but are too far away to process data.
So, the fog layer automatically becomes the perfect junction which has enough compute, storage and networking resources to mimic cloud capabilities.
Fog computing has its own supporting body called the OpenFog Consortium whose sole mission is to drive industry in fog computing architecture. The consortium offers reference architectures, guides and samples to help developers and IT teams understand the true value of fog computing.
Major players in the IT industry are rooting for the growth of fog computing.
Is Cloud’s place in danger?
Well, we know that fog computing reduces the amount of data to be sent to the cloud and improves efficiency. But, cloud users should not feel threatened. Fog is here to complement the cloud, not compete with it.
The cloud will still have a very important role in the IoT cycle. To be honest, as flog computing will take the burden of short-term analytics, cloud resources can have full freedom to go for the heavier tasks. Insights by cloud can help in updating policies at the fog layer.
And also, there are many cases even today where centralized infrastructure of the cloud can outperform decentralized systems. The combination of fog and cloud computing will accelerate the adoption of IoT.
Use cases of fog computing
There are many applications of fog computing that are powering parts of IoT. Fog computing can help the energy sector boost productivity.
Fog computing has several use cases in smart cities. It can help enable the traffic lights to integrate with vehicles. It dreams of creating a future where people won’t have to wait in their cars at empty intersections.
In transportations, it can help semi-autonomous cars assist drivers in avoiding distractions by providing real-time analytics. It can also reduce the transfer of massive volume of audio and video recordings generated by police dashboards and cameras.
Future of fog computing
Fog computing is here to stay and will continue to grow in the future in usage as well as in importance with the evolution of IoT. These days, inexpensive power processing and storage is readily available and thus we can expect computing to be closer to the edge and can be ingrained into the devices that are generating data and creating more possibilities for inter-device intelligence.
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