Fog computing will someday enable an entirely new breed of services and applications as the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes a reality. These things will eventually become part of our personal and professional lives – but how will fog computing play a role?
Fog computing allows cloud computing to be extended to the edge of the network. It uses the same compute, network, and storage resources as traditional cloud, however there are some fundamental differences.
“Applications and services that require very low and predictable latency – the Cloud frees the user from many implementation details, including the precise knowledge of where the computation or storage takes place. This freedom from choice, welcome in many circumstances becomes a liability when latency is at a premium (gaming, video conferencing),” says Tarry Singh at tarrysingh.com.
While fog computing may closely resemble cloud computing, fog computing will take workloads, services, applications, and data and put it to the edge of the network. This will provide core compute, storage, data, and application services using a dense geographical distribution. It does this by creating an edge network, which exists at numerous points that are closer to the end user.
The goal of fog computing is to deliver large quantities of data to more users. It will help optimize traditional cloud which uses a geographically distributed platform that can introduce additional latency. Fog computing will help distribute data and move it closer to the end user to support better data streaming and mobile computing.
“The term ‘fog computing’ has been embraced by Cisco Systems as a new paradigm to support wireless data transfer to support distributed devices in the Internet of Things,” according to Bill Kleyman with datacenterknowledge.com. Other companies in the distributed computing and storage areas are adopting the phrase as well.
“By controlling data at various edge points, fog computing integrates core cloud services with those of a truly distributed data center platform,” says Kleyman.
Kleyman says, “Let’s take Netflix for example. With so many users all over the world, centralizing all of the content within one or two data centers would make the delivery process a nightmare. To deliver large amounts of streamed services, Fog Computing can be leveraged by placing the data at the edge, close to the end-user.”
The goal of fog computing isn't to replace the cloud. It is merely designed to improve the client experience by isolating the data that needs to live on the edge and bringing it closer to the user.