Sep 2, 2016 - New Technology

When cloud storage hit the IoT, it quickly became the necessary solution for storing the gargantuan amounts of data that we produce every day in our internet-based world. Even if cloud services seem new, we are, somewhat unsurprisingly, already outgrowing them.

Tremendous data centers are cropping up all over the world to house the servers necessary to handle the data, and all that storage takes up a lot of time, space, and money from businesses.

What goes up into the cloud might seem ethereal, but it actually still requires a lot of space to send and receive all of that information. This is why cloud computing is prone to bottlenecks, reduced speeds, and security flaws.

The IoT is still in its early years, and it will only continue to grow. In fact, it is now growing at a much higher rate than ever before. The question had to be asked, then, about how we are going to deal with this looming problem.

Cisco has been the biggest resource to bringing this game-changer called fog computing (and sometimes fog networking) to the table in 2016. Fog computing extends the cloud’s range to the edge of a given network, and that means that devices and data centers come communicate better than ever.

Fog computing, similar to edge computing, are architectures that exist at the network’s edge. This allows for faster exchanges of data, wireless access, and quality, real-time analytics that can potentially boost security features.

Major computer players Cisco, Dell, Intel, Microsoft, ARM, and Princeton University began working on the OpenFog Consortium back in November 2015, and their goal is to create a workable architecture for both fog and edge computing. They plan to start testing fog computing’s ability to tackle security issues, and they have already begun testing to see where their ideas need tweaking.

As an open consortium, the group is looking for anyone or organization who can bring some new ideas to the table an assist in developing the architecture. They want developers and know how to find solutions to the fog computing model too.

Though there is currently no one solution on the table to solve the cloud problem, fog computing does solve the problem of local need for data resourcing in the IoT for places that whose business models require instantaneous data in microseconds.

By adding fog computing to a cloud system, the two support one another in ways previously not possible. The fog network acts as a go-between the cloud or data center and the devices they are serving, only accessing necessary data while letting the cloud do all the big stuff in the background.

There are still a lot of things to discuss regarding fog computing, but until groups like OpenFog can deliver some good results from their test markets, we will all just have to wait and see what the future of fog computing will be.

The one thing we know for sure is that fog computing is definitely going to be a big buzzword in the coming months and years.