Fog computing is the next logical evolution of cloud computing, it enables a new breed of applications and services. The fog extends the cloud, and allows it to be closer to the things that produce or source data. The devices are called fog nodes; they can be deployed anywhere and are used to collect useful data for analysis. Any device with storage, computing capability and network connection can be a fog node. For example, surveillance cameras, routers or industrial controllers. It has the following characteristics:
- Low latency and location awareness
- Wide spread geographic distribution
- Predominantly wireless access
- Strong presence of streaming and real time applications
Cloud storage puts data on different computers as a single unit, which increases security risks for the owner. Whereas, fog computing distributes small pieces of data across multitude devices, so none of the devices where data is stored can be hacked to access the information. The owner of the information is the only one exerting ownership over it.
It can be used across different devices, such as personal desktops, smartphone devices, tablets, smart TVs, storage devices with connection to the Internet, or anything else connected to the internet.
But why should companies care? Fog nodes allow the expansion of power for cloud computing, and benefit companies in the following way:
- Greater business agility
- Better information security
- Deeper insights and privacy control: Data is analysed locally instead of sending it to the cloud for analysis; Fog allows to control devices that collect, analyse and store data
- Lower operating cost
Enterprises spend enormous amount of time and funds trying to forecast and guess about the future. The more data they can collect about its inner processes, the more intelligent decisions they can make. It will play a key part in collecting the data and translate it into useful insights for making smart decisions.
Applications in Real Life
Fog computing is being applied in many industries, it powers crucial parts of IoT ecosystems, particularly within the production industry. It has several use cases, which proofed its benefit for companies and society. For example, in California it is being used in a project which will allows traffic lights to connect to vehicles, as a result, it will let drivers avoid waiting in their car at empty crossroads or traffic lights.
Fog Computing also is being used to reduce the transfer of large volume audio and video recordings by police dashboards and surveillance cameras. Cameras equipped with cloud computing capabilities can analyse video content and only send relevant data to the cloud when necessary.
It will continue to grow in usage and importance of the Internet of Things will expand into new industries:
It is a perfect solution for mobile users particularly for location-based applications. It reliefs data transmission between the cloud and mobile users. As the result, it significantly improves the service quality, reduces amount of data transferred and energy consumption by devices. It is a scalable, sustainable and efficient solution for cloud based applications in the future.