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Volume 31, Issue 1

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Wednesday, 03 January 2018 15:02

Fog or Cloud? Nope. Fog AND Cloud

Fog computing, also known as edge computing, has begun to take off. Fog computing is an intermediate layer that extends the cloud layer. As Giti JavidiEhsan Sheybani, and Lila Rajabionwrite in Focusing in on Fog Computing’s Implications for Business, “simply put, fog is a cloud close to the ground.” With fog architecture, some of the computing is moved to the edges, away from centralized data centers and cloud solutions, allowing data to be processed locally on smart devices rather than being sent to the cloud for processing.

Why are companies are turning to fog computing? According to Javidi and her coauthors, they are doing it for higher efficiency, better security, faster decision-making processes, and lowered operating costs. Internet of Things devices, in particular, can put a huge strain on the internet infrastructure. In their report, Javidi et al describe a case of fog computing that reduces that stress: A jet engine can create about 10 TB of performance and condition data in 30 minutes. Transmitting that data to the cloud and getting the response data back takes a lot of time and bandwidth, which introduces latency. Using a fog environment, the processing can take place on a local router, resulting in data that can be acted on in just milliseconds, in addition to sending data on to the cloud for historical analysis and longer-term storage.