What does fog have to do with computing? Everything and that is what makes it so interesting and exciting. Cloud computing has been the rage, but fog computing is bigger and better. It takes advantage of cloud computing infrastructure but brings the hardware closer to the network’s edge. In other words, it is bringing the cloud closer to the ground, and that is where the term “Fog computing” was coined.
Cloud computing brings all of the tech buzzwords you have probably run across over the past several years together into one place. Cloud, edge, AI, virtualization, IoT, containers, blockchain, analytics, 5G, DevOps, Smart cars and smart cities, TSN (time-sensitive networking), distributed computing, and IT-OT collaboration.
Fog computing is designed to leverage many of these important cutting-edge technologies into a comprehensive whole. Products and services are being built for fog computing because real-world problems are driving its evolution and development.
The move is on to shift away from a centralized computing model that enabled cloud computing in the first place to putting the computing power back out at the edge of the network because of the demands for applications like autonomous driving, smart cities, smart homes, and remote medicine have requirements that can’t all be managed or addressed by cloud computing in its current form.
Fascinating outcomes are sure to occur. Exactly where and in what forms new distributed hardware environments will exist is interesting to contemplate. Can computing elements be integrated into network equipment that sits at the edge of the radio network, or will we see micro-sized data centers get deployed into entirely new types of environments? The likelihood is that all of these things will happen.
There are many challenges to working with software and complex workloads that have required the powerful computing offered by the cloud, but we are likely to see these complex workloads broken up and simplified. The expectation is that we will see Docker-style containers, virtualization, and other software advancements being used in very new ways.
The future of computing is definitely in the fog, but we should embrace the possibilities that may arise out of that fog. It is exciting to see how things are materializing and moving ever closer to the edge of the network.
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