Is the fog computing the new cloud?

30 May 2017 by Ben Blomberg

We live in a world where we are constantly connected. We control devices from our mobile devices, thanks to the power of the cloud:

  • Door locks
  • Thermostats
  • Sprinkler systems
  • Cameras
  • Lights

Cloud's impact

We’ve discussed the cloud in detail before, but simply put, it allows us to access and store data over the Internet instead of using local storage and computing.

For many things the cloud is ideal:

  • It saves costs on physical resources
  • Provides efficiencies
  • Flexibility

However, the cloud has its limitations, this is where fog computing comes into play.

What is fog computing?

Fog computing lives on the edge of the network as an extension of the cloud, between the cloud and the user.  By utilising edge devices such as; routers, switches, integrated access devices (IADs). Basically, any network device that connects an internal local area network (LAN) with an external wide area network (WAN).

Fog computing allows for:

  • Faster connectivity
  • Better mobility support
  • Less demand for bandwidth (data is aggregated at certain points, instead of sending over cloud channels)
  • Secure network.


Fog computing

(Image from IoT Labs)

In contrast, as more nodes are added to the network, sending data back and forth from the cloud will create latency issues, limited bandwidth, and security concerns - all while requiring high-speed internet connectivity.

Areas for innovation

Fog computing is ideal in situations where data is being sent to the cloud for processing and analysis would negatively affect performance and where connectivity is intermittent, like rural areas.

One of the strongest cases for cloud computing comes from the automobile industry. According to a report from ON World, it is expected that there will be 300 million connected cars on the road by 2025. These vehicles will use a range of sensors and automated systems for everything from;

  • Self-driving
  • Self-parking
  • Infotainment
  • Traffic
  • Weather alerts.

It wouldn’t be feasible to send the amount of data that these systems generate to the cloud.

Fog computing’s capabilities

Other applications for fog computing include:

  • Reducing traffic congestion
  • Drone delivery
  • Video surveillance
  • Smart buildings
  • Subsurface imaging – all of which require real-time data.

By being able to support multiple industry verticals and applications through the network edge, systems become more flexible, cost-efficient, secure, and scalable.  This is why fog computing is emerging as the top choice for bridging the gap between IoT devices and the cloud.

Do you or your business use fog? How do you manage this process? Let us know by tweeting @DrDataRecovery.