Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Fog Computing, connecting the IoE to the Cloud

April 14, 2015

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Enda Cahill, one of our UK & Ireland Cisco Champions from Innovate Ltd. You can find out more about Enda here.

The Internet of Everything requires new computing architectures to realise all of the opportunities that exist in this new world of pervasive computing.  One of those new architectures which is under development is Fog Computing.

The multitude of computing nodes that comprise the Internet of Everything (IoE) are distinct from the computing environments that are now considered to be cloud computing. The IoE will be used to sense, collect and aggregate information in real time and that information will then be used to take actions, which could potentially be in the physical world such as controlling actuators or motors.  A new architecture is required because cloud computing processes data in remote data centres, requiring transmission of the data to the cloud before any action can be taken.

Some applications will require low latency services, which could not be delivered from the cloud. Examples include sensors in a connected car, artificial intelligence for face recognition in a building, real time co-operation between robotic devices, and data intensive applications requiring real time services for processing vast streams of data.

Therefore IoT devices with constrained memory, processing or storage capacity will need to process local data from sensors or other embedded devices. Configuration, controlling and organisation will need to performed locally. This presents opportunities for co-operation and cognitive self-organisation of these devices. Fog Computing is this new architecture and as device capabilities improve new opportunities will arise.

Fog Computing is not a competitor to the cloud, it is a key link between the sensors, actuators and computing devices embedded in the physical world and the vast computing power in the cloud. Fog Computing provides the local computing resources required to run Internet of Things applications.

Further information on this architecture and the opportunities and challenges it will present can be found on the Cisco Technology Radar. Also two current Cisco technologies which are realising this vision are Cisco Data in Motion and Cisco IOx.

Fog Computing is just one of the many new architectures and technologies that will allow the IoE to succeed in reaching its full potential.

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  1. Very relevant thinking in the area of Manufacturing Operations Management.