Fog Computing

What is Fog Computing, Fogging or Fog Networking? Definition and Architecture

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You must have heard of cloud computing, grid computing, distributed computing or cluster computing but what is fog computing? Fog computing, fogging or fog networking is an architecture in which cloud computing is extended to the edge of an enterprise network.

Fog computing uses more than one or more collaborative multitude of the end-user client to carry a substantial amount of storage, communication, measurement, management and control by network gateways.

Ken Hosac who is the VP of Business Development describes Fog Computing as an extension of cloud computing to the utmost edge of the network. This includes:

  • Adding processing and memory to the edge devices.
  • Pre-processing of data
  • Sending the desired result to the cloud.

Fog computing refers to the decentralized computation which is done at the edges of the network and by distributed computing at the edges of the network, the results are only sent to the cloud but not the raw data itself.

Well, the above definition of fogging must be quite complex and difficult to understand but in simple words, fog computing is decentralized computing infrastructure in which data, storage, computation and other applications are distributed in the most logical way in between the cloud and the data source.

You must have many computing devices in your homes including laptops, mobile phones, and tablets connected to your personal network at the same time. But what if you don’t need to download the software updates for each of the phones connected to the network but you can download the software on your laptop and share it later with each of the devices.

Also Read: Essential characteristics of cloud computing

Instead of using the individual bandwidth of each device, what if you can use the combined bandwidth of each device to communicate internally. This concept of using computing power with full efficiency is known as fog computing.

In the brief history of cloud computing, you must have read how cloud technology involved from cluster computing to grid computing to distributed computing. Fogging is all related to how we store and access the data.

Fog Computing Architecture

Architecture of Fog Computing


Difference Between Fog Computing and Cloud Computing

By now you must be clear with the definition of fog computing, but what is the difference between fog computing and cloud computing? Fog computing, on one hand, includes how data is stored and accessed.

Cloud computing is the ability to store and retrieve data or service on demand from any off-site locations. The problem with cloud computing is that you always need a better internet connection to access the data stored in the cloud.

The other problem with cloud technology is the bandwidth, to transmit the data wisely, you need bandwidth and with the advancement, bandwidth per user is decreasing.

As the Internet of Things continues to expand, more physical objects are connected wirelessly to receive and transmit data due to this, the problem of bandwidth increases.

Difference Between Fog Computing and Cloud Computing

So, what’s the solution? There are many advantages of cloud computing but on another hand, we should not neglect the challenges of it. To solve this problem, fog computing comes into play. Also known as edge computing, fog computing solve the above problem by keeping the data closer to the ground.

Most of the houses now have smart lighting systems which are an example of the Internet of Things. These lights operate on the basis of the moment. When there is movement, the data needs to be processed, analyzed or stored and all these are achieved by reducing the amount of data that needs to be transmitted to the cloud.

Also Read: Difference between cloud computing and grid computing

The companies making these smart devices not exactly need all the data but only require some of the useful data like how long the lights were on.

You must have always heard fog computing with Internet of Things. The goal of fog computing is to reduce the data which is transmitted to the cloud for processing, analyzing and storing. The advantage can be improving the efficiency of application or also increase the level of security as data stored in the cloud in less than compared to the earlier case.

It should be clear that Internet of Things is rapidly growing and the companies need to find more efficient ways to manage the communication between the devices and the cloud – Fogging is one of the most crucial parts of this.

How Fog Computing Works?

Before the introduction of fog computing or fog networking, all the processing of data used to be done on the cloud platform. Edge devices and sensors don’t have the computation and data storage resources to advanced analysis and machine learning tasks.

As cloud services have both the computation and storage, it becomes easier to perform processing but this was often too far away from processing the data and represent it in a timely manner. Also, there was always a risk of sending the data and managing the security issues over the internet. It was difficult while dealing with sensitive data.

Also Read: What is cluster computing 

In fog computing environment, the processing of data takes place in a data hub using a smart device or by using a smart router or a gateway. This helps in reducing the total amount of data sent to the cloud. While fog networking performs short-term analysis and computing, cloud on other hand performs long-term and resource-intensive computing.

Fog Computing And Internet Of Things

As cloud computing is not viable for many IOT applications, fog computing is used most of the times. Those applications that require handling real-time big data characteristics, use fog computing rather than cloud computing.

Many smart devices, IOT devices, and smart sensors generate a large amount of data, and not all the data is actually required to manage or process. This could be more challenging to send all these data to the cloud for its processing and analysis.

Fog computing reduces the bandwidth needed for communicating and transmitting data from smart sensors to the cloud.

Many hardware manufacturers such as Cisco, Intel and Dell are working with IoT analytics to create gateways and high-end routers to support fogging.

Fog Computing  Advantages and Disadvantages

One of the main advantages of fog computing over cloud computing is that you don’t need to send all the data to the cloud environment for processing and computing.

Cloud computing has some disadvantages like latency and delay which are not seen in the case of Fog computing.

Fog networking is more secure than cloud as you are not transmitting the raw data for computation, making the system more secure and cost-effective.

Also Read: What is cloud migration?

Fog networking consists of a control plane and a data plane that helps in enabling computing services to reside at the edges of the networks as opposed to servers in data centers.

Fog networking supports the Internet of Everything which helps in connecting all the smart devices to each other.

The disadvantage of fog computing is that the smart devices are costly and are needed to be installed at the end devices in the network.

Fog Computing Security

When it comes to security, fog computing or fogging is much more secure than cloud computing. This is because the data is not sent directly to the cloud, instead of this there are smart computing devices like mobiles, laptops which process this data and later send the useful data to the cloud.

These smart devices or sensors are not directly connected to the cloud environment but there can be one or more intermediate computing devices in between. Thus overall security is always greater as compared to cloud computing.

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