Fog Computing Feature
October 17, 2014

Cisco Steps Up Fog Computing Efforts

Cisco is making a big push for what it calls “fog computing,” according to Eweek.

The company is using the term as analogous to cloud computing. In contrast to cloud computing, where all the devices transmit data to a single application for processing, devices on the edges of a network actually process data.

This ubiquity is where Cisco derives the term “fog” from, and the networking giant is promoting fog computing as the foundational technology for the “Internet of Things.”

One of Cisco’s examples of the use of fog computing is in smart power generation. In a typical cloud configuration, if a link in a smart grid gets broken, it becomes impossible for a cloud computing application to communicate with a power plant. There is also a lot of latency and bandwidth requirements for the centralized application.

Fog computing, also known as edge computing, allows nodes in a network to process data on their own. This saves a lot of bandwidth and introduces resiliency into the network. If a connection breaks, the rest of a network system can still function.

This fog computing can make the “Internet of Things” a real possibility. Fog computing doesn’t completely replace cloud computing, but complements it by deploying ubiquitous smart devices at the edges of a network.

Cisco introduced its IOx platform earlier this year, which allows developers to integrate IoT technology into their own devices. The company introduced a line of networking products that support IOx at the IoT World Forum in Chicago, as well as its Internet of Everything (IoE) Software and Services Suite.

The company also announced winners of more $500,000 prize for challenges solving IoT reliability and security.

Cisco is betting that IoT technology is the next natural stage in the evolution of the Internet. It might not affect ordinary people’s lives directly, but they may have more reliable power and smarter traffic lights, among other things. It will certainly be a breakthrough, applying distributed computing to embedded systems.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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