Cloud computing has revolutionized the IT world. Now, instead of using internal hardware to manage your data and applications, you can work with service providers. Not only does this lessen the amount of hardware for which your company is responsible, but it also frees up your tech pros to focus on other objectives.
Many businesses are hesitant to transition some of their most critical functions and data to the cloud due to the security risks involved. Having vital information held offsite can be unnerving, especially in cases where it could be compromised. But, there is a solution to limit the risk associated with housing data in a single server that is outside of your control while also increasing the efficiency of your operations and alleviating bandwidth issues. It’s called the fog.
What is Fog Computing?
Fog computing is a concept designed by computer scientists at the University of Camerino. Instead of having data placed in a single location, saved in its entirety, fog computing spreads the data out across multiple servers. Additionally, virtual buffers relocate the data packets regularly, preventing any complete file from ever existing in one location.
However, this doesn’t affect the accessibility of the data to authorized users. Whenever a file is required, the individual pieces are identified and compiled to provide the same level of access one expects from a file stored in a single location.
Why Fog Computing Should Be on Your Radar
The benefit associated with the fog computing approach is that, if a particular server or device is ever compromised, the data contained within is essentially useless by itself. Every file within a single device is incomplete. So, even if some of the data is accessed by a third-party, they won’t have access to any complete files.
Additionally, it resolves many of the bandwidth issues traditionally found with cloud computing. This is managed by bypassing the need for a central cloud server to process access requests and the transmission of data. Instead, it operates based on the combined computing power of multiple devices, spreading the load more effectively. This process accelerates access and improves reliability while reducing the risk of data latency.
The Internet of Things (IoT) makes fog computing especially relevant. As more devices wirelessly connect to larger systems, bandwidth is only going to become more taxed. Additionally, the amount of data being collected continues to grow, and the need for responsive analytics is a concern for many companies. Businesses that embrace IoT will find the new architectural approach to be much more effective for their needs, as the decentralized structure reduces many of the drawbacks that current cloud structures inherently possess.
While fog computing won’t make cloud computing irrelevant, it does provide benefits that can make certain operations more efficient. Additionally, it is important to note that fog computing is a relatively new addition to the IT landscape, so its full potential is not yet realized. However, companies that struggle with some of the issues mentioned above would be well-served by keeping an eye on these developments, as they may make some of the cloud computing headaches of today a distant memory sooner than you think.