According to research, the global fog computing market value is predicted to reach USD 753.67 million by 2025.
With the proliferation of millions of IoT connected devices, a massive volume of data is being generated at a rapid pace. As the data explodes, cloud storage is being strained for data computation, storage, and management. The cloud server might take time to act on data as it works as a centralized mainframe to store and compute data and is often located far away from the IoT endpoints. This has led to the emergence of fog computing – to shoulder the burden of cloud computing services.
Demystifying Fog Computing
Fog computing is a decentralized computing structure that brings processing, storage, and intelligence control to the proximity of the data devices. This flexible structure extends cloud computing services to the edge of the network. Thus, reduces the distance across the network, improves efficiency and the amount of data needed to transport to the cloud for processing, analysis and storage.
How Fog Computing Works?
Fog computing works best in critical IoT applications that are time-sensitive and requires real-time responses such as data acquisition and pre-processing, short-term data storage needs, condition monitoring, and rule-based decision making. The goal of fog-enabled devices is to analyze time-critical data such as device status, fault alerts, alarm status, etc. This minimizes latency, improves efficiency and prevents major damage.
How Fog Computing Can Solve the IoT Challenges
The fog performs all time-sensitive actions close to end users which meets latency constraints of IoT applications.
Network Bandwidth Constraints
Fog computing enables data processing based on application demands, available networking and computing resources. This reduces the amount of data required to be transferred to the cloud, ultimately saving network bandwidth.
Fog computing can run independently and ensure uninterrupted services even with fluctuating network connectivity to the cloud.
IoT security challenges
Fog computing acts as the proxy for resource-constrained devices to update the software or security credentials of these devices. They can also monitor the security status of nearby devices.
Applications of Fog Computing in IoT
IoT applications where data is generated in terabytes or more, where a quick and large amount of data processing is required and sending data to the cloud back and forth is not feasible, are good candidates for fog computing. There are several IoT applications where fog computing can play a vital role. Some of them are:
The smart home consists of various devices and sensors connected. However, these devices have different platforms making it difficult to integrate. Fog computing provides a unified interface to integrate all different independent devices and empowers smart home applications with flexible resources to enable storage, real-time processing and low latency.
Healthcare Activity Tracking
Fog computing provides real-time processing and event responses which are critical in healthcare. Besides, it also addresses issues regarding network connectivity and traffic required for remote storage, processing and medical record retrieval from the cloud.
The key advantages of Fog Computing
Fog computing offers several benefits compared to cloud computing.
• Data storage on fog network will reduce the data transmission delay
• Fog computing can quickly process and analyze the data for Industrial IoT applications such as smart grids, smart cities, etc.
• Provides required interaction between end devices and cloud
• Globally distributed network helps minimal downtime
• Ability to support real-time services reduces latency
Fog computing is a key enabler for providing efficient, effective and manageable communication between a massive number of smart IoT devices. With its extraordinary features such as low latency, security, location awareness, and many server nodes, real-time connectivity and mobility, is a key paradigm to provide solutions for latency-sensitive future Industrial IoT automation.
The integration of fog computing with the IoT will bring many benefits to different IoT solutions.
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