As cloud computing adoption continues to grow, the market is also evolving, with ever-increasing needs being placed on cloud resources, making capabilities that only yesterday were considered “next-gen,” yesterday’s news. One of the trends emerging from the evolution of cloud computing is Fog Computing. The idea is that, in order to create faster and more efficient applications and services, processing power must be moved closer to the user, to the network edge.
Like Cloud, Fog provides data, compute, storage, and application services to end-users, but it does so at a much closer proximity to end users, reducing latency and increasing service quality. It is an ideal partner to the cloud model as connected devices and related applications continue to demand network resources, some of which will be more sensitive to latency than others.
Fog Computing effectively offers a middle ground between full-scale on-premises data center buildout and complete cloud migration, allowing the combination of all three to most effectively deliver services. Naturally, with the concept of fog comes the need for parallel support structures.
At the recent Fog Computing Conference in San Jose, Opengear (News - Alert), for instance, announced the addition of a cellular failover feature to its line of ACM remote site management and IM infrastructure management devices.
Although we’ve heard for years about failover solutions that use the cellular network for secondary connections when primary links go down, Opengear President Gary Marks says what’s cool about this particular offering is that it’s paired with the ability to also do out-of-band management and remediation – a feature on which Opengear has built a solid reputation.
Out-of-band management uses a separate and dedicated channel to manage devices like routers and switches, so if they have an issue with connectivity, the network can still access them to see what’s going on. Remediation is the ability to diagnose problems related to network elements like routers and switches, do alerting and notification for them, and take action – like rebooting a system remotely, for example, so network operators don’t have to do a truck roll.
Fog computing, meanwhile, is a middle ground between IoT devices and the cloud that leverages intelligence at the edge for more efficient data handling and faster, local decision making. It collects and aggregates data from multiple sensors, and can do simple data analysis at the edge.
Though Cisco (News - Alert) is largely credited with coining and promoting the term fog, regardless of whether you prefer “fog” or “edge,” or something else, the concept is gaining momentum as the benefits of moving compute power closer to users and devices is apparent.
Marks of Opengear, which was a Fog Computing Conference sponsor, says the Internet of Things and the fog computing model will demand a huge amount of intelligence at the edge, and adds that Opengear is ready to support those edge devices with remediation, and out-of-band management.
Opengear CEO Rick Stevenson adds that, with IoT connected devices projected to reach 26 billion by the end of this decade, now is a good time to ensure that distributed networks are resilient and that remote sites are accessible even when a primary connection goes down.
Edited by Maurice Nagle