Expert Advice for Choosing Between Cloud Computing and Fog Computing

Expert Advice for Choosing Between Cloud Computing and Fog Computing

By Special Guest
Darrell Lopez, founder of Public Telephone Company
  |  April 03, 2018

Businesses are handling enormous amounts of data on a regular basis. Internet of Things (IoT) recognized the need for data storage and emerged with models for cloud computing and fog computing. These pioneering solutions were developed to streamline the data organization process and help businesses manage their data in real-time.

Time is money and the best way to be effective is to gain competitive edge with faster and more efficient information-gathering methods. The IoT has forecast that by the year 2020, the amount of devices connected to the internet will surpass 30 million. This unprecedented growth is creating a steady need for more businesses to incorporate computing systems that are capable of overseeing immense quantities of data.

Cloud computing and fog computing both offer value by providing insight and promoting actions that boost efficiency and reliability. Need help deciding which data management platform is best for your business? Read on to discover the pros and cons of cloud computing and fog computing.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing helps businesses connect to data storage off-premises through the internet, and forms a network with all the devices connected together. Hard drives are less necessary than they used to be, as businesses are generating way too much data to rely solely on HDD. Cloud computing is more convenient, and does not require dedicated network attached storage (NAS) hardware. Businesses love using cloud computing to instantly access data, anytime and anywhere, allowing them to use the internet to retrieve off-site information.

The cloud computing environment makes data management, scalability and security possible through three separate models:

  • Software as a Service (SaaS (News - Alert)): A subscription-based software application a provider hosts and makes available to users through the internet. The SaaS provider handles everything from development and maintenance to support and reporting, and allows data to be accessed from devices connected to the internet. Customers pay a monthly or annual fee. SaaS examples include Gmail, Netflix and Dropbox (News - Alert).
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): IaaS owners provide pre-configured hardware for users, and allow access without customers investing great deals of time and money into personal management. Boasting storage, networking capabilities and customizable resources, IaaS enables customers to purchase individual components on an as-needed basis. Users enjoy on-demand scalability to meet their business needs, and only pay for what they use.
  • Platform as a Service (PaaS): PaaS provides numerous resources that allow users to deliver a wide range of applications (from coding to testing and establishing). Users can pay as they go, and access tools from a cloud service provider over a secure internet connection.

Advantages

  • On-demand scalability of information
  • Helps developers create more powerful applications
  • Easy to implement
  • Manage anytime and anywhere
  • Reduced TCO
  • Increased efficiency
  • Embedded automation for the most demanding networks

Cloud-as-a-service is offered by industry leaders like Microsoft, Amazon, Google and IBM (News - Alert). Cloud computing provides on-demand access to large amounts of company data without the expensive hardware/software, or the financial responsibility required for data management.

Disadvantages

  • Downtime and limited control during service outages
  • Possible issues with security and privacy
  • Vulnerability to hacking
  • Loss of bandwidth

Fog Computing

Fog computing is an extension of the cloud computing model. It processes data more closely to the point of origin, and distributes the universal framework for services directed at the edge of the network. When cloud computing was first developed, industry leaders predicted the disintegration of network bandwidth would lead to potential bottlenecks. Users loved the data management and ease of accessibility with the cloud model, but started searching for a more comprehensive solution. The architecture of fog computing optimizes both storage and networking capabilities while building a framework to help eliminate latency, security vulnerabilities and bandwidth issues. As an extension of cloud computing, fog computing provides a robust environment to accelerate communications and computation services to devices controlled by end-users.

Fog computing focuses on end-users, geographical distribution, local resource pooling, latency reduction, and bandwidth reserving to achieve better QoS. By deploying services at the edge of the network, or even end devices such as set-top-boxes or access points, fog computing reduces latency and creates superior end user-experiences. Due to its computational power and expanded storage capabilities, fog computing is positioned for real-time big data and analytics. 

Advantages

  • Increases bandwidth
  • Ease in the cloud’s digestion of information
  • Service disruptions are rare
  • Network bottlenecks are easily remedied
  • Larger scale capabilities
  • Targeted to IoT growth
  • Decreases network latency

Disadvantages

  • Adds complexities to company’s file storage
  • Increased expenses
  • Limited scalability for growth
  • Rigid in budget restrictions
  • Fewer resources

If your business’s IoT architecture is not on a large scale or experiences bandwidth issues, fog computing may not serve to optimize your data management system.

The Best for Your Business

Choosing which model is best for your business depends on the amount of data your business organizes and manages. Fog computing and cloud computing are both excellent models for data storage and management, analytics, centralized connectivity and security.

For larger business that accumulate higher levels of data, as well as the ability to maintain a strict budget and control scalability, fog computing will optimize the data flow. Fog computing is ideal for businesses regularly processing large amounts of data, like a video production studio. Fog computing is also ideal for businesses handling sensitive data, like businesses in the medical and financial industries.

Cloud computing is ideal for small to medium sized businesses (SMBs) who require on-demand access from anywhere, without the hardware or costly equipment. Cloud computing offers a pay-as-you-go structure, allowing for flexibility in the budget and on-demand scalability for company growth. As the growth of IoT continues to take shape, businesses of all sizes can optimize the way they manage data, accessibility and security. 

About the Author: Darrell Lopez is the CEO of Public Telephone Company. With more than two decades of experience in the VoIP industry, Mr. Lopez is considered a noted authority in the field of WIFI and VoIP.


Edited by Mandi Nowitz
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