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Descending from the Clouds into the Fog
By Brian Kelley, CTO, Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission
While many businesses, higher education institutions, and public sector entities continue to migrate legacy and client-server applications into the cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT) is introducing new computing demands that push processing, analytics, and data storage to the edge of the network. Hence, the creation of edge or “fog” computing as coined by Cisco. Like real fog, fog computing is closer to the ground and closer to where the billions of devices and sensors connected to the internet are located at the network node level. According to Gartner, there will be 25.1 billion IoT endpoints by 2021. According to Gartner, “Much of the current attention on edge or fog computing comes from the need for IoT systems to deliver disconnected or distribution capabilities to the IoT world.” Fog computing addresses the inherent risk of latency often experienced with cloud-based solutions by allowing data to be processed more rapidly for the delivery of real-time services and communication.
Fog computing offers unique high-performance computational power that enable us to solve many complex issues affecting our health, public safety, and quality of life
In the age of IoT, this new type of computing is being leveraged and embraced to support smart cities, connected and self-driving vehicles, artificial intelligence, and other emerging 5G technology. Fog architecture provides a robust platform where sensor data is filtered and processed quickly and securely at the edge versus pulling all of the data and processing back to the core data center or in the cloud.
Fog computing offers unique high-performance computational power that enables us to solve many complex issues affecting our health, public safety, and quality of life. One such example involves our failed human experiment in attempting to drive vehicles. According to World Life Expectancy, more than 1.3 million people die in traffic crashes in the world annually, over 37,000 people in America alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teenagers. Six teens ages 16 to 19 die every day from motor vehicle injuries. Driving while intoxicated, impaired, distracted, and fatigued are contributing factors to the substantial annual increases in traffic crashes, injuries, and fatalities. Fog computing provides a platform to address these types of issues with the rapid development and deployment of connected vehicle technology networking vehicles to vehicles (V2V), vehicles to infrastructure (V2I), such as stop lights, and vehicles to pedestrians (V2P). Connected vehicle technology will eventually lead to tofully autonomous self-driving vehicles. Experts agree that connected and self-driving vehicle technology will significantly reduce traffic crashes and the inherent risks associated with distracted and impaired driving. This technology will also provide mobility to millions of elderly and disabled individuals who are immobile today and unable to drive a vehicle. Fog computing at the edge provides the solution to these types of complex problems and issues in our society.
Descending from the clouds to the fog at the edge opens a new realm of possibilities in the digital age of IoT. The possibilities are endless. As a C-level executive, how will you leverage the fog to improve operational efficiencies, reduce costs, enhance customer service delivery, and solve complex problems in the 21st century?