It’s unusual that I stumble across some form of technology in ‘mainstream’ news rather than spotting it early on Hacker News, but that is exactly what happened as I was reading this weeks issue of The Economist
‘Fog Computing’ is a new term for the up-coming form of computing which is meant to be the next evolution of cloud.
Cloud Computing today can be (very simply) described as pushing all your work up to some big data center somewhere for processing. Typically this is a public cloud (AWS, Google Cloud, Azure being the big three) and you as a developer have been abstracted away from the actual infrastructure and can just deploy stuff.
Fog Computing is now a recognition that the device producing data in the first place, be it a phone, tablet, assistants like Google Home or Echo are powerful in their own right and a lot of computing can be done on the device.
This has many benefits, it reduces the amount of workload that needs doing in the cloud (scalability) and also helps combat some of the techno-panic going on at the moment. This is particularly present in finance but also more broadly thanks to the new GDPR regulations coming in. With ‘Fog Computing’ the data captured never has to leave the device in some cases or at least can be kept inside the same country.
There are two variants of this architecture:
This is a development I will be watching closely not only as a way to reduce latency but also cost as you are now offloading that work to the user’s devices using your app/service. The best source of the direction of this technology is probably from the entertainingly named ‘Fog World Congress’!