I just ran across a term that is new to me. The term seems to have been around for a long time. I’m seeing references from 2014. The term “fog” is used to refer to a hybrid of cloud computing and local data center computing.

Where “cloud” computing has traditionally referred to as moving computing & storage from my local computer to big company’s data centers. Companies like Google & Amazon are traditionally known for they’re cloud services. Cloud works nicely for mobile computing. For small enterprise level things. For the “Internet of Things”. It is not so nice for a lot of things though. This is especially true when ‘cost’ is one of the criteria for determining ‘nice’.

When you can buy a computer and use it for up to 5-7 years for just 7 month’s fees of renting from a cloud provider, it seems strange why anyone would use the cloud. Maybe it’s that you can set it and forget it, having someone else determine your patching schedule? Maybe it’s because you can spin down systems that are seldom used, for example development computers for a stable app? So, what’s the alternative to cloud?

As mentioned above, you can buy a computer. Rent a data center. Buy bandwidth. Pay for electricity & cooling, etc. For a small shop, that’s expensive. For a large shop, the expenses for individual computers rather falls in line with ‘it’s all about quantity’.

There are things that don’t work well in the local data center. Being rapid to market is difficult. It takes weeks to have a computer delivered & racked. It takes seconds to create the equivalent in the cloud.

Introducing “fog computing”. You need to be fast to market? Do the cloud. You have a system that is running in the cloud, and you want to cut back on costs. Order your computer, and when it’s racked, move it to the local data center. Continuing the example, you want to dynamically launch many small application servers to connect to large database in the most cost effective method possible? Maybe, put the application servers in the cloud, and the database server in the local data center. You’ve just been introduced to fog computing.

It’s funny how catchy names get the attention of decision makers. There have been many companies rushing to the cloud just because the CEO read something about the cloud in a magazine. So, now, reasonableness has a catchy name. If it works best in the cloud, put it in the cloud. If it works best in the local data center, put it in the local data center… and it’s all in the fog! Google it!

Keywords: cloud, fog, data center, hybrid, storage, data center, marketing, ceo

Troy Frericks.
blog 28Sep-2016
Copyright 2015-2016 by Troy Frericks,