Mainstream news outlets have picked up a “new” concept in cloud computing, and are now touting the term “fog computing” (just last month, FOXBusiness published Forget the Cloud – ‘The Fog’ Is the Next Big Thing). This so-called future technology is the bright hybrid cloud frontier, where computing will be moving from the centralized data center environments in the large “NFL Cities” to a new dynamic that has compute power getting closer and closer to the edge, and to the distribution of users and consumers in the outer limits of population centers.
Welcome to the party…
To the mainstream media we say: Welcome to the party! TheFOXBusiness article got many things right, but declaring this the next big thing is like saying there’s a new thing called disco. Codero has been pioneering this notion for the last year, and has aligned its company strategy around it. When Codero was acquired a year ago by a group of 32 US telecom providers, one of the strategic intents and designs that came with that move was capitalizing on this “fog computing” trend in data. We are on the verge of a revolution in the distribution of data in the industry, and it will change what most people know about the cloud today. The term “fog” computing (we’re not exactly in love with it for many reasons) offers far too much haziness in its definition. We have certainly had our fill of foggy concepts from industry pundits (especially those behind the disco ball). Nonetheless, cloud computing is changing to once again meet the challenges and needs of business.
Fog computing is really “edge” cloud computing
“Turns out, the cloud is not all it’s been hyped to be,” said Steve Tobak of FOXBusiness. “Enterprise CIOs are coming to realize that many of the services and apps and much of the data their users rely on for critical decision-making are better suited closer to the edge—on-premise or in smaller enterprise data centers.”
Edge cloud computing is a focus on some of the limiting aspects of centralized cloud infrastructure in the world of the Internet of Things (IoT) (we discussed it previously in Bringing the Cloud to All of America). In an IoT architecture, performance and cost are major concerns due to the distributed nature of processing and communications. Centralized, monolithic “clouds” like AWS and Azure become more of a liability, and an obstacle. Moving large amounts of distributed data into and across the cloud to users and vice versa is costly in pure financial terms due to bandwidth costs, but also in terms of latency. This data is suitable for near-local processing at the “edge.” Interactive applications that are deployed in the cloud might also be sensitive to latency, requiring proximity to end users as a result. In today’s interconnected paradigm, there are many instances where a mobile base and limited network connectivity are major factors in application performance and user experience. The answer to this need for processing power and experience is what is now being called “fog.” Essentially, “fog” is bringing the cloud as close as possible to where data, compute, and users actually exist.
To be clear, “fog” computing is not technology that simply plugs into existing infrastructure; this process is an integration of strategic elements or regional advantage. To those ends, here are just two of the many reasons why Codero will be a leader in the future of “fog” computing:
- Geographical footprint: Through a network of planned “edge” data centers—located at the facilities of the telecom and broadband investors—Codero customers will have enhanced connectivity, plus expanded location and redundancy options. New physical operational hubs mean the delivery of latency and bandwidth-sensitive applications will be greatly enhanced.
- Fiber networks: Utilizing the existing fiber network in 32 markets puts Codero in a position to offer fast data delivery at a more affordable rate for the customer.
Codero’s Cloud Edge Advantage
We’re building a future that leverages distributed clouds that are well suited to applications with large amounts of distributed data for the IoT, an interactive user base, and many other applications. Hybrid technology and centralization are an important part of this fabric. Control, performance, and segmentation will continue to serve tight application data and compute needs for many. There will also be instances where distributed applications and centralized compute infrastructure may complement each other through the hybrid ecosystem Codero is creating.
Codero’s vision is to deploy small footprints throughout the country to maximize the potential of IoT. Combined with our unique On-Demand Hybrid Cloud™ technology advantage, Codero is poised to pioneer the future of edge computing. So while the unfortunate term “fog” may sound like the latest marketing buzzword in the industry hype cycle, it is nothing more than the next phase of compute evolution in a dynamic world of applications, users, devices, and data. It appears as though Codero has gotten a year head start on the industry once again.