As more and more devices and services rely on cloud services, it’s putting pressure on existing cloud architectures to handle the rapid growth in communications and bandwidth demands. Preparing for this next generation of connected devices will mean a change in the way computing architectures are designed and delivered: the cloud needs to be spread out further, and brought closer to the actual devices themselves.
This cloud model is called fog computing: put simply, it’s a cloud architecture that’s closer to the devices on the ground. The reason why it’s needed was highlighted by a recent study by a division of Nokia Bell Labs: it found that the number of Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices is expected to grow from 1.6 billion in 2014, to well over 20 billion by 2020. Also, by 2020 global consumption demand for digital content and services on portable devices will see an average increase of 30 to 45 times the levels seen in 2014.
So instead of sending all communications and processing power to a distant cloud architecture, fog computing means bringing the cloud to the devices so they can communicate and handle processing locally, to cut bandwidth bottlenecks and latency issues that might otherwise cause problems for mass IoT roll-outs.
Of course, new architectures demand new approaches to security, to protect the integrity of devices and data, and stop malicious attacks. We recently conducted a webinar with Intel on this topic, showing how fog computing architectures can be simply and robustly secured. The webinar, by Clavister’s networking expert Christian Gotare, is here.