Fog Computing to Replace Cloud Computing for Industries with Remote IoT Devices

From Smart Grid News

The 26 billion or more devices predicted to join the IoT by 2020 have a problem: The data transmission between them may be too much for cloud computing to handle. As both the grid and consumers continually employ IoT devices to pursue energy savings, that problem will increasingly affect utilities’ cloud systems.

One solution, as addressed by Boulder, Colorado-based Freewave Technologies, is in fog computing – a Cisco-coined term that describes data analysis with less packet transmission across multiple gateways.

FreeWave Technologies provides industrial-grade, secure M2M wireless networking solutions. The company explained how fog computing works in a blog post this week:

“Fog computing operates at the network edge, extending the cloud capabilities closer to the source (IoT device). Each IoT connection works with what’s called Fog Nodes to digest the intelligent data and then coordinate operational next steps, whether that be acting directly and/or transmitting results to the cloud.”

This concept is especially useful for devices in remote locations, which often have IoT sensors that are collecting data about device use and potential failure. But those sensors are accumulating data that require more transmission capability than is sustainable and will eventually impede efficiency.

Data is already being collected from airlines, oil and gas operations, and information technology companies, in amounts that have seen huge growth in recent years. The data is expected to continue growing, increasing the need for efficient evaluation. The ability to manage this data sooner will save milliseconds – enough time to prevent serious consequences at the data’s originating source.

Fog computing, previously called “distributed computing,” is still being developed. Development of technical standards and processes that will facilitate systemwide IoT interoperability for manufacturing is still underway, though some organizations have recently agreed to collaborate on that work. Companies such as Schneider Electric and GE Digital are working together to create a basic architecture…

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