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Fog Computing and Cloud Computing, What is the Difference?

Fog Computing and Cloud Computing: What is the Difference?

Over the years, technological advancements have grown in leaps and bounds. The Internet ushered an age of connectivity and information like never before. There will be 75.44 billion Internet of Things or IoT-connected devices globally by 2025, a five-fold jump from figures in 2015. In this year alone, there are already 30 billion IoT devices, as recorded by Statista.

All these devices can produce large volumes of data that need to be processed rapidly and reliably. As consumers increasingly prefer smart gadgets, appliances, cars, and the like, demand for fast, real-time computing has grown exponentially.

Cloud-based storage became a necessity to meet the growing demand for IoT solutions. Cloud computing is a centralized data management system for various Internet services.

We now see fog computing operating alongside cloud computing to meet the demands of real-time connectivity. What is the difference between them? How do they collect, interpret, and distribute data to end-users and manufacturers?


What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is a two-fold system that has both front-end client devices and back-end data storage and servers located remotely from the users and communicating directly through wireless connections.

As defined by NIST, cloud computing is an on-demand network access model for resources such as networks, services, storage, applications, services, and the like, which needs minimal service provider interaction and management effort.

Cloud computing is anything that involves centralized hosted services like Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

It is a vast trillion-dollar market, but the integration of IoT with the Cloud is a very cost-efficient way of doing business. Developers and manufacturers can make IoT apps with less investment and hardware/software overhead costs.


What is Fog Computing?

Fog computing (or fogging) is a term coined by Cisco in 2014 to describe services that allow smart devices to instantly interact with wireless networks and bypass the need to store information in the Cloud.

In the natural, fog is nearer the earth than clouds. It is the same with Cloud and fog computing. Fog nodes are closer to end-users and bring capabilities of the Cloud closer as well. It is like Fog is the extension of Cloud computing via multiple edge nodes connected to digital devices.

Fog technology promotes a fresh way to connect and operate in this digital age. While Cloud computing centralizes storage date, while Fog Computing uses decentralized, local network architectures bring both computer and storage closer to the application as possible.

Fog computing systems are highly compatible with applications sensitive to time and place, offering four times the processing power of cloud technologies. It can also locally process large quantities of data, is entirely scalable, and can be built heterogeneous hardware.


The Rising of the Cloud: How This Technology Changed Everything

In the past, people can only access data, messages, and systems from a physical terminal linked to other computers via physical cables. Users from that time were prone to data loss when physical storage would get damaged, stolen, destroyed, or attacked with ransomware, Trojan attacks, and other cyber threats.

Each software installation needed to be done manually on each computer, physically linked to massive machines that must be contained within occupy well-ventilated and highly guarded spaces to prevent loss of data or device failure.

The Cloud revolutionized the way we can store, retrieve, and share data. It provides the following benefits:

·       Accessibility:

Cloud computing enabled real-time collaboration by remote teams that are accessible from anywhere because data and applications are no longer reliant on a device.

·       Flexibility & Scalability:

Cloud-based technology is customizable based on the needs of users or to adhere to the latest digital trends.

·       Cost-Effective and Hassle-Free:

By paying only for services based on their needs and budget, businesses can implement a pay-as-you-go scheme. No expenditure is required to pay for hardware or operating costs, such as storage, electricity, and labor for servicing and repairing physical servers. The vendors also actively update and develop web-based technologies to preserve the performance of their computers, applications, and services.

·       Fast & Secure:

Support is available on request through secure global data center networks. Data is no longer prone to natural disasters, accidents, or hardware malfunction. Security systems and infrastructure also ensure the data and conducts ongoing threat management and defense.

That is why the emergence of the Cloud has improved by miles on end the way we do businesses, run apps, provide services, and much more.


The Fog Rolls In (Advantages of Fog Computing over Cloud Computing)

Cisco states that 500 zettabytes (500 trillion gigabytes) of data was obtained and processed at the end of 2019. Like any other device, the Cloud faces technological and security challenges such as downtime, data loss, and hardware malfunction.

The most critical danger of hosting IoT systems is in business. Transmitting data to the Cloud, performing analytics, and sending back actions to execute is not effective for microdata transactions that cannot tolerate any latency. Fog computing complements cloud computing because it gets as near as possible to the data source.

The critical distinction is that Cloud is a centralized system, while Fog is a decentralized distributed infrastructure. Fog computing has three advantages over cloud computing: latency, protection, and capacity.

·       Latency:

Fog nodes are physically closer to computers and network customers, offering significantly lower latency, no interruption, and delivering fast end-user responses.

·       Protection:

Fog offers improved security as data travels shorter distances in a distributed network. Often, you do not experience bandwidth issues since information is not transmitted together over a single channel but separated into parts and aggregated in separate network points.

 Fog computing provides high security since it manages data across a large number of nodes in a dynamic distributed system. With cloud storage, tracking the device against security threats is crucial.

It must be the protocol to implement increased protective measures to secure data and operations of hosted apps and services. Most cloud vendors provide added service and support, and there are also several reliable security software available to keep Cloud end-users at ease.

Robust security steps to safeguard data and processes services is critical. Some cloud providers offer additional service and assistance, as well as some reliable security tools to make Cloud end-users happy.

·       Capacity:

Fog computing is a go-between a hardware-to-remote server. It decides on the data it sends to the server and which it handles locally. Fog is a smart portal that offloads the Cloud entirely, allowing more efficient data collection, retrieval, and analysis.

Fog also enhances the cloud computing space. Worldwide, smart vehicle prototypes created to secure a blueprint for future cars generate 35G of data per hour. This big data can only be stored remotely locally via a secure fog computing network.

Fog Computing still has some disadvantages, like any framework. For example, adding another layer to the data processing and storage system complicates the system. Added costs include installing this layer as businesses buy edge devices, routers, hubs, and gateways.

The Fog framework is not scalable like the Cloud. Nevertheless, the benefit of providing this additional layer that delivers improved solutions to end-users and lets manufacturers take the extra step of investment outweighs its limitations. This advancement will lead to strides in customer loyalty, digital domination, and industry profitability.

Conclusion: Fog Technology Complement Cloud Technology

The IoT industry continues to grow and will need more excellent data storage, delivery, and retrieval methods. Seeing the advantages of cloud and fog computing, we see that these systems do not clash with each other but complement each other tremendously.

End-users will experience quicker, cheaper, and more reliable solutions. Manufacturers can optimize the best of both technologies, like the scalability of the Cloud and high availability with the Fog’s low latency and zero-bandwidth issues. When end-users win, we all win.

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