Evolution of Fog Computing and Its Role in IoT Applications

Evolution of Fog Computing and Its Role in IoT Applications

R. Alageswaran (K. L. N. College of Engineering, India) and S. Miruna Joe Amali (K. L. N. College of Engineering, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5972-6.ch002
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Fog computing is an evolving technology that brings the benefits achieved by cloud computing to the periphery of the network devices for faster data analytics. This has triggered the usage of fog computing for enabling a new breed of applications and services that require localized and faster decision making. Fog computing has attributes such as location awareness, edge deployment and a large number of geographically distributed nodes, heterogeneity through which fog computing offers better performance in terms of mobility, low latency, and real-time interaction. They can also gracefully handle enormous data flow and provide analytics in reasonable time. Due to these additional attributes, fog computing is considered as the appropriate platform for many applications and especially suited for internet of things (IoT). Fog computing also provides an intelligent platform to manage the distributed and real-time nature of emerging IoT applications and infrastructures. With the increase in the number of connected objects, the development of fog computing is tremendous and has promising technological future growth.
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Cloud computing is used as a delivery platform which is a promising way for storing user data and provides a secure access to personal and business information. The users are provided with on-demand services through the Internet. Fog computing has emerged as a promising technology that can bring the cloud applications closer to the physical IoT devices at the network edge. Fog computing extends the Cloud computing paradigm to the edge of the network, thus enabling a new breed of applications and services. Fog computing (also referred to as an edge computing) extends from the core of network to the edge of the network. It provides computation, storage, and services between end devices and traditional cloud servers. Servers and other intermediate nodes are considered as core part of the network. Desktop machine, mobile, smart device, machine or any equipment connected in a network as end point device or machine are considered as edge devices.

Nowadays, more number of devices are connected to the Internet. Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects or “Things” embedded with Software, sensors and connectivity to enable it to achieve value and service by exchanging data with the manufacturer, operator and/or other connected devices through advanced communication protocols without human operation. The advantage of integrating IoT applications with cloud is the flexibility that the services offered by the cloud provider can be accessed by the user through a web interface.

Cloud systems are part of the Internet, which is a large heterogeneous network with numerous technologies, topologies and types with no central control. Due to heterogeneous and loosely controlled nature of the Internet, there are many issues such as quality of service. The other issue with cloud computing is that security and privacy. In the cloud systems, user requests, data transmission and system responses need to traverse a large number of intermediate networks in Internet depending on the distance between the users and systems. If the number of intermediate nodes to be traversed is more, the risk is higher as the data has to travel a long distance to and from the user’s computer to the cloud system, even if the data is encrypted. Similarly the availability of the cloud systems can also be attacked using various methods.

In addition to location awareness and low latency features, IoT requires mobility support and wide range of Geo-distribution. Hence, a new platform is required to meet all these requirements. Fog provides data, processing, storage, and application services to end-users. The unique characteristics of Fog are proximity to end-users, dense geographical distribution, and support for mobility. Services are hosted at the edge of the network or end devices such as set-top-boxes or access points. Fog reduces service latency, and improves QoS, resulting in superior user-experience (Patil, 2015). Fog Computing supports emerging Internet of Everything (IoE) applications that demand real-time and predictable latency.

FOG Computing

Fog computing, also known as Fog networking or Fogging, is a decentralized computing infrastructure in which data, process, storage and applications are distributed in the most logical, efficient place between the data source and the cloud. Fog computing basically extends cloud computing and services to the edge of the network, bringing the advantages and power of the cloud closer to where data is created and acted upon.

The goal of Fogging is to improve efficiency and reduce the amount of data transported to the cloud for processing, analysis and storage. For many IoT applications, where cloud computing is not viable, Fog computing can be effectively used. In IoT applications, the huge amount of data is generated by smart sensors and IoT devices. It is costly and time-consuming to send the data to the cloud for processing, analysis and storage. Fog computing reduces the bandwidth needed and back-and-forth communication between sensors and the cloud and improves overall performance of the IoT application.

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