Fog computing is a term created by Cisco that refers to extending cloud computing to the edge of an enterprise’s network. Also known as Edge Computing or fogging, fog computing facilitates the operation of compute, storage and networking services between end devices and cloud computing data centers.
Cisco introduced its fog computing vision in January 2014 as a way of bringing cloud computing capabilities to the edge of the network and as a result, closer to the rapidly growing number of connected devices and applications that consume cloud services and generate increasingly massive amounts of data.
By handling these services that make up the Internet of Things (IoT) at the network edge, data can in many cases be processed more efficiently than if it needed to be sent to the cloud for processing.
Cisco’s IOx Fog Computing Platform and Edge Computing Competition
The fog computing vision has taken form in Cisco’s IOx platform, which according to a recent eWeek article, “brings distributed computing capabilities to the edge of the network by running applications directly on Cisco network devices, such as ruggedized switches, routers and IP video cameras.”
While Cisco may have coined the term fog computing, it has competition in the nascent edge computing market from companies like EMC, VMware, Intel and IBM, all of which are rolling out — or are in the process of rolling out — products that deliver edge computing capabilities.