Friday TechMunch: Is Cloud Computing Leaving you Feeling a Bit Foggy?

Over the past few years, the tech world has been bubbling over with excitement around all things ‘cloud’. Private clouds, public clouds and hybrid clouds have been hot topics for consumers and businesses alike.

In the future, cloud evangelists expect 100% of computer storage to be cloud-based. Cloud computing offers a flexible, often cheaper alternative to in-house data storage, with secure back-up. In addition, the cloud has been a fantastic enabler in connecting devices through wireless networks and joining them to the ‘Internet of Things’.

With more than five billion people around the world using mobile devices to tweet, browse, game and interact, storing and accessing data from within the cloud is in some cases putting an ever increasing strain on networks.

What’s the forecast?

Just as we have started to get our heads around what the cloud actually is, Cisco has thrown a new buzzword in to the mix; ‘fog computing’.

‘Oh no, not another one!’ we hear you cry (just add it to the list; BYOD, BYOx, IoT, big data, SDN, virtualisation, SaaS, ITaaS, PaaS, M2M, MDM, etc.).

The foggy concept aims to move the focus away from the cloud, and start working out ways to store and process the mass of data being generated on the devices themselves, or devices ‘between’ our phones/tablets, etc., and the internet (for example, small-scale servers or storage drives). In essence, personal devices will be able to work out what data can be transmitted between such storage devices, and what data can or should go to the cloud.

Seeing through the Fog

Reports this week have veered between mild scepticism of the term itself vs. those in favour of fog across the industry. Many raise the point that fog computing could just be a new name for something that already exists; the hybrid cloud. The hybrid cloud essentially lets you keep some data onsite, while the rest is stored up in the skies (well not really, but we’ve used the word ‘cloud’ quite a lot already).

In conclusion, some feel that fog computing could be the next phenomenon in cloud computing. Hybrid cloud or fog, ‘a rose by any other name would smell as sweet’. It’s certainly one to keep an eye on this year.

This week’s TechMunch was written by Ben Fletcher