There has been a lot of recent discussion about Edge Computing and how trends in IT have grown in response to the increased demand for storage and uptime brought about by the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data. For a few years now, we’ve been hearing how this inundation of connected devices coupled with digitization is forcing organizations to move storage and applications to the Cloud or outsource to Colos.
Now, there is all this chatter about Edge Computing and Fog Computing which has many wondering what exactly do these terms mean and how does it affect those of us responsible for a reliable power infrastructure?
Fog Computing and Edge Computing Defined
Edge Computing and Fog Computing are trends that represent the scale coming back into balance after the mass migration of data and processes to the cloud or centralized enterprise data centers or colos. As the volume of data created by connected devices continues to grow, it has become cumbersome and unrealistic for each device to send its raw data to a central location for processing. This model of sending everything to the cloud has caused bandwidth challenges, latency issues, and delays in processing.
In response to these growing challenges, organizations are deploying smaller processing data centers closer to where the data is created. This intermediate processing is often referred to as Fog Computing. Think of these small localized data centers as gatekeepers to the cloud or a clearinghouse for sorting millions of bits of data to include only the meaningful analysis.
Some use the terms Fog Computing and Edge Computing interchangeably when in fact, they are not the same thing. As devices get “smarter” more computing is taking place at the device level rather than in the Fog. Technically speaking, Edge computing is the functionality at the device level while Fog Computing is the intermediate processing that happens in servers outside the cloud.
As a basic example, consider a device with 100 different sensors programmed to take readings every 10 minutes. Edge computing is where the device combines the readings from the 100 sensors to a single data point that gets sent into the Fog every 10 minutes. Fog Computing allows those data points to be collected closer to the source and compiled into a single daily report that is sent to the central data center once.
The Impact of Fog Computing and Edge Computing
With the rapid growth of Edge Computing and Fog Computing, many organizations that centralized all of their data storage and processing in a single location have gone back and migrated some of it out of the main data center and closer to the data source.
This has changed the power infrastructure of physical sites to include power protection for the devices collecting data at The Edge, UPS protection for the local servers running critical processes in The Fog, and power protection for the network equipment that keeps everything, and everyone connected to the cloud.
Whether at The Edge, in The Fog, or in The Cloud, UPS power protection is critical to protecting the equipment that generates, computes, and stores data. As specialists in power protection for critical applications, Power Solutions, LLC offers one of the widest ranges of enterprise-level UPS protection available.
With our engineering expertise and a vast offering of single-phase and industrial-grade UPS products, we can help configure power protection for your servers, network and critical equipment anywhere from The Edge, through the Fog or to the Cloud or Enterprise Data Center.