A lengthy discussion of IT/convergence trends is always a staple of the National Convergence Technology Center’s (CTC) quarterly meetings with the Business and Industry Leadership Team (BILT) that helps shape program curriculum.
One recent meeting mentioned something called “the fog” that Cisco is developing. PC World provides an overview. As we’re surrounded by more and more sensors (Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion of them by 2020) collecting massive amounts of data, it’s becoming unrealistic to expect that all of that data can be piped back to data centers for analysis in the cloud. And so Cisco suggests doing some of the analysis closer to the sensors in “the fog.”
Here’s a specific example:
…if the parts of a rail car are instrumented to continually report whether they’re in good working condition, a router located on the rail car could collect and process that data by itself. It would do nothing until it received a signal that showed one of the parts might be headed for failure. Then the router could report back to the cloud over a 3G or satellite link. No wide-area bandwidth would be used to send the millions of “I’m OK” messages.
You can also learn more via Cisco’s press release.