From data centers to fog computing: the evaporating cloud
Cloud computing data centers are composed of very powerful computing nodes connected by reliable backbone networks. However, these resources are concentrated in a small number of a data centers. The latency between an end user and the closest available cloud data center comes in the range of 20-150 ms. A number of latency-sensitive applications (e.g., augmented reality) require extremely low end-to-end latencies and therefore cannot make use of traditional cloud platforms. Fog computing therefore aims to complement traditional cloud infrastructures with additional resources located extremely close to the user, within a couple of network hops. This requires one to distribute machines in a very large number of geographical locations so computation capacity is always available in immediate proximity of any end user. In this presentation I will discuss the application scenarios where fog computing is or isn‘t useful, and the architectural challenges one needs to face when designing the next-generation fog computing architectures.