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fog photo 1Elevators in the fog…

I am big believer in the cloud’s ability to transform our maintenance practices. The reality is, it’s harder than most think to get all that elevator machine data in and out of the cloud. Complicating IoT solutions, is in many cases cellular networks simply aren’t fast enough to deal with the amount of data being sent back and forth. There is a solution though, the fog.

Fog computing is nothing new to Datahoist developers and engineers. We began the development of our 5th generation device (IoT remote elevator monitoring) with the plan of using fog computing all along. That was in late 2014, so I am a bit surprised more haven’t caught on. It seems to be all the rage this month, so perhaps others rounded the corner and have seen the vast benefits of fog/or edge computing.

Fog computing allows us to do things at the edge of a network, processing things locally. It also has a better response time, than sensors working directly with the cloud. Industrial IoT solutions demand that problems be detected in milliseconds – not seconds, minutes, or even days! While it sounds easy enough, the reality is that fog architecture is very complicated.

Interestingly enough, the demand to distribute IoT workloads, has given rise to some big names entering into “the fog”. Our neighbor Dell, recently introduced purpose built IoT gateways that run on Microsoft’s new Windows 10 OS. Furthermore, Dell and Microsoft are both a few of the founding members of the OpenFog Consortium. Additionally, the OpenFog Consortium recently pledged to work with existing industry bodies such as OCF. You can find out more about them here http://www.openfogconsortium.org/

The fog is sure to be something more will be talking about this year. Personally, I think it will be bigger than the cloud, and I can’t wait to see where IoT and the fog takes the elevator industry!