Stack41 has been delivering what we term “Watershed Computing” solutions for a while now. The term “Fog Computing” was recently coined by Cisco to describe the extension of mission-critical applications close to the network “edge” to overcome the shortcomings of on-site hosting of applications and also the problems of hosting in the Public Cloud.
Access to a fast and available network is key, and by implication rapid access to applications that depend on immediate resource availability and response such as a database to send, process and respond to data in real-time.
The premise of Fog Computing is to deploy “fog nodes”, meaning a computer (anything with storage, compute and bandwidth) in close proximity to the application. While Fog Computing premise for most enterprise applications is impractical, for applications such as autonomous vehicles it makes sense.
Historically, on-site resources have two big advantages over the Public Cloud, namely higher network capacity and lower latency (data travel time). Unfortunately on-site resources eat up available capital, scale poorly, lack redundancy and require an in-house expertise to manage and maintain.
The big four public cloud vendors have the advantage of being able to provide far greater available processing power and storage than an enterprise could ever want, but they will always struggle with available bandwidth and choke on low latency problems. For example, it’s faster to ship large data sets to the Public Cloud vendor on a disk than it is to upload it over a network connection.
Stack41’s strategy is to serve businesses within a 100-mile radius of our data centers. We are their network “edge”, delivering scalability, massive redundant power and Internet bandwidth harnessed to expert technical resources built to overcome all of those roadblocks to productivity.
Ours is a practical solution for businesses to buy what they need, when they need it, while knowing that it will be consistently available. It is the best way to leverage the best performance characteristics of both the cloud and on-site worlds, harnessed to speed, resiliency, bandwidth and scalability to power existing mission-critical applications and also for new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning.