Documenting the Coming Singularity

Sunday, February 17, 2013

So What Comes After the Cloud? Try the Fog

ieee spectrum - 2.8.13 by Tekla Perry

When a Symform customer uploads a file to the fog, Symform’s software replicates it for redundancy, shreds it into tiny pieces, encrypts each piece, and then distributes it to other Symform customers around the continent or multiple continents.
The world has embraced the cloud. What’s not to like? Startups can grow rapidly without investing in racks of computers, companies can back up data easily, consumers can travel light and still have access to their huge photo libraries and other personal files.

Back in October, however, real clouds clashed with metaphorical clouds when Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath took down some key data centers in New York and New Jersey; a serious problem for businesses who had their main servers in New York and their backup servers in nearby New Jersey. Commercial cloud service providers, for the most part, did pretty well; perhaps because some of the largest data centers, like Amazon’s northern Virginia server farm, were not in the disaster zone. But Sandy certainly reminded cloud service providers that redundant files have to be separated by more than a couple of racks, or even a couple of miles.

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