The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about “fog computing” in which they outline how businesses are dealing with the issue of bandwidth when it comes to managing data in the cloud. With rising amounts of network traffic as more and more devices become network enabled, uploading, downloading and streaming files to and from the cloud can cause massive drags on the network. Add to that the mounting file sizes of many items such as rich content and video to further complicate the issue of network congestion.
To combat this, businesses are employing Content Delivery Network (CDN) edge devices to be the gateway between the cloud and their ground-level, internal networks. This is where the “fog” metaphor comes in. Just like its namesake, fog computing exists in-between the cloud and the concrete. Unlike its namesake, fog computing clears up traffic instead of causing it.
Enterprise video benefits greatly from fog computing. Many companies want to use video, but don’t have the budget or the rack space for dedicated servers to provide video to all employees. On top of that, many globally distributed companies would have to recreate their video knowledge base on every local server in order to maintain consistency for all of their employees. While the cloud provides solutions to these issues in the short-term, high-bitrate video files can cause latency and streaming issues, especially when multiple campuses are attempting to watch the same video at the same time.
Edge devices can take a single stream from the cloud and distribute it locally, which eliminates bandwidth bottleneck issues by taking the streaming workload and handling it locally instead of relying on the cloud. They can also preposition video content if a business is anticipating a high volume of concurrent views all at once, for instance if an executive is addressing the entire enterprise including offsite branches. This reduces any risk of latency or streaming issues by having the content already downloaded and pushed from the edge devices to viewers without relying on a connection to the cloud.
Qumu has developed VideoNet Edge device and works with leading network optimization companies to connect enterprises to video through the cloud and we continue to see a bright and foggy future for enterprise video and the cloud.