iot fogA new term (at least to me) has emerged that is being used in conjunction with the IoT. We've discussed the Internet of Things a few times and I've even suggested that the technology behind IoT could supplant RFID. One issue with managing the thousands or hundreds of thousands of items that will eventually populate this new category is the volume of digital chatter that will crowd the existing network infrastructure and the Cloud. 

This new term "Fog" is a way of looking at the IoT traffic as a separate set of data traffic. And I agree that this segmentation is - or at least will be - important to the maintenance of digital sanity. Imagine a DC the size of a Walmart or Amazon with millions of data beacons in one place. It's great that these objects each have their own identity, but the additional traffic is bound to become a nuisance at the very least, as it contends with the rest of the data that runs the business.

The problem is new but it is part of the data infrastructure of existing businesses, and there are opportunities to come up with solutions that avoid the potential problems and at the same time maximize the benefits of the technology. I expect that in a very short time we will begin to see companies offering solutions that have yet to become problems.

Cisco provides networking for a large portion of the Internet and for nearly every Fortune 500 company. From there the company's products trickle down to smaller players and even residential networks. Cisco is offering a total of $250,000 in awards to its current competition winners that come up with ideas for products that leverage the IoT. If you're working on developing applications for your IoT implementations, have a look at their Challenge site here.

If you're just watching along the sidelines along with me, you can check the existing entries here. I'm imagining how the evolution of the IoT will impact and enable full visibility along the supply chain and am anxious to see how this category develops.
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