Cisco Blogs

Fog – A Clear Vision

- October 14, 2014 - 0 Comments

This week at the Internet of Things World Forum we are challenging the industry to accelerate the adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT). IoT leverages many ‘off the shelf’ technologies but also has some unique requirements, which must be met. How do we make sure that the right critical information is being processed while conserving bandwidth and having a resilient network? Here at Cisco, “fog computing” is a clear technology vision, with the means to provide greater visibility and control- having the network and applications process the critical data in concert with the cloud. With today’s announcement at IoT World Forum, Cisco continues to deliver on its vision for fog computing with an increase in the number of platforms supporting Cisco IOx and the addition of application management capabilities.

Earlier this year we announced the availability of Cisco IOx, as part of the Cisco Fog portfolio of technologies. Cisco IOx allows customers and solution providers across all industries to develop, manage and run software applications directly on Cisco industrial networked-devices, including hardened routers, switches, and other devices. We have seen tremendous market traction of Cisco IOx in the last few months along with the accelerating IoT market growth. As IoT transitions from early adoption to wide deployment, Cisco IOx is enabling solutions providers across many industries to create innovative software solutions. Today’s announcement of the second phase of the IOx platform builds on the continuing momentum of Cisco’s vision for Fog computing.

This update comes at a time when Cisco IOx is gaining traction with our technology partners and our customers. This momentum not only shows that IoT is permeating various industrial markets, but that Cisco is tackling it in a way that customers and partners approve of. For example, Tieto, the largest IT services company in the Nordic countries, utilized IOx to create an application that helps various industries – manufacturing to healthcare to energy – to take advantage of machine-generated data and derive more value from their existing networks. In Northern Europe and Scandinavia, heavy machinery engineering and manufacturing is an important industry. Tieto, with the help of Cisco’s IOx, is able to turn this machinery into endpoints for the network; making them not just physically useful, but also a digital asset. Their customers have reacted positively to the application, with Tieto announcing that it will “actively team with other market-leading solution providers to create an agile worldwide Internet of Everything ecosystem.”

Tieto isn’t alone in looking to Cisco IOx as an innovative platform for their applications. Industrial networks are constantly looking to accelerate and automate the decision-making process, and IOx brings the network visibility to do just that. IOx, for many of our customers, leads directly to improved efficiency.  Big-name companies like GE, Itron and SAP have developed solutions utilizing IOx, focused on industries like transportation, oil & gas, mining or construction. Start-ups are getting into the mix as well, recognizing fog computing as a major business opportunity. BitStew created a distribution and substation management application, providing real-time insight to utility companies. Davra Networks developed a system to monitor school bus fleets. OSISoft is using IOx as a platform for its meter automation application for the oil & gas industries. We are constantly amazed at the organic growth we’re seeing with fog computing, and we are excited about the applications our partners are developing.

Today’s announcement is significant for a number of reasons:

  1. Cisco is rolling out IOx to more of its own platforms, which expands the number of use cases.  In addition to the Cisco Connected Grid Routers, CGR1120 and CGR1240, Cisco added IOx support to 16 other Cisco platforms, including the C819, C88x, C89x routers.
  2. Cisco is adding the capability to better manage and integrate applications. These updates allow us to provide appropriate solutions to keep pace with the rapid growth of IoT.

As the market continues to adopt IoT solutions at a rapid rate, Cisco’s newly supported platforms and Application Management module allow our partners and customers to stay ahead. We want to make sure that if a partner has an idea for an industrial application, we have the platform to easily deploy, manage and support it.

Cisco’s fog computing strategy goes beyond IOx as well. Announced alongside the IOx updates today, Cisco’s Internet of Everything Services Suite – made up of software, services and solutions that take IoT data and create automated business processes and contextual interfaces – takes advantage of the insights offered through fog computing.

The next three days at IoT World Forum will be interesting for us, as we hear from various partners and customers about their expectations for IoT solutions. We are excited about the next phase of IoT, and are doing our part to make sure our partners and customers are well-equipped to initiate true business transformation.

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