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Fog Computing: Bringing Cloud Capabilities Down to Earth

When we think of “cloud” we think of a vast collection of compute, network, and storage capabilities that resides somewhere high above us—a massive repository of functionality that can be accessed from anywhere and any device with enough bandwidth to handle the data flow.

With practically unlimited power and scalability, cloud technology has been a key enabler of the Internet. But the Internet of Things (IoT) demands something more. IoT is a broad collection of sensors, cameras, smartphones, computers, and machines—all connected to and communicating with applications, websites, social media, and other devices. To maximize value, much of the data generated by these “things” must be processed and analyzed in real time. For example, sensors and cameras in and around a large retail store may continuously collect data about customer volume and traffic flow. The store can derive some value from all this data by sending it back to the cloud to analyze long-term trends. But the value is multiplied if the system can process the data locally, in real time, and then act on it immediately by sending more cashiers to the check-out line just before a surge in customer traffic.

This sort of real-time, high-bandwidth application requires a new distributed cloud model that brings cloud networking, compute, and storage capabilities down to earth—to the very edge of the network. My friend Flavio Bonomi has worked tirelessly with both academia and other industry partners to advance the concept of fog, inspired by the way the San Francisco fog extends the cloud to the ground. Fog computing creates a platform—what we call a fog node—that provides a layer of compute, storage, and networking services between end devices “on the ground” and cloud computing data centers. Fog is not a separate architecture; it merely extends the existing cloud architecture to the edge of the network—as close to the source of the data as possible—to enable real-time data processing and analytics. Read More »

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IoE and Managing Assets in Motion: Making Better, Smarter, Faster Organizations

The Internet of Everything (IoE) is connecting everything everywhere — on the land, in the air, and even on the sea. Cisco recently helped a competitive yacht crew win regattas using the IoE to provide the competitive edge. The vessel was outfitted with an IoE ruggedized platform combining boat sensor data; GPS, wind, and weather information; and a local Wi-Fi network to help the crew make critical decisions almost instantaneously.

Tony Shakib Blog Pic

I’m particularly excited about this implementation of Cisco’s Mobile Asset Management. The program highlights our ability to connect data from billions of things so people can make smarter decisions about how to live, work, and play. This is a perfect example of the immense power of the IoE to solve real-world problems through connectivity, insightful data and analytics.

The most impressive attribute of the Mobile Asset Management Suite is that it applies to all industries. It helps customers identify, track, control, monitor, and secure IT and non-IT assets across buildings, remote sites, retail locations, manufacturing facilities, and more.

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IoE Innovation Hinges on Hyper Collaboration

Once upon a time, the world’s greatest inventions always seemed to come from individual geniuses locked in a room day and night on their own.  We often think of Alexander Graham Bell inventing the telephone by himself, Thomas Edison inventing the light bulb solo or Johannes Gutenberg working mostly alone to develop a mold that led to the first printing press.

Alex G Blog Pic 1Solo inventors will always play pivotal roles in developing “the next big thing” even as we we’re half way through the second decade of the 21st century.  Think Mark Zuckerberg masterminding Facebook  on his own in his dorm room at Harvard.

More and more, however, we’re discovering that in today’s Internet of Everything world, where complex technologies increasingly connect and converge, innovation hinges on all types of hyper collaborations.  Today, innovation requires open interaction among businesses, universities, startups, incubators, developers and others.  Now, collaboration makes innovation happen! Read More »

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#InternetOfEverything Accelerates Critical “Air Care” for CALSTAR

I’ve been blogging a lot lately about how smart organizations in all industries need to embrace a digital transformation in order to innovate and compete at the blistering pace of the Internet’s next wave—the Internet of Everything (IoE). The pace of digital disruption is affecting the transportation industry in significant ways. The IoE is driving safety, mobility and efficiency efforts across the industry. And, while streamlining operations is critical to the success of any agency, it’s even more important when inefficiency can mean the difference between life and death.

The California Shock Trauma Air Rescue’s (CALSTAR) is an example of an organization that is driving its own disruption by embracing Internet of Things (IoT) innovation. Operational efficiency is vital to CALSTAR and seamless communication between hospitals, medical personnel, flying crews and CALSTAR dispatchers is something the company has also always envisioned. When the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) updated its operational control guidance for air ambulatory operators, CALSTAR re-examined its own air-to-ground communication systems. They saw this as an opportunity to not only comply with FAA changes, but to ensure that transportation was the only concern its flight crews had to consider when transporting patients.

Digital Transformation in Transportation from Cisco Business Insights

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New Citizen Services in Kansas City Enabled by Mobile and Cloud

Today’s digital organization relies on information gathered across the network and out to the individual – from customers to employees to citizens.  Whether your user is a commuter looking for a train schedule or a tourist using a retail app, Cisco’s Connected Experiences software lets you gather data on that interaction, analyze the findings, and respond in real time. With this ability to connect to each person, in any location, you provide a new level of intimacy with users while gathering data that will shape those relationships into the future.

Kansas City brings this vision to life through its new captive portal powered by Cisco Enterprise Mobility Services Platform (EMSP). Using EMSP, Kansas City will create urban social apps that allow citizens to report on issues in real time, making city problems more visible and leading to faster resolution.  Users can also access content and context-aware data and location-based services to help navigate their way through shopping and sightseeing. Read More »

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