A rough guide to your next (or first) fog computing deployment | Virtual Reality

Like any kind of large-scale computing system ever, the short answer to the question “what should my compute look like” is going to be “it varies.” But since that’s not a particularly useful piece of information, Cisco principal engineer and systems architect Chuck Byers gave an overview on Wednesday at the 2018 Fog World Congress of the many variables, both technical and organizational, that go into the design, care and feeding of a fog computing setup.

Byers offered both general tips about the architecture of fog systems, as well as slightly deeper dives into the specific areas that all fog deployments will have to address, including different types of hardware, networking protocols, and security.

Compute options in fog settings

Computation in fog settings often has multiple processor types, so it’s a heterogeneous environment. RISC/CISC CPUs, as made by ARM/Intel, give great single-thread performance and a high degree of programmability. “They’re always going to have an important place in fog networks, and almost every fog node will have at least a couple of cores of that class of CPU,” Byers said.

They’re far from the only options, however. Field-programmable gate arrays can be helpful in use cases where custom datapaths are used to accelerate workloads, and GPUs – as seen most commonly in gaming systems, but also in increasing profusion in the high-performance computing world – are great at handling tasks that need a lot of parallel processing.

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