Fog Computing and IoT, the Future of the Cloud

Whether you’ve used it for work or personal use, chances are you have stored data in the cloud. The average company uses about 1,427 cloud-based services, according to Skyhigh Networks. Electronics with an internet connection can send volumes and different varieties of data to the cloud. Making sure that data is protected as it is sent to the cloud is the focus of a newer concept coined by Cisco as fog computing—also known as edge computing.

The fog is an extension of the cloud that provides security to real-time data produced in the Internet of Things (IoT) devices, including routers, mobile devices, IP video cameras, switches, controllers, servers, surveillance cams, computer chips and set top boxes. First National Technology Solutions (FNTS) specializes in the best of breed cloud technology and data center services and has the ability to support fog solutions. FNTS partners with respected companies like Cisco, EMC and IBM, which currently offer tools to facilitate fog computing. The fog, which consumes less time and bandwidth than the cloud, monitors and analyzes data close to where it was generated and then determines if the data should stay in the fog or be transmitted to the cloud or other centralized locations. The fog analyzes data faster than the cloud, which speeds up business processes and response times.

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Fog computing is most prevalent in environments where a lot of processing power is required. It is a faster alternative to carrying the traffic across a core network. For example, on a second by second basis, you may be polling tens of millions of IoT devices—the fog is the ideal solution for workloads that require raw processing power. The data is processed on the edge of the network with a number of fast devices, while other data and business intelligence applications move on to the cloud. The edge devices handle the majority of the day-to-day interaction with IoT devices without adding needless congestion to the network core.

The fog is being used in several industries as way to increase security and make services more efficient. Fog computing allows companies to monitor their equipment in real-time so they can detect issues instantly and perform maintenance. The fog also allows companies to initiate actions faster, whether it’s locking a door, turning on lights or sounding an alarm. The data is processed at the source so it isn’t sent back and forth to a data center. Data that is time sensitive can be sent to the fog in real-time so it can be controlled and action can be initiated within a millisecond. Data that isn’t time sensitive can be sent to the cloud, which analyzes and stores the data long- term.


According to Cisco, by 2020, an estimated 50 billion “things” will be connected to the internet. Massive quantities of big data from that amount of devices would require vast amounts of bandwidth to move to the cloud where it is stored. The fog provides benefits to businesses because employees can work more quickly while also keeping their data secure before, during and after it migrates to the cloud. The less distance that data has to travel, the more secure it is. The fog also has cost benefits. Using it conserves less bandwidth which also can free up the network for other uses and prevent failures and delays since there is less data movement in the network.

As managers and IT teams work to make their business operations more efficient, they’ll leverage the fog and its benefits. The fog is the future of cloud computing, and there are opportunities to grow and expand fog solutions at FNTS.

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Software Offers Second Layer of IT Security: Keep Apps & Services Safe

Storing apps and services in the cloud is a growing trend for businesses, and keeping that information secure is becoming easier to do with a new service that acts as a gatekeeper, which can extend a company’s security policies outside of their own infrastructure.

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How to Save Green and Make the Digital Transformation

Maintaining a competitive edge is important in today’s technology environment. Organizations can lose out to competitors if they fail to keep up with advances in technology. According to a recent report by the International Data Corporation (IDC), by 2020, 50 percent of the world’s top businesses, known as the Global 2000, will see the majority of their business depend on their ability to create digitally-enhanced products, services and experiences. IDC predicts that worldwide investment in digital transformation initiatives will reach $2.2 trillion in 2019, almost 60 percent more than in 2016.

The Metropolitan Utilities District plans to save at least $6 million over the next 10 years by moving most of its internal data center operations to the cloud.  >>Read more 


Since there is more pressure on companies to decrease expenses—while simultaneously trying to bolster productivity and revenue—it has never been more important for them to find smart and affordable IT solutions to facilitate the digital transformation. Digital transformation means leveraging the opportunities that come with new technology and optimizing them to grow a business and make it more efficient.

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Creating Mobile Apps: Learn How To Get It Right The First Time

Is your business thinking about taking on a mobile development project? Mobile apps can make or break a business in the digital world. Before investing the time and money, there are several things for developers to take into consideration to get the most out of their app and to get the development right the first time.

First National Technology Solutions (FNTS), headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, offers cost-effective cloud services to businesses that are interested in deploying mobile applications. In business for more than 20 years, FNTS is a leading provider of flexible, customized hosted and remote management services to companies nationwide.

Mobile device users may never get a perfect customer experience when using apps because content that may look great on iOS may look terrible on an Android device. Since there is such a wide variety of pixel counts, screen sizes and functionality, mobile developers start off by trying to accommodate too many variations, or not enough. Developers typically target the top four to five mobile devices and versions they want their app to be compatible with.

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Managing Unstructured Data


The business of unstructured data: effectively store and managed large amounts of data.

In a typical organization, 80% of data is in an unstructured form; meaning it either does not have a predefined data model or it is not organized in a predefined manner (i.e. database or application).

With data sprawl increasing and big data  there are optimal solutions for managing and storing this data in an effective manner.

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FNTS Expands Cloud Services With Public Cloud Solution

First National Technology Solutions (FNTS), is excited to announce the addition of Microsoft Azure public cloud to its growing list of cloud computing services.  As IT demands continue to shift across all industries, FNTS is dedicated to meeting the needs of individual enterprises today and aligning with their strategic growth plans for the future.  The addition of Microsoft Azure serves to validate our mission of helping customers stay on the cutting edge of technology adoption and usage.

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Quick Tip: Office 365 Migration Success

Many companies, regardless of size, are migrating to Office 365 for a variety of reasons - to support a mobile workforce, address security concerns, provide collaboration solutions and lower support costs with an always up to date application model.  Here are a few things to keep in mind as you begin your migration to the Microsoft Office 365 application.

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Failures, Outages, Downtime

Whether human error, natural disaster or hardware failure; outages and downtime can leave a lasting mark on technology providers and customers involved.  When an outage occurs on a large scale it gathers the attention and even empathy from many in the IT business.  See how the IT industry reacts to one of the most recent nationwide outages in this recap from IT Jungle.  https://www.itjungle.com/2017/03/06/ibm-cloud-providers-react-amazon-s3-outage/ 

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Business is better with Office 365

Last week FNTS announced the addition of Microsoft Office 365 to its cloud services offering.  With FNTS and Microsoft Office 365, organizations can work smarter and faster from any device, anywhere, any time.

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FNTS Partners with EMC to Deliver Cloud Object Storage

New Offering Allows FNTS Enterprise Customers to Scale to Billions of Files with Unlimited Capacity

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Pokémon GO: collecting pocket monsters and problems

The Pokémon GO app has gone absolutely viral, and is now the biggest mobile game in US history. As of writing this article, the app tops the charts in downloads in both the App Store, and Google Play, and that’s with just the United States, Australia and New Zealand marketplaces. Not only has the app seen success in downloads, but Nintendo’s stock price also rose 25% the first week. The kid in me loves the app, but as an employee at a technology solutions company, I realize some of the app’s problems can no longer be solved by simply blowing air into a game cartridge like previous Pokémon games.

With all this rampant success and demand for the game, it only makes sense that some issues will arise. One particularly frustrating error was inability to access the game itself due to server connectivity issues. Niantic, the company which developed the app, released the following statement regarding the issue:

“Due to the incredible number of Pokémon GO downloads, some Trainers are experiencing server connectivity issues. Don’t worry, our team is on it!”

A possible solution to this highly demanded server? According to a Network World article, the answer may just lie in cloud technology. Specifically an IaaS cloud computing platform which is ideal for viral workloads with spikes in traffic could be the solution to the server woes.

Whether IaaS is the solution to the server issues remains to be seen, what is very apparent however, is that these issues will need to be improved if they want continued success. Simply, it will be quite impossible to “catch ‘em all,” if you can’t connect at all.

Even more concerning than server problems however, are the privacy issues that have been brought to public view. iPhone users playing with a Google account were unknowingly agreeing to grant Niantic full account access. While the app couldn’t change passwords, delete accounts, or make Google Wallet payments, it was able to see the contents of Gmail, Google Docs, Google Drive and Google Calendar. An update was released to resolve this issue, but the damage has perhaps already been done.

Besides these main problems, there have also been complaints of distorted audio, heavy battery usage and temporary resets. The pressure is certainly on Niantic to resolve these issues.

While there have certainly been issues, the Pokemon fan base patiently waits for improvements to the app that brings their beloved Pocket monsters to life. As for this trainer, I need to go, I think I see a Nidoran. “Gotta Catch em all.”

 

Sites referenced:

Apple Insider

Niantic Labs

Network World

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Cloud Myths Uncovered

A widely held but false belief or idea, otherwise known as a myth.  Even though myths are untrue they are sometimes the hardest believe to dispel and prove wrong.  As the evolution of cloud technology has grown into the IT phenomenon it is today many myths have come to fruition, and here are a few. 

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First National Technology Introduces Mobile Application

First National Technology Solutions (FNTS) has released the FNTS Portal, mobile application, announced James O’Neil, chief technology officer.  The app is available now in the Google Play and App Store.  “Businesses today want to be able to access their technology from anywhere, from any device, with the same user experience as if they were sitting behind their desks,” O’Neil said.  “The FNTS Portal was designed to give our customers access to monitor and administer key elements of their IT environment from Android and iOS devices.”
    

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Learning About Cloud Solutions

As a Sales Support Associate in First National Technology Solutions (FNTS), I feel it is my responsibility to understand fully the ever—evolving technology solutions we offer.   I spend time reading white papers, surfing the Internet, listening to my co-workers, and personally find exceptional value in video.  
 
FNTS has offered Cloud Solutions for some time; however, recently we added a Cloud Solutions video to our website.  Watching the video has provided greater understanding to me.  For example, I have always understood FNTS offers a Cloud Solution for the Windows, Linux, Unix and iSeries Operating System, but never realized we also offer a Cloud Solution for Mainframe.    
 
This Cloud Solutions video clip provides an overview of cloud technology and services offered by FNTS.   I work closely with the “Personal Cloud Strategists” at FNTS, and I look forward to expanding my knowledge of the products we offer in our commitment to serve you.   

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Self-Provisioning, what does it mean for you?

A key characteristic First National Technology Solutions (FNTS) prides itself on is the flexibility available to customers. This quality is particularly demonstrated in a project Vice President of Sales, Kim Whittaker is involved in: offering cloud self-provisioning.

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