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Fog computing is a term for an alternative to cloud computing that puts some kinds of transactions and resources at the edge of a network, rather than establishing channels for cloud storage and utilization. Proponents of fog computing argue that it can reduce the need for bandwidth by not sending every bit of information over cloud channels, and instead aggregating it at certain access points, such as routers. This allows for a more strategic compilation of data that may not be needed in cloud storage right away, if at all. By using this kind of distributed strategy, project managers can lower costs and improve efficiencies.
Cisco describes this cloud computing design as "resulting in superior user experience" and using "wide geographical distribution" to handle real-time big data sets. For example, some experts use the example of a high performance piece of equipment that generates a lot of data about its performance and use. When this data does not need to be sent to the cloud, it can be sent to fog computing systems that will aggregate it somewhere near the edge of the network. Fog computing also has particular applications related to the internet of things (IoT), which describes systems in which more and more appliances and pieces of equipment are connected to the global internet.