When I saw my first mention of “fog computing” back in March, I laughed, believing it was HBO’s Silicon Valley come to real life. I imagined a group of marketers sitting around the table struggling to come up with a new term that played off cloud computing, but was really just a rebranding of what they already sold (“mist computing?”, “stratosphere computing?”, “smog computing?”). But then a couple weeks ago I came across another article mentioning fog computing. This time the explanation went something like this: IoT… lots of devices… network latency… yada yada yada… fog computing.
I consider myself a reasonably intelligent person, and I will confess to having no idea what the author was talking about. Then this week yet another article passed my desk on fog computing. This article provided a link to the OpenFog consortium (you really can’t make this up), whose founding members are… (wait for it)... Cisco, Intel, ARM, Dell, and Microsoft. If I exempt Microsoft from this list, under an assumption this was the result of a failed hostage negotiation, that leaves me a list of companies that are either… well, either dead or dying.
The good news for the OpenFog consortium is that they are not at risk of the worst marketing initiative of the decade. That distinction remains safely in the hands of Research In Motion, who in 2012 launched a new hashtag promoting jobs at their company (you’ll have to look that one up). But this one is close. Really close.
So please, stop using the term fog computing. It may not cause headaches, internal bleeding or death - but it will definitely make you look bad.