We are seeing an almost unstoppable proliferation of wearable computing (smart watches), smart devices (smart meters, smart city, smart cars), large-scale wireless sensor networks and Internet of Things (IoT, also known as Internet of Everything or Internet of People or Internet). These smart devices lead to development of value-added smart services using cloud and fog computing. Compared to cloud computing, fog computing presents a number of potential advantages which are complementary to those of the cloud, including real time processing, privacy of data storage and analysis, a collaborative and federated access to devices in near proximity, as well as new market opportunities with rapid innovation possibilities. The increasing usage of both paradigms in tandem has offered unprecedented opportunities to develop new applications and architectural concepts that were not possible before.
The mF2C project addresses the need for an open and coordinated managing of fog and cloud computing systems. We investigate an architectural approach to address the management of fog to cloud (F2C) computing systems. Currently fog and cloud are separate areas; F2C will create an open ecosystem that joins efforts and research in both areas, with the overall yield larger than the sum of the individual parts. We define a Fog-to-Cloud (F2C) computing system as an open ecosystem of networked data centres, cloud and multi-cloud deployments (heterogeneous, federated) and distributed, real-time and mobile computing applications including those involving Internet of Things (IoT), micro-clouds and cloudlets, smart end-user devices, as well as wearables and sensors/actuators. The proposed research will address many detailed technical problems at the intersection of fog computing and cloud computing, with a unifying objective of coordinated, open, secure, decentralized and extensible management. Starting from centralization as the dominant theme of cloud computing today, over to the various and distributed hierarchies of fog computing systems (cloudlets, sensors, smaller-scale edge clouds), we tackle the fundamental issues of application end-to-end latency, cloud reachability, processing and storage offloading, privacy, trust, cooperation and incentives for new services and markets. As such the objectives proposed are expected to lead to the deployment of innovative, highly rewarding services, in areas such as e-health, real-time navigation, critical infrastructure control, and next generation manufacturing.