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“Smart Droplet”: an enabler for Fog networks

“Smart Droplet”: an enabler for Fog networks
Funding Agency: 
Amount of Fund: 
LE 130,000
Start date: 
Thu, 01/01/2015
Team Members
Principal Investigator: 
Members From Department: 
Other Members: 

Yasser Amer
Mohammed AboBakr

Project duration: 
2015 - 16
Submission Date: 
Thu, 01/01/2015
List of Specific Project Objectives: 

Few inter-related buzz words have emerged in the last few years. Internet of Things (IoT) represents a technology that covers the connectivity of billions of (things) to the Internet. Due to the humongous amount of data that will be generated from these things, the term (Big Data analytics) has evolved. This domain addresses the techniques and algorithms required to find statistics, make sense and draw conclusions from the data gathered from the (things). This analysis needs a large processing power and, most of the time, cannot be done using the processing power of the connected things. Therefore, (Cloud Computing) concept has emerged to allow remotely storing and processing of the data. A cloud is a set of remote servers that collectively have huge processing and storage capabilities. Users and things can temporary use part of the cloud’s processing power to do certain task, and then releases it. Although the Cloud concept has been used in many applications for remote file storing and for remote processing, it introduced a major connectivity challenge. This is due to the centralized nature of the cloud. The cloud servers are located only in few places on earth. Therefore, there is a large connectivity overhead each time a user or a thing requires to access a file, or to do a processing task. Hence, using Clouds to do every task for IoT applications is not practical.
Due to this connectivity challenge, the concept of Fog networks has started to emerge. Fog networks main objective is to push the processing and the storage into the edge, instead of the cloud. The processing can be done cooperatively on mobiles, however, this is not really practical as mobiles have limited processing and storage power. A variation is to do the processing on (Cloudlets), which are a smaller in size clouds that are more distributed around the earth. This concept is similar to the concept of Content Distribution Networks (CDNs) used for video streaming applications, where frequently used videos in a certain region are cached in servers close to that region in order to avoid large connectivity overhead. Although this concept can be used by big corporations that can afford buying cloudlets, or dealing with CDNs, it cannot be used by individual consumers.
To bridge this gap, and to really push the storage and the computation to the “edge” of the network, we propose the development of a “Smart Droplet” concept in this proposal. A “Smart Droplet” is a smart gateway that has processing and storage capabilities located at the edge of the network. The Droplets are static most of the time, and they rarely go to sleep mode . A Fog network will consist of a large number of Smart Droplets. Each Smart Droplet can do the following: (1) do processing and data storage for the (things) that are directly connected to it, (2) use part of its processing power and data storage capabilities to serve other users, and (3) connect to other Droplets to make a wireless Fog.
The main objective of this proposal is to develop the concept of “Smart Droplet” by building a proof of concept prototype of the “Smart Droplet”. The proposal defines an initial version of Smart Droplet will be, and will develop three prototypes of Droplets.
The prototypes will be used to show how the Smart Droplets can be used to work as (1) IoT enabler by showing how it can be used for home security, (2) Video offloading, by showing how it can be easily programmed to offload video content and later viewing it on users’ handsets with no pauses or delays, and (3) a wireless Fog, to show how multiple Droplets will form a wireless Fog that will enhance the quality of experience of users.
The prototype developed in this proposal will be used to address different Internet Service Providers. This Droplet will be extended in the future to be a smart DSL router. So instead of having the currently available DSL router that can only provide internet to the end users, ISPs can use these smart Droplet to both provide internet access to the users, and provide other services in the field of IoT. This is important for the ISPs because the profit margins for the connectivity supplying is decreasing, and they need to extend their business to upper layers.