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March 2016 Vol 7 / No. 3

Without robust networks, innovative IoT use cases go nowhere

Behind every great application is a great network, and this is especially true for the Internet of Things. Its futuristic use cases often sound like something out of a science-fiction movie, and it takes a fast, reliable and secure network to bring them to life.

In this issue of Network Evolution, we take a look at four organizations with innovative IoT use cases that combine intelligence with automation, such as the city of Los Angeles' plan to use its network to automatically shut off residents' natural gas lines in the event of an earthquake. On the opposite coast, Boston Medical Center has employed IoT technologies in its maternity ward, where nurses in the neonatal intensive care unit automatically get alerts if sensors detect sudden changes in their young patients' vital signs.

IoT use cases like these can't happen without a resilient, high-performance wireless LAN that's backed by an equally strong wired network. In this issue, IT pros share how IoT use cases have influenced their network designs and deployments, including where they place access points and how they manage the bandwidth used by connected devices.

Also in this issue, we take a critical look at network automation tools to see whether they're able to fulfill everything that they promise. Finally, we talk to former network engineers who have climbed the career ladder to become network architects. We dive into what you need to know about taking the plunge, what skills to buff up on and how much of a salary bump you can expect.

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