My first part about networking skills for the Internet of Things covered different fields of required knowledge („skills gap“). This part lists specific seminar topics to be covered in seminars on networks for the Internet of Things (IoT).
Different Fields of IoT Network Knowledge
Different tasks of employees require different fields of knowledge and different knowledge depth.
A few examples:
A sales person needs overviews of different networking technologies but no protocol-specific details. A service engineer has to be able to perform simple protocol analysis, must understand standard communication scenarios and distinguish between regular and misbehaviour. Detailed programming knowledge of software interfaces for networks is not required.
A 2rd or 3rd level support engineer or a system developer requires comprehensive knowledge of protocols down to bit level and need a comprehensive general knowledge to understand the context of complex IoT solutions.
Find examples of general training topics for your IoT or Office IT employees in my Slideshare presentation:
Following IoT Networking Topics are important
Basics in Networking Technology
Your employees should understand general tasks of networks independent of their specific use.
Features, services and functions of networks in office, industry, connected vehicles, laboratory, security area and much more have to be understood.
Your employees should be familiar with the general networking requirements of office, IoT and other network applications.
Knowledge of networking and cabling technologies like physical signal transmission technologies, media access control procedures or cable types, their characteristics, connector types and much more is important.
IoT solutions use different protocols. Your employees need an understanding of required protocols and their tasks.
Networking elements, their tasks and position within the network have to be known.
Networking security is a must in any training effort.
A network consists of different elements. Your employees should understand the different tasks of passive and active networking elements.
What is a Repeater / Media Converter? How to overcome certain limits? Are there any configuration rules to be considered?
What tasks perform bridges? How to overcome broken links?
What are the differences between switches and bridges? What switch types use what protocols? What is a virtual LAN? What are the differences between office and industrial switches?
What is a router? What types of routers are available? What are the differences between switches and routers? What is a routing protocol used for? Are there specific routing protocols for the Internet of Things?
What is a Gateway? Is it useful to integrate office and IoT networks via gateways?
An IoT solution often consists of embedded sensors and actuators. Very often these devices are mobile and therefore require radio technology for data communication. Knowledge of radio technologies is very important. Management tasks like software updates of actuators, status monitoring and similar tasks play an important rule.
What types of mobile devices are available?
What radio interfaces and radio access and transmission technologies are supported by your solution (e.g. WLAN, BlueTooth™, UMTS, LTE, 5G and different other application-specific interfaces)?
How to integrate IoT and office networks?
What mobile operators or service providers offer IoT-specific services? What services are required or already in use within your enterprise?
How can you protect your mobile devices, apps, data and users?
How to manage mobile devices, apps, data and users?
The abilities to communicate mainly depends on the protocols in use. Understanding protocol characteristics, mechanisms, services and troubleshooting is very important.
A basic understanding of the Open System Interconnection (OSI) basic reference model specified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is mandatory.
Understanding different requirements of wired communication in office and IoT networks. Where is real-time communication required and how can it be implemented? Welche Voraussetzungen sind dafür im Netzwerk zu schaffen?
Physical and Media Access Control (MAC) layers:
What profound knowledge is required of wireline technologies (e.g. office and real-time Ethernet, application-specific physical and Media Access Control (MAC) communication)?
What profound knowledge is required of wireless or radio technologies (e.g. radio basics, antenna technology, WLAN, BlueTooth™, UMTS, LTE, 5G, application-specific radio technologies)?
Do you need to know details of network and transport layer protocols (TCP/IP including IPv4, IPv6, application-specific network layer protocols)?
Is it important to understand redundancy protocols (like Spanning Tree, IP routing, low-power lossy network routing)?
What application layer protocols are in use in your solution? What protocols should be understood (e.g. name and address management, element management, performance management, IoT-specific protocols, mailing, file transfer, web,…)?
Security of IoT solutions is often ignored due to a lack of security awareness although it is very important to protect IoT solutions from cyber threats or espionage.
Therefore your employees should also know following topics:
Security issues and concerns, what security concepts and standards have to be considered? What is security by design and how can it be implemented?
What are the typical threats in IoT and office environments?
What authentication and encryption methods and standards are specified? How to implement these methods and standards?
How to “activate” security in protocols?
What security features and functions are already embedded in network elements and how can they be used?
What are specific security elements and how can they be used (endpoint security, security elements like proxies and firewalls, security management)?
What specific security elements and features are required in your IoT solution?
What topics are important to you? What trainings are you missing? I appreciate your comments!
Don´t miss any new blog post and register to Ronald Schlager´s Blog Newsletter.
About the Author:
Ronald Schlager is an independent trainer, consultant, book author and blogger about communications technologies and their applications.
Ronald Schlager´s Profiles: