Networking advancements take place in a context of advancements that occur throughout the computing industry including adavancements in CPUs, hardware, software, storage, memory, and systems. Networking can not be treated as a standalone technology, nor should it be treated as standalone function in the organization. Therefore, it's vital that networking remain immersed in the technological milieu provided by CISL.
Networking is not just some cables and some network-equipment. Networking is tightly woven into the entire computing infrastucture and network engineers have to have a working knowlege of the network applications and of the network hardware and software of the attached computers. Network engineers function best when immersed in an environment, such as CISL, that provides support for all such related computing components.
NETS is also involved with many more activities besides just UCAR networking. NETS provides specialized networking support for CISL's supercomputing needs, as well as extensive testbed activities, supported by CISL, involving advanced high-speed networking with high-speed servers. NETS is also extensively involved with national networking research initiatives such as Internet2/Abilene and NSF's vBNS. Such advanced research activities are vital to maintaining NETS's currency and knowledge of the networking field. Such research activities are best undertaken in an organization such as CISL that is routinely involved in both support and research functions.
It's also important that management in the reporting structure have a strong background in computing technology and be focused specifically on such technology. CISL has historically provided such management, and there is every expectation that this experience will continue.
Additionally, in most U.S. institutions of higher learning, campus networking support and computing support are provided from the same organization.