Spectrum Logo
A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

CNS liaisons' roles clarified

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 15 - December 8, 1994

As the university continues to migrate computer operations from the mainframes to a distributed systems environment, network liaisons (NL's) have become increasingly vital to the success of this transition. Similarly, when the university installed its own voice and data switch, Communications Network Services (CNS) requested that colleges and departments identify a communications liaison to act as their point of contact to submit orders, discuss needs with CNS systems designers and to disseminate telecommunications information.

It has been brought to our attention that differences in the roles of the communications liaison and the network liaison should be clarified. While the communications and network liaisons have similar types of responsibilities, separate and unique tasks identify each role.

The primary role of the network liaison is to coordinate a college's or department's computer networking needs with CNS, the university's network-management group. Network liaisons disseminate networking information, posted by CNS on the VT-DNET listserv, to local users who need it. Additionally, NL's are responsible for tracking the services they have requested. For instance, Ethernet applications require an IP address. The network liaison orders the IP address from hostmaster@vt.edu, then registers the host name. When the registration is complete, the network liaison keeps a record of the IP address and who it is assigned to.

Communications liaisons are responsible for ordering voice, data (CBX or 10BaseT), and video connections. They submit Telecommunications Service Requests (TSR's) to CNS to have phones and connections installed, moved, or disconnected.

Although the network and communications liaison functions may be independent of each other, in many cases, they are handled by the same person. The decision is made by the college or department.

For more information, please contact CNS Customer Support at 1-6460. We appreciate your support for the continued improvement of our telecommunications facilities and their university-wide administration.