Research Implications for Networking

Project Description

The movement of research data has become a stronger driver in the design and architecture of institutional networks. However, researchers and research silos don’t really have a clear idea of what networking is and why they should be paying attention to it. Researchers can no longer just use the network like a utility. They must be savvier about understanding and conveying their needs and when to ask for special accommodations. At the same time, IT needs to better understand research networking needs when designing and operating campus networks and work closely with researchers to enable them to easily make network requests.  

This working group will explore:

  • What research networks are used for and understanding the drivers for them

  • How IT can work with researchers to help them determine what their networking needs are

  • Where research and enterprise networks diverge and how they work together

  • Change in working practices, including support issues for research networks and the evolution of skill sets

  • Networking implications of SDN, virtual networking, and doing research in the cloud

Who Should Participate

IT support and networking staff, research computing staff, and researchers. Ideally, working group staff participants will be able to partner locally with researchers who are actively engaging networks in order to inform this project and provide illustrative use cases.


IT and research computing staff who support researchers. It will be incumbent on the audience of this paper to inform researchers on why networking is important.


  • Product: Short White Paper (~8-10 pages)


  • February-March 2017: Finalize project description; recruit working group chairs/members (if necessary)

  • March 2017: Project kick-off call; homework

  • April 2017: Project outline completed

  • May 2017: Initial drafting

  • June 2017: First draft complete; review locally with research colleagues

  • July 2017: Edits based on feedback

    July 2017: Edits based on feedback; final draft complete
  • August 2017: Publish

Call for Participation

This project is just getting started. Group members are being recruited; if you'd like to participate, please let us know. Working groups typically include 12-15 members; for more on the formation process, visit the ECAR Working Groups Governance.

Send questions or expressions of interest to:

Related Resources

EDUCAUSE Constituent Group: Research Computing