I.T. Times
Volume 2. No 3 Information Technology News of the University of California, Davis Spring 1994

Networking Terminology Infrastructure

Here we look at the roadways. The terms listed below are used to describe the various elements of the electronic highway that channels information from computer to computer.

Internet: The international electronic highway of interconnected networks and individual computers that creates a global community by enabling the exchange of information with anyone in the world with network access. The Internet is the existing information highway.

Network 21: The name used to describe the fiber optic network that will interconnect the Davis campus and provide a high-speed connection to the Internet. In the Network 21 environment, it will be possible to transport data at speeds of 155 megabits per second (though actual throughput will depend on the network attachment method, e.g., AppleTalk, Ethernet, etc.). Network 21 also will facilitate the transmission of video signals to classrooms and other desired locations.

UCDNet: The name used to describe the existing campus network. It consists mainly of coaxial cable, a high-bandwidth medium that transmits data at speeds of less than half the speed of the fiber- optic Network 21.

Fiber Optic: High-bandwidth cable, comprised of thin glass fibers, that will replace the coax cable in the existing campus network. It transmits encoded pulses of light.

Develnet: The switching system at UC Davis that manages the connections between campus computers and terminals, PCs, and workstations. When you attempt a connection to IT-managed systems, the Develnet is the entity that presents the "Request:" prompt.

ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode): A specification for data transportation used on high-speed networks. In the Network 21 environment, ATM Switches will provide the high-speed transfer of data between buildings.

LAN (Local Area Network): Popular in both academic and administrative units, LANs enable departments to share software, printers, files, and other resources by connecting computers with standard cabling. A LAN may have a file server for sharing specific applications, but can also exist without a server. LANs also can provide connection to the campus network, enabling networked departments to exchange electronic mail without need for modems.

Ethernet: A popular protocol for LANs that transports data at speeds of 10 megabits per second over thick and thin coaxial cable, twisted-pair wiring, and fiber optic cable.

10BASE-T Cable: A LAN connection method that permits the transmission of data at speeds of 10 megabits per second on twisted-pair copper wire. This is the preferred LAN configuration option in the Network 21 design, and in most instances, will enable departments to connect existing LANs to the new network without installing new wire.

NAM (Network Access Module): A wall jack where one plugs in a computer or telephone. In the Network 21 environment, an individual will be able to gain network access by plugging their computer into a NAM. Telephones and computers use different types of NAMs.


Here we look at the vehicles. The terms listed here describe the type of equipment you may use to navigate the information highway.

Personal Computer (PC): A desktop computer that houses software programs for personal use. The two standard PC platforms at UC Davis are DOS and Macintosh. In the Network 21 environment, individuals will be able to gain network access by plugging their PC into a NAM.

Workstation: A powerful desktop computer that often acts as a server in a LAN, but which may also be used in stand-alone situations for high-speed and high-volume processing for applications such as statistical number-crunching and scientific visualization.

Terminal: A machine without processing capabilities but one that usually includes a screen display, a keyboard, and an interface to link it to a host computer or network.

10BASE-T Card: Also known as a Network Adapter Card. A computer must have a network adapter card to connect to Network 21.

Client: A computer system or program that requests a service of another computer, program, or distributed information system. In a LAN, for example, a workstation that requests a file from a file server is considered a client of the file server.

Server: A computer system, program, or distributed system that provides services or access to resources. In a LAN, the server is a central computer that stores files and applications shared by workstations connected to that LAN.


Here we look at ways to travel and destinations to explore. The terms listed here point to things you do and places you can see once you get on the information highway.

E-mail (Electronic Mail): As the name implies, this application is used to send and receive mail messages on a network. E-mail users are assigned an address. On the Internet, e-mail is one the most popular applications.

Usenet: A compilation of thousands of news and discussion forums distributed as through a cooperative worldwide network. Not all host computers on the Internet subscribe to Usenet (though IT-managed hosts do).

World Wide Web: A distributed information service on the Internet that provides hypertext links to multiple online documents containing images, sounds, and animations as well as text.

Mosaic: A client program that provides a graphical user interface for accessing and browsing the World Wide Web.

Gopher: A distributed information service on the Internet that allows a Gopher client to access and download information from multiple Gopher servers using a hierarchical menu interface.

CWIS (Campuswide Information System): Accessible through Gopher to virtually anyone with an e-mail account, the UCD CWIS is a place to look for information on just about anything - computing classes, job announcements, directory listings, Network 21 tips, and campus events, to name a few.

Listserv: An electronic mailing list that groups can create at UC Davis using the listprocessor on the IT-managed UNIX systems to conduct online (asynchronous) discussions. Using one e-mail address, listserv participants can send and receive messages meant for the entire group.


Here we look at roadside assistance. The terms listed here point to places you can turn to if your journey gets rocky.

NOC (Network Operations Center): Staffed by Information Technology personnel, the Network Operations Center accepts trouble reports for UCDNet, Develnet, modems, and LANS during the following hours: 7:00 a.m. to midnight, Monday- Thursday; 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Friday; and 3:00 p.m. to midnight, Sunday. To reach the Network Operations Center, call 752-7656 or send e-mail to itnetop@ucdavis.edu.

IT-CAP (Campus Access Point): Located in 1400 Surge II, the CAP is the place to go for computer accounts and questions about communication software. Call 752-2548, or send e-mail to ithelp@ucdavis.edu.

CAIT (Center for Advanced Information Technology): Walk right in, sit right down, and take a little time to explore leading-edge technologies. Located on the first floor of Shields Library, the CAIT is a place to find out how access to electronic information can benefit you. Whether attending a vendor demonstration, test-driving a new computer, or previewing a software package, you will find the CAIT a place to let your imagination do the walking.


"Communications Glossary." Turn-Around Times (University of California, Davis), April 1988, Vol. 17, No. 5, pages 11-15.

"Glossary of Computing Terms." Gettysburg College Computing Services, December 1991

"Request for Comments: 1392 - Internet Users' Glossary," by the User Glossary Working Group of the User Services Area of the Internet Engineering Task Force, ed. G. Malkin of Xylogics, Inc. and T. LaQuey Parker of the University of Texas, January 1993.