The Open System Interconnection (OSI) reference model describes how information from a software application in one computer moves through a network medium to a software application in another computer. The OSI reference model is a conceptual model that is composed of seven layers, each specifying particular network functions. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) developed the model in 1984. It is now considered the primary architectural model for intercomputer communications. The OSI model divides the tasks involved with moving information between networked computers into seven smaller, more-manageable task groups. A task or group of tasks is assigned to each of the seven OSI layers. Each layer is reasonably self-contained so that the tasks assigned to each can be implemented independently. This enables the solutions offered by one layer to be updated without adversely affecting the other layers. The following list details the OSI reference model's seven layers:
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