OSI Reference Model

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) developed the OSI reference model in the early 1980s, and it is now the standard for developing protocols that enable computers to communicate. Although not all protocols follow this model, many people use it to help them develop and teach new protocols.

The OSI reference model breaks up the problem of intermachine communication into seven layers. Each layer is concerned only with talking to its corresponding layer on the other machine (see Figure 7-1). This means that Layer 5 has to worry only about talking to Layer 5 on the receiving machine, and not what the actual physical medium might be.

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