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OSI Protocols

Definition - What does OSI Protocols mean?

OSI protocols are a family of standards for information exchange. These were developed and
designed by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO). In 1977 the ISO model was
introduced, which consisted of seven different layers. This model has been criticized because of its
technicality and limited features.
Each layer of the ISO model has its own protocols and functions. The OSI protocol stack was later
adapted into the TCP/IP stack. In some networks, protocols are still popular using only the data link
and network layers of the OSI model.

Techopedia explains OSI Protocols

The OSI protocol stack works on a hierarchical form, from the hardware physical layer to the
software application layer. There are a total of seven layers. Data and information are received by
each layer from an upper layer. After the required processing, this layer then passes the information
on to the next lower layer. A header is added to the forwarded message for the convenience of the
next layer. Each header consists of information such as source and destination addresses, protocol
used, sequence number and other flow-control related data.
The following are the OSI protocols used in the seven layers of the OSI Model:
1. Layer 1, the Physical Layer: This layer deals with the hardware of networks such as cabling.
The major protocols used by this layer include Bluetooth, PON, OTN, DSL, IEEE.802.11,
IEEE.802.3, L431 and TIA 449.
2. Layer 2, the Data Link Layer: This layer receives data from the physical layer and compiles it
into a transform form called framing or frame. The protocols are used by the Data Link Layer
include: ARP, CSLIP, HDLC, IEEE.802.3, PPP, X-25, SLIP, ATM, SDLS and PLIP.
3. Layer 3, the Network Layer: This is the most important layer of the OSI model, which
performs real time processing and transfers data from nodes to nodes. Routers and switches
are the devices used for this layer. The network layer assists the following protocols: Internet
Protocol (IPv4), Internet Protocol (IPv6), IPX, AppleTalk, ICMP, IPSec and IGMP.
4. Layer 4, the Transport Layer: The transport layer works on two determined communication
modes: Connection oriented and connectionless. This layer transmits data from source to
destination node. It uses the most important protocols of OSI protocol family, which are:
Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), UDP, SPX, DCCP and SCTP.

5. Layer 5, the Session Layer: The session layer creates a session between the source and the
destination nodes and terminates sessions on completion of the communication process.
The protocols used are: PPTP, SAP, L2TP and NetBIOS.
6. Layer 6, the Presentation Layer: The functions of encryption and decryption are defined on
this layer. It converts data formats into a format readable by the application layer. The
following are the presentation layer protocols: XDR, TLS, SSL and MIME.
7. Layer 7, the Application Layer: This layer works at the user end to interact with user
applications. QoS (quality of service), file transfer and email are the major popular services
of the application layer. This layer uses following protocols: HTTP, SMTP, DHCP, FTP, Telnet,

Alternatively referred to as a line topology, a bus topology is a

network setup in which each computer and network device are
connected to a single cable orbackbone. The following sections contain
both the advantages and disadvantages of using a bus topology with
your devices.

Alternatively referred to as a star network, star topology is one of

the most common network setups. In this configuration,
everynode connects to a central network device, like a hub, switch, or
computer. The central network device acts as a server and the
peripheral devices act as clients.
Alternatively referred to as a ring network, ring topology is a
computer network configuration where the devices are connected to
each other in a circular shape. Each packet is sent around the ring
until it reaches its final destination. The picture to the right is a visual
example of a network using the ring topology to connect several
computers together.
Logical topology, or signal topology, is the arrangement of devices on a computer network
and how they communicate with one another. How devices are connected to the network
through the actual cables that transmit data, or the physical structure of the network, is called
the physical topology.

Physical topology is the placement of the various components of a network, including device
location and cable installation, while logical topology illustrates how data flows within a
network, regardless of itsphysical design.\

Layer 7

Layer 6

ASCII, ,jpg, .doc

Layer 5

RPC, SQL/Telnet (for log

Layer 4

TCP - Connection-orient
using PAR
UDP- Connectionless, u
uses upper layer protoco

Layer 3

Routing and path determ
logical addressing

Layer 2

Data Link;
Ethernet, Frame Relay, P
Physical (Hardware) add
(MAC addresses)

Layer 1

Bits transmitted on medi
Hubs, repeaters, connec