The 7-layer OSI network reference model delineates a hierarchy of abstract building blocks that provide basic protocols and services in a logically separated manner for the standardization of networks (Serpanos & Wolf, 2011; Cowley, 2012; Egyedi, 1997).
The OSI network reference model was developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to facilitate communication between networks by keeping certain standards open rather than proprietary (Serpanos & Wolf, 2011). Each layer is stacked with the physical layer as the lowest and the application layer as the highest and one can think of each layer as containing stacks of protocols that make network communications function (Serpanos & Wolf, 2011). A protocol is a set of rules written in a common language that allows computers to communicate with each other. Each communication network is a node and the corresponding layer on each node communicates with each other.
The seven layers, from lowest to highest, are physical, data link control, network, transport, session, presentation, and application. Data travels along the layers on the sending node from the application layer down through the layers until it reaches the physical layer. At the physical layer the data is transmitted over the physical medium to the physical layer at the receiving node. At this point, the data travels up the layers until it reaches the application layer in a format the end user can utilize (Cowley, 2012).
Layer 2, the data-link control layer, is actually divided into two sublayers, the media access control (MAC) and the logistical link control (LLC). This modification occurred to the reference model due to the I...
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...ferent platforms (Melendez & Peterson, 1999).
The highest layer in the OSI model is the application layer. While all other layers provide a general service to the other layers, the application does not provide any general services to the other layers (Melendez & Peterson, 1999). The application layer handles items not addressed in any of the lower levels and also handles details specific to distributed applications. Some examples of distributed applications are the hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP), the domain name system (DNS), and the session initiation protocol (SIP) (Serpanos & Wolf. 2011). The OSI model names the seventh layer as the application layer but does not specifically include any of the above-mentioned examples since the OSI model is abstract. As end users, we utilize the application layer every time we enter an HTTP URL in our internet server.
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