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UNDERSTANDING OSI LAYERS

INTRODUCTION
The Open Systems Interconnection model was created by the International Standards of Organization to understand data communications among networks, Moreover, it can be called as a reference tool or a framework for the professionals to organize & manage the high end networks in a feasible and manageable approach. This ISO Model is subdivided into Seven Layers to better understand the networking structure of any given organisation, these seven layers divides the communication process and each layers performs a specific function in order to support services to the above layers & offer services to layers below it. The following are the seven different layers of an OSI Model, Layer 7: Layer 6: Layer 5: Layer 4: Layer 3: Layer 2: Layer 1: The Application Layer The Presentation Layer The Session Layer The Transport Layer The Network Layer The Datalink Layer The Physical Layer

Now let's discuss about each layer's functionality in detail,

Physical Layer
The Physical Layer in the lowest layer in the hierarchy of the OSI Model and is responsible for: Transmission of data through the communication media. Converts the data in the machine readable format which is in form of bits from the physical layer of the sending device to the physical layer of the receiving device. A.Ethernet Cabling & Token Ring network technology function at this layer of the OSI Model. Modems, network adeapters, hubs & repeaters are the network devices that function at this layer. B.The data transmitted from one physical layer to the other physical layer is sent by the types of signaling which is supported by physical media in the form of i.Electric voltages. ii.Radio frequencies. iii.Infrared pulses. iv.Ordinary light. Few protocols which operate at this layer are: i.IEEE Ethernet. ii.USB. iii.DSL iv.ADSL v.ISDN vi.Flavours of 802.11 WiFi standards.

Data Link Layer


The Data Link Layer: Transfers data from one point (source) to another point (destination) within the same LAN segment with the help of a Layer 2 Network device, which means this Layer is concerned on delivering frames between devices on the same LAN. The Data Link layer ensures that messages are delivered to the proper device and translates messages from the Network layer into bits for the Physical layer to transmit. It formats the message into data frames and adds a customized header containing the hardware destination and source address. Switches and Bridges both work at the Data link layer and filter the network using hardware (MAC) addresses. The Data Link layer is subdivided into another 2 layers: Media Access Control (MAC) defines how packets are placed on the media. Logical Link Control (LLC) is responsible for identifying Network layer protocols and then encapsulating them. Few Protocols which function at the Data Link layer are: Address Resolution Protocol (ARP). High Level Data Link Control (HDLC). IEEE 802.2. IEEE 802.3. Point to Point Protocol (PPP). Spanning Tree Protocol (STP).

Network Layer
The Network layer is responsible for: Routing through an Internetwork. Network Addressing. Transporting traffic between devices that are not locally attached. Routers, or other layer-3 devices, are specified at the Network layer and provide the routing services in an internetwork. Few Protocols which operate at Network layer are: Internet Protocol Security (IPsec). Internetwork Packet Exchange (IPX). Routing Information Protocol (RIP). Internet Protocol (IPv4/IPv6). Distance Vector Multicast Routing Protocol (DVMRP). Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP).

Transport Layer

Transport layer: Segments and reassembles data from upper-layer applications and unite it onto the same data stream. They provide end-to-end data transport services. Establish a logical connection between the sending host and destination host on an internetwork. The Transport layer is responsible for: Providing mechanisms for multiplexing upper-layer application. Session establishment. Tearing down of virtual circuits. It also hides details of any network-dependent information from the higher layers by providing transparent data transfer. Few of the functionalities supported by the Transport layer are: Flow Control. Connection-Oriented Communication. Windowing. Acknowledgments (Reliable data delivery). Few Protocols which operate at the Transport layer are: Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) User Datagram Protocol (UDP) Reliable Datagram Protocol (RDP) Sequenced Packet Exchange (SPX)

Session Layer
This layer is responsible for:

Setting up, managing, and then tearing down sessions between Presentation layer entities. It also provides dialog control between devices, or nodes. It coordinates communication between systems and serves to organize their communication by offering three different modes: simplex, half-duplex and fullduplex. It basically keeps different application's data separate from other application's data. Few Protocols which operate at the Session layer are: Password Authentication Protocol (PAP). Layer 2 Forwarding Protocol L2F). Layer 2 Tunneling Protocol (L2TP). OSI session-layer protocol (OSI-SP). Network Basic Input Output System (NetBIOS). AppleTalk Session Protocol (ASP).

Presentation Layer
The Presentation layer gets its name from its purpose and: It presents data to the Application layer. It is essentially a translator and provides coding and conversion functions. It helps in successful data transfer technique to adapt the data into a standard format before transmission, Computers are configured to receive this generically formatted data and then convert the data back into its native format for actual reading (for example, EBCDIC to ASCII). The Presentation layer: Ensures that data transferred from the Application layer of one system can be read by the Application layer of another system, Does Tasks/functions like data compression, decompression, encryption, and decryption are associated with this layer. Few Protocols which function at Presentation layer: Telnet (a remote terminal access protocol). Network Data Representation (NDR). Lightweight Presentation Protocol (LPP).

Application Layer
The Application layer of the OSI model Is where users communicate to the computer. Is responsible for identifying and establishing the availability of the intended communication partner. Determines if sufficient resources for the intended communication exist, although computer applications sometimes require only desktop resources. Few Protocols which operate at the Application Layer. File Transfer Protocol (FTP). Trivial File Transfer Protocol (TFTP). Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP). Post Office Protocol (POP). Domain Name System (DNS). Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP). Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP). Reverse Address Resolution Protocol (RARP). BootStrap Protocol(BOOTP). Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP).