Comparison between TCP/IP and OSI Reference Model

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  • Topic: OSI model, Internet Protocol Suite, Data Link Layer
  • Pages : 9 (2884 words )
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  • Published : October 5, 2010
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Aim: Comparison Between TCP/IP and OSI Reference Model
First we discuss, what is TCP\IP and OSI model, why they are introduced and where they are used. In the following Section OSI Reference models explained with all layers as well as their responsibilities.

Open Systems Interconnection model (OSI model):
OSI reference model is now considered as a primary standard for internetworking and inter computing. Today many network communication protocols are based on the standards of OSI model. In the OSI model the network/data communication is defined into seven layers. These 7 layers further divide the tasks of moving the data across the network into subtask and hence complete one communication cycle between two computers or two network devices. Each layer is assigned a task and the task is completed independently. The OSI layers have the clear and independent characteristics and tasks. The OSI model is made up of the following layers: the physical, data link, network, transport, session, presentation and application. Together, these seven layers are collectively referred to as a stack. As a node receives data, each layer starting with the physical layer extracts the various portions of the packet and this process works its way up to the application layer. When data is sent, it begins at the application layer and travels down to the physical layer. The information is pushed to the next layer of the stack by means of commands called primitives. Each layer uses a peer protocol to encode the information, which ensures that the same layer on the receiving node will be able to understand the information.

Physical Layer
Beginning at the bottom, the first layer is the physical layer. It governs the actual voltages, type of electrical signals, mechanical connections and other items relating to the actual data transmission medium. This includes cabling types, distances and connectors, as well as protocols like CSMA/CD.

Data Link Layer
The next layer is the data link layer. This is the layer that actually constructs the frames, and it also performs error checking using CRC. It ensures that the frames are sent up to the next layer in the same order that they were received, providing an error free virtual path to the network layer. The data link layer consists of two sub layers; the logical link control (LLC) and the media access control (MAC), which provide reliable communications by ensuring the data link is not broken and also by examining packet address information. A bridge is an example of a device that works at this layer. A bridge learns, forwards and filters traffic by examining the layer 2 MAC address. This helps segment network traffic. More recently, bridges have been replaced by switches,

which perform the same functions as a bridge, but can do so on each port. To find out more about switches, visit the Products link on the left.

Network Layer
Moving up to the next layer in the stack we come to the network layer. This layer actually routes packets of data, finding a path (both physical and logical) to the receiving or destination computer. It provides a unique address for each node through address resolution. One of the most common protocols for routing information at this layer is the Internet Protocol (IP). An example of hardware that can operate at this layer is a router. Although routers are often used to allow a LAN to access a WAN, layer 3 switches can also provide routing capabilities, but often at full wire-speed.

Transport Layer
The transport layer makes sure that the data arrives without errors, in the proper sequence and in a reliable condition. It uses flow control to make sure that information is sent at the proper speed for the receiving device to be able to handle it, and it repackages large data into smaller messages and then back again at the receiving node. An example protocol at this layer is the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). Layer 4 switches can use the port information found...
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