|The Unix and Internet Fundamentals HOWTO, by Eric Raymond|
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The OSI Model
Understanding the Seven Layers of Computer Networks. By Paul Simoneau, Global Knowledge Course Director, Network+, CCNA, CTP. The Open Systems Interconnection ( OSI ) model is a reference tool for understanding data communications between any two networked systems. It divides the communications processes into seven layers. Each layer both performs specific functions to support the layers above it and offers services to the layers below it. The three lowest layers focus on passing traffic through the network to an end system. The top four layers come into play in the end system to complete the process. Protocols, or rules, can do their work in either hardware or software or, as with most protocol stacks, in a combination of the two. The nature of these stacks is that the lower layers do their work in hardware or firmware ( software that runs on specific hardware chips ) while the higher layers work in software. This white paper will provide you with an understanding of each of the seven layers, including their functions and their relationships to each other.
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