The upper three OSI layers support the communication requirements of applications, while the lower four layers provide reliable transmission of data. This article describes the lower four layers. First, though, a brief overview of the layered model is presented including a summary of the upper three layers. Then a description of the lower three layers is followed by a discussion of data communication standards associated with specific layers. Architectural concepts are then explored: hierarchy and abstraction within the layers, levels of dialogue, internetworking, end‐to‐end communication, analysis of layer four, and a discussion of connection‐oriented, connectionless, and message‐oriented protocols and applications. The article concludes with a comparison of OSI and the de facto industry protocols, TCP/IP, which are currently used within the Internet.
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