The OPEN SYSTEMS INTERCONNECTION MODEL (OSI MODEL) is a conceptual model that characterizes and standardizes the communication functions of a telecommunication or computing system without regard to their underlying internal structure and technology. Its goal is the interoperability of diverse communication systems with standard protocols. The model partitions a communication system into abstraction layers . The original version of the model defined seven layers.
A layer serves the layer above it and is served by the layer below it. For example, a layer that provides error-free communications across a network provides the path needed by applications above it, while it calls the next lower layer to send and receive packets that comprise the contents of that path. Two instances at the same layer are visualized as connected by a horizontal connection in that layer.
The model is a product of the
Open Systems Interconnection project at
International Organization for Standardization
* 1 History
* 2 Description of OSI layers
* 2.1 Layer 1: Physical Layer
* 2.2 Layer 2:
* 3 Cross-layer functions * 4 Interfaces * 5 Examples * 6 Comparison with TCP/IP model * 7 See also * 8 References * 9 External links
In the late 1970s, one project was administered by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), while another was undertaken by the International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee (CCITT, from French: Comité Consultatif International Téléphonique et Télégraphique). These two international standards bodies each developed a document that defined similar networking models.
In 1983, these two documents were merged to form a standard called
The Basic Reference Model for Open Systems Interconnection. The
standard is usually referred to as the Open Systems Interconnection
Reference Model, the OSI Reference Model, or simply the OSI model. It
was published in 1984 by both the ISO, as standard ISO 7498, and the
renamed CCITT (now called the Telecommunications Standardization
Sector of the International
OSI had two major components, an abstract model of networking, called the Basic Reference Model or seven-layer model, and a set of specific protocols.
The concept of a seven-layer model was provided by the work of
Protocols enable an entity in one host to interact with a corresponding entity at the same layer in another host. Service definitions abstractly described the functionality provided to an (N)-layer by an (N-1) layer, where N was one of the seven layers of protocols operating in the local host.
The OSI standards documents are available from the
ITU-T as the
X.200-series of recommendations. Some of the protocol specifications
were also available as part of the
ITU-T X series. The equivalent ISO
and ISO/IEC standards for the
DESCRIPTION OF OSI LAYERS
The recommendation X.200 describes seven layers, labeled 1 to 7. Layer 1 is the lowest layer in this model.
LAYER PROTOCOL DATA UNIT (PDU) FUNCTION
layers 7. Application
6. Presentation Translation of data between a networking service and an application; including character encoding , data compression and encryption/decryption
5. Session Managing communication sessions , i.e. continuous exchange of information in the form of multiple back-and-forth transmissions between two nodes
4. Transport Segment (TCP) / Datagram (UDP) Reliable transmission of data segments between points on a network, including segmentation , acknowledgement and multiplexing
Media layers 3. Network Packet Structuring and managing a multi-node network, including addressing , routing and traffic control
At each level N, two entities at the communicating devices (layer N peers) exchange protocol data units (PDUs) by means of a layer N protocol. Each PDU contains a payload, called the service data unit (SDU), along with protocol-related headers or footers.
* The data to be transmitted is composed at the topmost layer of the transmitting device (layer N) into a protocol data unit (PDU). * The PDU is passed to layer N-1, where it is known as the service data unit (SDU). * At layer N-1 the SDU is concatenated with a header, a footer, or both, producing a layer N-1 PDU. It is then passed to layer N-2. * The process continues until reaching the lowermost level, from which the data is transmitted to the receiving device. * At the receiving device the data is passed from the lowest to the highest layer as a series of SDUs while being successively stripped from each layer's header or footer, until reaching the topmost layer, where the last of the data is consumed.
Some orthogonal aspects, such as management and security , involve all of the layers (See ITU-T X.800 Recommendation ). These services are aimed at improving the CIA triad - confidentiality , integrity , and availability - of the transmitted data. In practice, the availability of a communication service is determined by the interaction between network design and network management protocols. Appropriate choices for both of these are needed to protect against denial of service .
LAYER 1: PHYSICAL LAYER
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The physical layer defines the electrical and physical specifications
of the data connection. It defines the relationship between a device
and a physical transmission medium (for example, an electrical cable ,
an optical fiber cable , or a radio frequency link). This includes the
layout of pins , voltages , line impedance , cable specifications ,
signal timing and similar characteristics for connected devices and
frequency (5 GHz or 2.4 GHz etc.) for wireless devices. It is
responsible for transmission and reception of unstructured raw data in
a physical medium.
The physical layer is the layer of low-level networking equipment, such as some hubs , cabling, and repeaters . The physical layer is never concerned with protocols or other such higher-layer items. Examples of hardware in this layer are network adapters, repeaters, network hubs, modems, and fiber media converters.
LAYER 2: DATA LINK LAYER
The data link layer provides node-to-node data transfer —a link between two directly connected nodes. It detects and possibly corrects errors that may occur in the physical layer. It defines the protocol to establish and terminate a connection between two physically connected devices. It also defines the protocol for flow control between them.
* Medium access control (MAC) layer – responsible for controlling how devices in a network gain access to a medium and permission to transmit data. * Logical link control (LLC) layer – responsible for identifying and encapsulating network layer protocols, and controls error checking and frame synchronization.
The Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) is a data link layer protocol that can operate over several different physical layers, such as synchronous and asynchronous serial lines.
The ITU-T G.hn standard, which provides high-speed local area networking over existing wires (power lines, phone lines and coaxial cables), includes a complete data link layer that provides both error correction and flow control by means of a selective-repeat sliding-window protocol .
LAYER 3: NETWORK LAYER
The network layer provides the functional and procedural means of transferring variable length data sequences (called datagrams ) from one node to another connected in "different networks". A network is a medium to which many nodes can be connected, on which every node has an address and which permits nodes connected to it to transfer messages to other nodes connected to it by merely providing the content of a message and the address of the destination node and letting the network find the way to deliver the message to the destination node, possibly routing it through intermediate nodes. If the message is too large to be transmitted from one node to another on the data link layer between those nodes, the network may implement message delivery by splitting the message into several fragments at one node, sending the fragments independently, and reassembling the fragments at another node. It may, but does not need to, report delivery errors.
Message delivery at the network layer is not necessarily guaranteed to be reliable; a network layer protocol may provide reliable message delivery, but it need not do so.
A number of layer-management protocols, a function defined in the management annex, ISO 7498/4, belong to the network layer. These include routing protocols, multicast group management, network-layer information and error, and network-layer address assignment. It is the function of the payload that makes these belong to the network layer, not the protocol that carries them.
LAYER 4: TRANSPORT LAYER
The transport layer provides the functional and procedural means of transferring variable-length data sequences from a source to a destination host via one or more networks, while maintaining the quality of service functions.
An example of a transport-layer protocol in the standard Internet
Transmission Control Protocol
The transport layer controls the reliability of a given link through flow control, segmentation/desegmentation , and error control. Some protocols are state- and connection-oriented. This means that the transport layer can keep track of the segments and re-transmit those that fail. The transport layer also provides the acknowledgement of the successful data transmission and sends the next data if no errors occurred. The transport layer creates packets out of the message received from the application layer. Packetizing is a process of dividing the long message into smaller messages.
OSI defines five classes of connection-mode transport protocols ranging from class 0 (which is also known as TP0 and provides the fewest features) to class 4 (TP4, designed for less reliable networks, similar to the Internet). Class 0 contains no error recovery, and was designed for use on network layers that provide error-free connections. Class 4 is closest to TCP, although TCP contains functions, such as the graceful close, which OSI assigns to the session layer. Also, all OSI TP connection-mode protocol classes provide expedited data and preservation of record boundaries. Detailed characteristics of TP0-4 classes are shown in the following table:
FEATURE NAME TP0 TP1 TP2 TP3 TP4
Connection-oriented network Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Connectionless network No No No No Yes
Concatenation and separation No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Segmentation and reassembly Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Error recovery No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Reinitiate connectiona No Yes No Yes No
Multiplexing / demultiplexing over single virtual circuit No No Yes Yes Yes
Explicit flow control No No Yes Yes Yes
Retransmission on timeout No No No No Yes
Reliable transport service No Yes No Yes Yes
a If an excessive number of PDUs are unacknowledged.
An easy way to visualize the transport layer is to compare it with a
post office, which deals with the dispatch and classification of mail
and parcels sent. Do remember, however, that a post office manages the
outer envelope of mail. Higher layers may have the equivalent of
double envelopes, such as cryptographic presentation services that can
be read by the addressee only. Roughly speaking, tunneling protocols
operate at the transport layer, such as carrying non-IP protocols such
Although not developed under the OSI Reference Model and not strictly
conforming to the OSI definition of the transport layer, the
Transmission Control Protocol
LAYER 5: SESSION LAYER
The session layer controls the dialogues (connections) between
computers. It establishes, manages and terminates the connections
between the local and remote application. It provides for full-duplex
, half-duplex , or simplex operation, and establishes checkpointing,
adjournment, termination, and restart procedures. The
LAYER 6: PRESENTATION LAYER
The presentation layer establishes context between application-layer entities, in which the application-layer entities may use different syntax and semantics if the presentation service provides a mapping between them. If a mapping is available, presentation service data units are encapsulated into session protocol data units and passed down the protocol stack.
This layer provides independence from data representation by translating between application and network formats. The presentation layer transforms data into the form that the application accepts. This layer formats data to be sent across a network. It is sometimes called the syntax layer. The presentation layer can include compression functions. The Presentation Layer negotiates the Transfer Syntax.
The original presentation structure used the
Basic Encoding Rules of
Abstract Syntax Notation One (ASN.1), with capabilities such as
LAYER 7: APPLICATION LAYER
The application layer is the OSI layer closest to the end user, which means both the OSI application layer and the user interact directly with the software application. This layer interacts with software applications that implement a communicating component. Such application programs fall outside the scope of the OSI model. Application-layer functions typically include identifying communication partners, determining resource availability, and synchronizing communication. When identifying communication partners, the application layer determines the identity and availability of communication partners for an application with data to transmit. The most important distinction in the application layer is the distinction between the application-entity and the application. For example, a reservation website might have two application-entities: one using HTTP to communicate with its users, and one for a remote database protocol to record reservations. Neither of these protocols have anything to do with reservations. That logic is in the application itself. The application layer per se has no means to determine the availability of resources in the network.
Cross-layer functions are services that are not tied to a given layer, but may affect more than one layer. Examples include the following:
Security service (telecommunication) as defined by
* Management functions, i.e. functions that permit to configure,
instantiate, monitor, terminate the communications of two or more
entities: there is a specific application-layer protocol, common
management information protocol (CMIP) and its corresponding service,
common management information service (CMIS), they need to interact
with every layer in order to deal with their instances.
Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) MPLS, ATM, and
Neither the OSI Reference Model nor OSI protocols specify any programming interfaces, other than deliberately abstract service specifications. Protocol specifications precisely define the interfaces between different computers, but the software interfaces inside computers, known as network sockets are implementation-specific.
Interface standards, except for the physical layer to media, are approximate implementations of OSI service specifications.
LAYER OSI PROTOCOLS TCP/IP PROTOCOLS Signaling System 7 APPLETALK IPX SNA UMTS MISCELLANEOUS EXAMPLES
* INAP * MAP * TCAP * ISUP * TUP
* AFP * ZIP * RTMP * NBP
* ISO/IEC 8823 * X.226
* ISO/IEC 9576-1 * X.236
* MIME * SSL * TLS * XDR
* ISO/IEC 8327 * X.225
* ISO/IEC 9548-1 * X.235
Sockets (session establishment in TCP / RTP / PPTP )
* ASP * ADSP * PAP
* DLC ?
* ISO/IEC 8073 * TP0 * TP1 * TP2 * TP3 * TP4 (X.224) * ISO/IEC 8602 * X.234
* TCP * UDP * SCTP * DCCP
* DDP * SPX
* ISO/IEC 8208
* ISO/IEC 8878 * X.223 * ISO/IEC 8473-1 * CLNP X.233 * ISO/IEC 10589 * IS-IS
* SCCP * MTP
* RRC / BMC
* Token Bus * X.222 * ISO/IEC 8802-2 * LLC (type 1 / 2)
* MTP * Q.710
* PDCP * LLC * MAC
* MTP * Q.710
UMTS air interfaces
COMPARISON WITH TCP/IP MODEL
The design of protocols in the TCP/IP model of the Internet does not concern itself with strict hierarchical encapsulation and layering. RFC 3439 contains a section entitled "Layering considered harmful ". TCP/IP does recognize four broad layers of functionality which are derived from the operating scope of their contained protocols: the scope of the software application; the end-to-end transport connection; the internetworking range; and the scope of the direct links to other nodes on the local network.
Despite using a different concept for layering than the OSI model, these layers are often compared with the OSI layering scheme in the following way:
* The Internet application layer includes the OSI application layer, presentation layer, and most of the session layer. * Its end-to-end transport layer includes the graceful close function of the OSI session layer as well as the OSI transport layer. * The internetworking layer ( Internet layer ) is a subset of the OSI network layer. * The link layer includes the OSI data link layer and sometimes the physical layers, as well as some protocols of the OSI's network layer.
These comparisons are based on the original seven-layer protocol model as defined in ISO 7498, rather than refinements in such things as the internal organization of the network layer document.
The presumably strict layering of the
Hierarchical internetworking model
ITU-T X-Series Recommendations
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* ^ "The OSI Model\'s Seven Layers Defined and Functions
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* ^ A B "
ITU-T Recommendataion X.800 (03/91), Security architecture
Open Systems Interconnection for CCITT applications". ITU.
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* ^ "5.2 RM description for end stations". IEEE Std 802-2014, IEEE
Standard for Local and Metropolitan Area Networks: Overview and
International Organization for Standardization