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Layers of the OSI (Open System Interface) Model
Defining the Seven Layers of the OSI Model
Application Layer - Layer 7
Presentation Layer - Layer 6
Session Layer - Layer 5
Transport Layer - Layer 4
Network Layer - Layer 3
Data Link Layer - Layer 2
Physical Layer - Layer 1
 
Diagram of the OSI Model
THE OSI MODEL
Modern computer networks are designed in a highly structured way. To reduce their design complexity, most networks are organized as a series of layers, each one built upon its predecessor.

The OSI Reference Model is based on a proposal developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The model is called ISO OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) Reference Model because it deals with connecting open systems - that is, systems that are open for communication with other systems.

The OSI model has seven layers. The principles that were applied to arrive at the seven layers are as follows:

  1. A layer should be created where a different level of abstraction is needed.
  2. Each layer should perform a well defined function.
  3. The function of each layer should be chosen with an eye toward defining internationally standardized protocols.
  4. The layer boundaries should be chosen to minimize the information flow across the interfaces.
  5. The number of layers should be large enough that distinct functions need not be thrown together in the same layer out of necessity, and small enough that the architecture does not become unwieldy.
 
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