OSI AND WAN 1 Running head: OSI AND WAN

OSI and WAN David “Toby” Meyers NTC/242 - Intro to WAN Technologies Amr Elchouemi February 13, 2011

OSI AND WAN 2 OSI and WAN A Wide Area Network consists of transmission devices and the packaging of large amounts of data over long distances, to different destinations from different devices. It is important to understand how it interacts within the Open Systems Interconnection model because this differentiates it from any other network in the way that it combines different network types and handles large amounts of data, from the hundreds of thousands to millions of people. The Open Systems Interconnection Model (OSI) is a theoretical model of sharing information between devices over a network connection and it describes the functions of the different procedures, how connections maintained and information handled. A Wide Area Network (WAN) is a network of dissimilar networks operating as one. “WAN protocols operate at the lowest three layers of the OSI model and define communication over the various wide-area media,” (Chandrasekaran, 2002, p. 1). This the Media portion of the OSI model: the Network layer, the Data Link layer and the Physical layer at which are the mechanisms for wide area transmission by dissimilar media. The reasoning behind the WAN operation at these layers is that the operation only pertains to the media and with the packaging of large amounts of data from different sources to different destinations. “The Network layer addresses data packages and plots the next available network path to the destination. The Data Link layer sorts data into frames or packages of data for delivery over the network; it handles procedures for sending frames between nodes,” (Meyers, 2010, p 2). The Physical layer is the layer where transmission takes place and involves the physical methods of transmission, (Meyers, 2010). Switches operate at the Data link layer, which is to counter act collisions by allowing two data streams to different resources to perform half-duplex or one-way communication.

OSI AND WAN 3 Sometimes they also operate at the Network layer providing error checking and multiple logical paths to the same resources. They also sometimes have higher functions for encryption and decryption and server load balancing, as content-based or web-based switching, for web servers it reads the data in the packet and sends it to one or more machines, hidden by subnet masking. The OSI model is theoretical; in much, the same way there is logical and physical diagrams for network diagrams. The physical nature of different devices that act on different layers of the OSI model is diametric to the logical way that the protocols and hardware treats the data. “A lot of networking books and other resources gloss over the OSI Reference Model, including only passing mention of it, or relegating it to an appendix. The usual stated reason for this is that the OSI model is too theoretical and doesn't apply to modern networking protocols like TCP/IP,” (Kozierok, 2002, p. 1). The OSI model is theoretical, but it is a logical representation of the activities that happen in any network. A WAN can host many MANs or LANs and different transmission devices, which is what distinguishes a WAN from a MAN or a LAN.

OSI AND WAN 4 Conclusion A Wide Area Network (WAN) is a network of dissimilar networks operating as one. The OSI model is a theoretical model of sharing information between devices over a network. The OSI model is theoretical, and a logical representation of the activities that happen in any network. A WAN works primarily on the the Media portion of the OSI model: the Network layer, the Data Link layer and the Physical layer at which are the mechanisms for wide area transmission by dissimilar media.

OSI AND WAN 5 References Chandrasekaran, (2002). Computer Network: Basics. Retrieved on February 11, 2011 from: Boloji.com http://www.boloji.com/computing/networking/n002.htm. Kozierok, (2005).Why understanding the OSI reference model is important to you. The TCP/IP Guide: The Open System Interconnection (OSI) Reference Model. Retrieved on February 13, 2011 from: tcpipguide.com http://www.tcpipguide.com/free/t_WhyUnderstandingTheOSIReferenceModelIsImportan tToY.htm. Meyers, (2010). Open Systems Interconnection. Retrieved on February 11, 2011 from: Scribd.com http://www.scribd.com/doc/46665088/Open-Systems-Interconection.

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