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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


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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.


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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.
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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.


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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.