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4 Network Standards

4.1 Introduction
4.1.1 Closed System
4.1.2 V-Series Recommendation At the end of this chapter, students should be able to
4.1.3 X-Series Recommendation
4.1.4 I-series Recommendation § Understand the basic of network standards
§ Identify different network standards
4.2 OSI Reference Model
4.2.1 Overview § List different layers of OSI reference model
4.2.2 History of OSI Model § Describe the role played by different layers of OSI
4.2.3 Application Layer model
4.2.4 Presentation Layer
§ Identify different devices and protocol working at
4.2.5 Session Layer
4.2.6 Transport Layer different OSI layers
4.2.7 Network Layer § Learn about network protocols like TCP/IP and IPX
4.2.8 Data Link Layer § Acquire knowledge about standard setting
4.2.9 Physical layer organizations
4.3 Network Protocols
4.3.1 TCP/IP
4.3.2 Internetworking Packet Exchange
4.3.3 NetBIOS/NetBEUI

4.4 Standards-Setting Organization

4.4.1 International Organization for
Standardization (ISO)
4.4.2 Internet Engineering Task Force
4.4.3 Institution of Electrical and
Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
4.4.4 International Telecommunications
Union (ITU)
4.4.5 The American National Standards
Institute (ANSI)

4.5 Summary

4.6 Exercises
Networking Principles

4.1 Introduction

Standards are extremely important in the computer industry because they allow the
combination of products from different manufacturers to work together without creating any
problem. Without standards, only hardware and software from the same company can be use
together. Furthermore, learning standard can help to understand the new device and
application which work on it.

Standards defined and agreed by most of the international organizations in the field of
computer are mostly based on either operation of computers or manufacturers of these
devices. Thus most of the big players in computer industry like Microsoft, IBM, Intel, CISCO
and 3COM have defined certain standards.

However most of the organizations and manufactures agreed that some basic standards
should be followed to link these devices to a common network. Some recommended
standards are:

§ Closed System
§ V-series Recommendation
§ X-series Recommendation
§ I-series Recommendation
§ Open System / Open System Interconnection (OSI) Environment

4.1.1 Closed System

Figure 4-1 Two IBM computers can communicate with each other but with Apple Computer

Most of the early computer devices or subsystem which was manufactured by different
vendors for example Apple and IBM tends to communicate with their own brands. For
example IBM computer can communicate only with IBM computer but not with Apple

Network Standards

4.1.2 V-Series Recommendation

Figure 4-2 DTE connected to PSTN via Modem

It is concerned with the connection between device and modem that connected to Public
Service Telephone Network (PSTN). PSTN refers to the collection of public network
connected based on voice in the entire world. The device is usually referred as a Data
Terminal Equipment (DTE). DTE is the interface used by the computer to change data with
modem or other equipment which is similar to it.

Data Terminal Equipment (DTE)

In a general term, DTE may be applied to the terminal equipment like computer, terminal, etc
to which the modem is attached.

4.1.3 X-Series Recommendation

Figure 4-3 DTE Connected to another DTE through PSTN

A set of data and interface communication protocol to connect DTE to public data network is
recommended in X-series.

Networking Principles

4.1.4 I-series Recommendation

Figure 4-4 Two DTE Connected Together by ISDN

A set of data and interface communication protocol to connect DTE to the emerging
Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) lines is recommended by this I-series. ISDN
enables data and voice to be sent using digital connection from end-to-end.

4 4.2 OSI Reference Model

4.2.1 Overview

The Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) reference model is a theoretical representation of

what happens when two computer communicate to each other over the network. It is the best-
known and the most widely used guide for visualizing networking environments. Since the
model deals with connecting open systems it is called as Open Systems Interconnection
Reference Model. Systems which are open for communication with other systems are called
open systems. OSI model uses the structuring technique known as layering and
communication functions are partitioned into these layers. OSI model has seven layers,
different devices and protocols work at different layers. Upper four layers are called Host
layers while lower three layers are called Media layers. Every process that occurs during
network communications can be associated with a layer of OSI Model. While performing
services, the protocols also interact with protocols in the layers directly above and below.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) released a set of specifications

in 1978, which described network architecture for connecting dissimilar devices. The original
document applied to systems that were open to each other. In such case different devices
could use the same protocols and standards to exchange information.


A protocol is simply a set of instructions written by a programmer to perform a function or

group of functions. Some protocols are included with a computer operating system while
others are installed on computer separately.

Network Standards

4.2.2 History of OSI Model

In the late 1970s, two projects began independently, with the same goal: to define a unifying
standard for the architecture of networking systems. One was administered by the
International Organization for Standardization (ISO), while the other was undertaken by
the International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee (CCITT). These
two international standard bodies each developed a document that defined similar networking
models. In 1983, these two documents were merged together to form a standard called The
Basic Reference Model for Open Systems Interconnection.

The seven layers of OSI are mentioned below.

Figure 4-5 Seven Layers of OSI Reference Model

Networking Principles

4.2.3 Application Layer (Layer 7)

Application layer is the topmost layer, layer 7 of the OSI reference model. Contrary to what
its name implies, the Application layer does not include software applications like Microsoft
Word or Netscape; rather it provides services to facilitate the communication between
software applications and lower network services. This layer relates to the services that
directly support user applications. So basically this layer serves as a window through which
application processes can access network services. In another words, this layer provides
means for the user to access information on the network through an application.

Different protocols are supported by this layer; some of the protocols with their function are
listed below:

§ File Transfer Protocol (FTP)-used for uploading and downloading files from and to
FTP server.
§ Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)-which is used by most of the e-mail
software to send and receive email from email server.
§ Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) - used by web browser to send/receive
information over internet to web server.

4.2.4 Presentation Layer (Layer 6)

Presentation layer function is to define the format used to exchange data among networked
computers. In other word this layer works as a translator for the data over the network.
Data is formatted so that one type of application (host) can understand data from another type
of application (host). When dissimilar systems like IBM, Apple, and Sun computer
communicate, a certain amount of translation and byte reordering is needed, which is handled
by presentation layer. Different application uses different data encoding and compressing
techniques, for example graphics files can be in GIF, JPEG and TIFF format. Similarly two
famous video and audio encoding and compressing techniques are JPEG and QuickTime.
Two well known methods for encoding text are ASCII and EBCDIC. In each cases
presentation layer do these encoding when it is sending data to other layers and finally over
the network. It also performed the similar but reverse action on the data received on a
computer on other site of the network.

Thus, the presentation layer is responsible for converting protocols, translating and
encrypting the data. Changing or converting the character set and expanding graphics
commands is also handled by this layer.

Network Standards

4.2.5 Session Layer (Layer 5)

The responsibility of session layer is to coordinate and maintain the communication

between two computers over a network. In other words, it maintains the session between
computers. The term session refers to a connection for ongoing data exchange between two
computers which are communicating. The session layer synchronizes user tasks by placing
checkpoints in the data stream. The checkpoints break the data into smaller groups for error
detection. This way, if the network fails, only the data after the last checkpoint has to be
retransmitted. Session layer service also set the terms of communication by deciding which
computer will communicate first and how long a computer can communicate over the
network. Therefore this session layer service also controls the priority and duration of

4.2.6 Transport Layer (Layer 4)

Transport layer, which is layer 4 of OSI model, provides an additional connection level
beneath the session layer. The transport layer ensures that packets are delivered error free, in
sequence, and without losses or duplications. That means it insures that the data transferred
from point A to point B in a network is reliable, in the correct sequence and without any
errors. Thus, transport layers ensures that data received by recipient is verified, reliable and
error free.

Transport layer protocols break large data units received from Session Layer into multiple
smaller units called segments. This process is known as segmentation. Segmentation helps
in data transmission efficiency.

Transport layer protocols also handle flow control and error handling of data, which means
the process of gauging the appropriate rate of transmission based on how fast the receipt can
accept data without any error.

Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), Sequenced Packet Exchange (SPX) and User
Datagram Protocol (UDP) are examples of transport-layer protocols.

4.2.7 Network Layer (Layer 3)

The primary function of protocols at the Network layer is to translate network addresses
into their physical counterparts and decide how to route data from the sender computer to
receiver computer. Each computer that is connected to network has unique address.
Addressing is a system for assigning unique identification numbers to devices (computer,
printers) on a network.

In other words, the main function of network layer is to determine the route for data from the
source to the destination computer. It manages switching and routing of data packets as well
as handles the traffic problems. It determines the data path, depending on network
conditions, priority of services and other related factors.

Internet Protocol (IP) and Internetwork Packet Exchange (IPX) are examples of network-
layer protocols.

Networking Principles

4.2.8 Data Link Layer (Layer 2)

The primary function of the data link layer is to control the electrical impulses that enter
and leave the network cable. Data-link layer sends data frames from the network layer to
physical layer. At receiving end, it packages raw bits from physical layer into data frames. A
data frame is an organized, logical structure in which data can be placed.

The data-link layer is responsible for providing error-free transfer of these frames from one
computer to another through the physical layer. This allows the network layer to anticipate
virtually error-free transmission over the network connection.

4.2.9 Physical layer (Layer 1)

4 The physical layer, the lowest and first layer of the OSI model, accept frames from the data
link layer and generate voltage so as to transmit signals. Signals are made of electrical
impulses that, when issued in a certain pattern, represent information. The physical layer is
totally hardware-oriented and deals with all aspects of establishing and maintaining a
physical link between communicating computers.

Physical layer also defines how the cable is attached to the Network Interface Card (NIC).
For example, it defines how many pins the connector has and the function of each pin. It also
defines which transmission technique will be used to send data over the network cable.

Memorization OSI Layer Function

All Application Interaction at the user or application level
People Presentation Translation of data
Seem Session Maintains a session between computers on a network
To Transport Makes sure that transmissions are received
Need Network Manages addressing and routing of the packets
Data Data Link Physical addressing of packets and error correction
Processing Physical Manages the connection to the media

Table 4-1 Function performed by different OSI layers

Network Standards

Figure 4-6 Protocols and devices at different OSI layers

Networking Principles




Concerned with equipment, such as Change bit into frame.
connecting cable, modem and Physical Layer
circuit. Delivered via circuit as
frames containing packet in the form
of serial bit.
Put the packet into the frame, add Recount of checksums request

4 the serial number of the frame,

ensure of the checksums for error
tracking, keep copy of frame (as
Data Link Layer
frame to be returned if there are
errors, verify the arrival and
entry of the frame (verify that
backup) if there are any errors. the correct frame received
contains one packet of data)
Decreases the size of block data into Recounts the packet received
packet form (128 char), enter the for counting, errors and
address and serial number into each Network Layer security and changes the packet
packet and determine the passage for into the data form.
the packet through networking.
Divides long data into shorter data Recounts checksums to ensure
for delivery and identify errors, the received block data and
trackdown repeating blocks, resend Transport Layer prompts for delivery faulty or
the block with errors/timeout and missing block.
prepare the control for block data.

Indicates the starting and ending of Holds all block data until all
the block data, prepares a part that the data are received.
connects 2 terminals (user ID, Session Layer
passwords) and identifies the
delivery is half duplex or full

Changes the code (EBCDIC ↔ Changes the code (ASCII ↔

ASCII), announces the format of the EBCDIC) and decompresses as
data, encrypt the data and compress Presentation Layer well as decrypts the data
the data.
The file will be changed from its Identifies application program
form of application to data form Application Layer that is received and displays it
along with the address of the sender on the user’s monitor.
and receiver.
Table 4-2 OSI Operation Model

Network Standards

Figure 4-7 OSI operation

Networking Principles

4.3 Network Protocols

Network protocols can be defined as the set of standards, rules that let networked computers
communicate or share information over a network such as Ethernet or token ring. Network
protocol is based on Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) reference model.

Some of the commonly used network protocols are:


4.3.1 TCP/IP

It is most widely used protocol in

computer networking. The Internet
relies on TCP/IP protocols. TCP/IP
consists of two protocols Transmission
Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet
Protocol (IP).

Internet Protocol (IP) defines how

network data is addressed from a source
to a destination and data arrangement
after it has arrived at the destination. It
operates at network layer of OSI model.

Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)

operates on transport layer of OSI
model. It manages relationship between
computers. The term 'datagram' or
'packet' is used to describe a chunk of IP
Figure 4-8 Comparison between OSI and TCP/IP
data at TCP layer.

Packet Datagram Frame

It is a collection of data sent Usually refers to network Usually refers to data unit
through a network. It is layer's data unit such as IP that is brought by data link
usually refers to data unit that datagram. layer.
is sent to any OSI model
Table 4-3 Packet, Datagram and Frame

Network Standards

4.3.2 Internetwork Packet Exchange (IPX)

Figure 4-9 Comparison between OSI and IPX

Internetwork Packet Exchange (IPX) protocol is an alternative to TCP/IP protocol. Even

though TCP/IP is flexible and scalable, it is somewhat complex. Advantage of IPX is that it is
able to pass through any network topology. It is a self-configurable and it builds network
address of computer system, from the combination of administrator-specified server Netware
address and network card’s physical address or Media Access Control (MAC) address.
This simplifies the process of network setup because when a network is linked physically,
IPX will automatically configure and will quickly start delivering data packets. Systems
administrator does not need to assign different network addresses for computers.

Disadvantages of IPX are that it is a broadcast based protocol and it is not a part of TCP/IP
stack. TCP/IP is prime protocol for the Internet, since IPX is not a part of TCP/IP, it cannot
used for Internet traffic.

4.3.3 NetBIOS/NetBEUI

NetBIOS/NetBEUI protocols have been designed for a small LAN network. These
protocols are not suitable for a WAN network, because it cannot pass between 2 networks,
unless routers are used to connect these networks. One of the advantages of
NetBIOS/NetBEUI, it uses alphanumerical name which can be easily understood by human.

Alphanumerical name uses alphabet letters and specific marks.

Example: -

ANNA Sending computer

SHAM Receiving computer

Source address is ANNA, and destination address is SHAM. It does not have to
change alphanumerical address to numerical address and this simplifies
networking. 77
Networking Principles

4.4 Standards-Setting Organization

Organisations which are responsible for setting standards are listed below:

4.4.1 International Organization for Standardization (ISO)

4 International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is the world's largest developer of

standards. Although ISO's principal activity is the development of technical standards, ISO
standards also have important economic and social impact on human life. ISO is a network of
the national standards institutes of 157 countries, on the basis of one member per country,
with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system. Open
System Interconnection (OSI) Reference Model was drafted by ISO. ISO Internet site is

4.4.2 Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is a large open international community. Its
community includes network designers, operators, vendors, researchers and those who are
concerned with the evolution of the Internet architecture and the smooth operation of the
Internet. Anyone who is interested in its activities can join one of the many groups of IETF.

Network Standards

4.4.3 Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

The full name of the IEEE is the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.
The IEEE, a non-profit organization, is the world's leading professional association for the
advancement of technology. IEEE has more than 365,000 members, including 68,000
students, in over 150 countries. The IEEE is a leading authority on areas ranging from
aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric
power and consumer electronics, to serve the interest of engineers, students and well as
universities. For more information about IEEE can be obtained from their official site 4
4.4.4 International Telecommunications Union (ITU)

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is an international organization within

the United Nations System where government and private sector coordinate global telecom
networks and services. Its’ headquarter is located in Geneva, Switzerland.

4.4.5 The American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) coordinates the development and use
of voluntary consensus standards in the United States and represents the needs and views of
U.S. stakeholders in standardization forums around the globe. For more information please
visit their official site:

Networking Principles

4.5 Summary

§ Standards defined and used by most of the international organization in the field of
computer are mostly based on either operation of computers or different computer

§ Most of the organizations and manufactures agreed to follow some basic standards.

§ Some of the recommended standards are V-series, X-Series, I-series and OSI.

§ OSI reference model is a theoretical model help in understanding computer

networking concept.

§ OSI has seven layers and each layer perform different task in networking.

§ Protocols are set of instructions designed to perform different tasks.

§ TCP/IP is widely used suit of protocols for networking and the Internet.

§ Although IPX is simple to install and use, it is broadcast based protocol and cannot
bring Internet traffic.

§ NetBIOS/NetBEUI protocols are used for small LAN to give computers

alphanumerical name.

§ There are different organizations for setting standards. Some of them are ISO,

Network Standards

4.6 Exercises

Fill in the blanks

1. OSI model is recommended by ________________________.

2. Standards defined and used by organization in the field of computer are based on
computer ____________________ and _________________________.

3. In V-series recommendation DTE can be connected to PSTN line with help of ______.

4. PSTN stands for __________________________.

5. In X-Series two DTE can be connected by mean of ____________lines.

6. In I-series two DTE can communicate with each other by help of _____ lines.

7. ISDN stands for ________________________________.

8. OSI reference model has _________ layers.

9. Upper layers of OSI model perform ______________ functions.

10. Lower layers of OSI model perform _______________functions.

Answer the following questions.

1. Name the seven layers of OSI model?

2. List the standard setting organizations?

3. Define the function of network layer?

4. What do you mean by closed system?

5. TCP/IP contains TCP and IP protocols, explain the function of both?