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OSI
Last modified: Thursday, March 09, 2006 

(1) (pronounced as separate letters) Short for Open System Interconnection, an ISO standard for worldwide communications that defines a networking framework for implementing protocols in seven layers. Control is passed from one layer to the next, starting at the application layer in one station, proceeding to the bottom layer, over the channel to the next station and back up the hierarchy.

At one time, most vendors agreed to support OSI in one form or another, but OSI was too loosely defined and proprietary standards were too entrenched. Except for the OSI-compliant X.400 and X.500 e-mail and directory standards, which are widely used, what was once thought to become the universal communications standard now serves as the teaching model for all other protocols.

Most of the functionality in the OSI model exists in all communications systems, although two or three OSI layers may be incorporated into one.

OSI is also referred to as the OSI Reference Model or just the OSI Model.

See a breakdown of the seven OSI layers in the Quick Reference section of Webopedia.

Also see "The OSI Reference Model — Understanding Layers" in Webopedia's "Did You Know..." section.

(2) Abbreviation for the Open Source Initiative.

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For internet.com pages about OSI . Also check out the following links!

Related Links

EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet 
EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet provides practical advice and news for running and managing an enterprise network. In-depth articles and news cover topics such as network management, network monitoring, servers, communications, Internet telephony, operating systems, and much more.

PracticallyNetworked.com 
PracticallyNetworked.com provides easy-to-understand help for small-network builders. The site contains how-to information for setting up and debugging home-office and small-business networks. Users can also find extensive troubleshooting information, tips on getting applications to work through firewalls, product reviews on network hardware and software, and more.

PracticallyNetworked.com Discussion Forums 
If network connections, sharing computers, router problems or other networking issues are bogging you down, then the PracticallyNetworked.com discussion forum is the place to be. Here you'll find help and support for all your network-related problems.

ISO OSI standards page
This site lists OSI standards by reference number. Look here to find out which standard you need, but you can't download it - the standards must be purchased from the ISO.

OSI: The Network Layer
This page, from Cisco Systems, provides an illustrated overview of OSI with information on OSI network-layer services and protocols, routing protocols, and a description of Cisco's OSI implementation.

Understanding OSI
Provides chapters of a book that explains why OSI is the shape it is and offers critical examination of the OSI approach to specifying rules for computer communication (computer protocols).

related categories

Networking Standards

Standards Organizations

related terms

DLC

IDNX

ISO

MAC Layer

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