OSI Model Advantages and Basic Purpose Explained

This tutorial explains the advantages and basic purposes of OSI model in detail. Learn why the OSI Model was created along with the purposes and benefits of the OSI model.

A networking model describes how information is transferred from one networking component to another. Just like a house blueprint defines the materials and technologies that are used in constructing the house, a networking model defines the protocols and devices that are required in building the network.

Technically, a networking model is a comprehensive set of documents that describes how everything should happen in network. Individually, each document describes a functionality, protocol or device that is required by a small portion of the network.

Why was the OSI Model created?

In starting days of computer networking, vendors created proprietary networking models to support their own products. The biggest problem with these models was that they allowed communication only between the devices those were manufactured by the same vendor. For example, a computer manufactured by the IBM was able to communicate only with the computer or networking device that was also manufactured by the IBM.

This situation was neither good nor profitable for both manufacturers and consumers. It not only forced manufacturers to make all essential networking devices but also forced consumers to buy all devices from the same manufacturer.

To break through this barrier, leading hardware manufactures agreed to use or support a vendor neutral networking model along with their own proprietary networking model in devices. To create a vendor neutral networking model, two major efforts were made.

The first one was made by ISO and the second one was made by DoD. ISO (The International Organization for Standardization) created the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) model and DoD (U.S. Department of Defense) created the TCP/IP model.

This tutorial is the first part of the article "Networking reference models explained in detail with examples". This article explains following CCNA topic.

Compare and contrast OSI and TCP/IP models

Other parts of this article are following.

OSI Seven Layers Model Explained with Examples

This tutorial is the second part of the article. It explains the seven layers of OSI model in details.

Similarities and Differences between OSI and TCP/IP Model

This tutorial is the third part of the article. It compares OSI reference model with TCP/IP model and lists the similarities and differences between both models.

TCP/IP Reference Model Explained

This tutorial is the fourth part of the article. It explains the five layers of TCP/IP model in detail.

Data Encapsulation and De-encapsulation Explained

This tutorial is the fifth part of the article. It explains how data is encapsulated and de-encapsulated when it passes through the layers.

Purposes of OSI model

OSI model was created for following purposes:-

  • To standardize data networking protocols to allow communication between all networking devices across the entire planet.
  • To create a common platform for software developers and hardware manufactures that encourage the creation of networking products that can communicate with each other over the network.
  • To help network administrators by dividing large data exchange process in smaller segments. Smaller segments are easier to understand, manage and troubleshoot.

Layered approach

Layered approach is the hierarchical way to address all required technologies and devices in effective communication. It allows vendors and manufactures to build and design specific application and hardware in one layer for particular purpose without affecting the entire network protocol stack.

OSI model uses this approach. It divides entire communication process in seven layers. Each layer describes a particular functionality along with the protocols and devices which are required to perform that functionality.

Advantages of OSI Model

The advantages of OSI Model are following: -

  • Help network administrators in determining the required hardware and software to build their network.
  • Encourage hardware manufactures to create the networking products that can communicate with each other over the network.
  • Provide a teaching tool to understand the communication process used between networking components.
  • Separate a complex function into simpler components.
  • Make troubleshooting easier, as network administrators can troubleshoot issue more quickly and effectively by looking in a layer that is causing issue rather than finding it in entire network.

advantages of OSI model

That’s all for this part. In next part of this article, I will explain the seven layers of OSI model in detail. If you like this tutorial, please don’t forget to share it with friends through your favorite social platform.

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