Data Encapsulation by Layers Computer Networks



Dr.Amer Salem,*hanan falah Mohamed.

  1. Dr.,University of Information Technology and Communications, Baghdad ,Iraq.
  2. Programmer., University of Information Technology and Communications, Baghdad ,Iraq.


The Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model is a reference tool for understanding data communications between any two networked systems. It divides the communications processes into seven layers. Each layer both performs specific functions to support the layers above it and offers services to the layers below it. The three lowest layers focus on passing traffic through the network to an end system. The top four layers come into play in the end system to complete the process.


This white paper will provide you with an understanding of each of the seven layers, including their functions and their relationships to each other. This will provide you with an overview of the network process, which can then act as a framework for understanding the details of computer networking.

Since the discussion of networking often includes talk of “extra layers”, this paper will address these unofficial layers as well.

Finally, this paper will draw comparisons between the theoretical OSI model and the functional TCP/IP model. Although TCP/IP has been used for network communications before the adoption of the OSI model, it supports the same functions and features in a differently layered arrangement.

An Overview of the OSI Model


A networking model offers a generic means to separate computer networking functions into multiple layers. Each of these layers relies on the layers below it to provide supporting capabilities and performs support to  the layers above it. Such a model of layered functionality is also called a “protocol stack” or “protocol suite”.

Protocols, or rules, can do their work in either hardware or software or, as with most protocol stacks, in a com- bination of the two. The nature of these stacks is that the lower layers do their work in hardware or firmware (software that runs on specific hardware chips) while the higher layers work in software.

The Open System Interconnection model is a seven-layer structure that specifies the requirements for commu- nications between two computers. The ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standard 7498-1 defined this model. This model allows all network elements to operate together, no matter who created the protocols and what computer vendor supports them.

The main benefits of the OSI model include the following:

  • Helps users understand the big picture of networking
  • Helps users understand how hardware and software elements function together
  • Makes troubleshooting easier by separating networks into manageable pieces
  • Defines terms that networking professionals can use to compare basic functional relationships on differ- ent networks
  • Helps users understand new technologies as they are developed
  • Aids in interpreting vendor explanations of product functionality