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Imagine you are a wireless network contractor

Can someone break this down for me please?

Imagine you are a wireless network contractor and you are meeting with a potential client over lunch to discuss the possibility of setting up a wireless network in the client's building. She mentions that she has heard of the OSI model but does not fully understand it and asks you to explain it to her. She has limited technical background. How would you describe the OSI model to somebody like this potential client who does not have a technical background? Come up with an analogy, that will help clarify your explanation. Note: If you decide to use an analogy it should be original and not based on the example provided.

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In 1978, the International Organziation for Standardization (ISO) introduced the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) Reference model. It defines a layered model for an open systems environment in which a process running in one computer can communicate with a similar process in another computer if they implement the same OSI layer communication protocols. Specifically, this model describes networking as "a series of protocol layers with a specific set of functions allocated to each layer. Each layer offers specific services to higher layers while shielding these layers from the details of how the services are implemented. A well-defined interface between each pair of adjacent layers defines the services offered by the lower layer to the higher one and how those services are accessed." (

During a communication session, processes running in each layer on each computer communicate with one another. The bottom layer defines the actual physical components such as connectors and cable and the electrical transmission of data bits between systems. The layers immediately above define ...

Solution Summary

An 8-900 word discussion of the OSI model including an analogy is included in this solution to make it easier to grasp for the student. Many references are included for further learning.