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    OSI Model - Presentation Layer

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    You are currently working for Surebank, a mid-size financial institution. The organization has approximately 80 people working in their main location where your office is located. The bank also has two branch locations. You have been very successful in your career as a Network Operation Specialist, serving at the help desk, assisting many users with routine problems with their desktop PC's and the company software. Your supervisor, the Network Administrator, was recently fired because of poor attendance. As you are the senior NOS and have performed very capably, you have been appointed as the Interim Network Administrator. If you do well, the interim position could become permanent for you.

    Windows 2000 operating system and the Microsoft Office 2000 Suite is on all of the desktop computers (each staff member has a PC). These are the two primary applications you maintain on the network. The staff also uses a text-based interface to the financial system that operates on a mini-main frame similar to a UNIX machine. This interface is supported by consultants. You only need to coordinate the support calls for this software.

    Each branch office has only two computers. Those computers are connected to the main office over a Frame Relay network that is supported by your local Internet Service Provider.

    When you moved into your new office, you discovered that there is no network inventory, no network diagram, and very little information on how to maintain the network. You believe that the former Network Administrator took all of this information with him in retaliation for being terminated. You are not allowed to contact him, so you are on your own to learn and recreate the information you will need to be successful in this new position.

    You will be able to use Internet search engines as well as have access to vendor information and technical resources to assist you in the work.

    The main office computers are connected via an Ethernet network and a Token Ring network. Your predecessor was working on a presentation to your boss about having the Token Ring network replaced and converted to Ethernet. You have not been able to find the presentation so you will need to redo his work. In the coming weeks, you will need to both maintain current projects and systems, as well as take on any projects management asks of you.

    You and the other members of the IT team for Surebank need to get up to speed on the OSI model. Describe the seven layers of the OSI model. Describe and explain each function of the seven layers, the protocols used, and the network components involved. State your findings as a short presentation.

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    Describe and explain each function of the seven layers, the protocols used, and the network components involved.
    I have given a brief overview of the OSI model as a whole and as requested, have delivered more detail on the presentation layer.
    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." (http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa938287.aspx)
    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 data packaging and addressing methods. Still further up are methods for keeping communication sessions alive. Finally, the uppermost layers describe how applications use the underlying communication systems to interact with applications on other systems.
    The following table elaborates a bit on each of the seven layers: Application, Presentation, Session, Transport, Network, Data Link and Physical. Note: A handy way to remember the seven layers is the sentence "All people seem to need data processing." The beginning letter of each word corresponds to a layer:
    ? All?Application layer
    ? People?Presentation layer
    ? Seem?Session layer
    ? To?Transport layer
    ? Need?Network layer
    ? Data?Data link layer
    ? Processing?Physical layer
    (Layer 7) This layer supports application and end-user processes. Communication partners are identified, quality of service is identified, user authentication and privacy are considered, and any constraints on data syntax are identified. Everything at this layer is application-specific. This layer provides ...

    Solution Summary

    Discussion of the OSI Model with particular focus on the presentation layer.