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Chapter 1
Review: The OSI Reference Model and Routing
Networks are complex environments that involve multiple media, protocols, and
interconnections to networks outside an organization’s central office. Well-
designed and carefully installed networks can reduce the problems associated with
growth as a networking environment evolves.
Designing, building, and maintaining a network can be a challenging task. Even a
small network that consists of only 50 nodes can pose complex problems that lead
to unpredictable results. Large networks that feature thousands of nodes can pose
even more complex problems. Despite improvements in equipment performance
and media capabilities, designing and building a network is difficult.
This chapter reviews the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) reference model and
provides an overview of network planning and design considerations related to
routing. Much of this information should be familiar, because you were introduced
to these concepts in the first year of the Cisco Networking Academy Program.
Using the OSI reference model as a reference for network design can facilitate
changes. Using the OSI reference model as a hierarchical structure for network
design lets you design networks in layers. The OSI reference model is at the heart
of building and designing networks, with every layer performing a specific task to
promote data communications. In the world of networking, Layers 1 through 4 are
the focus. These four layers define the following:
• The type and speed of LAN and WAN media to be implemented
• How data is sent across the media
• The type of addressing schemes used
• How data is reliably sent across the network and how flow control is
accomplished
• The type of routing protocol implemented

Concept Questions
Demonstrate your knowledge of these concepts by answering the following
questions in the space provided.
1. By using layers, the OSI model simplifies the task required for two computers
to communicate. Explain why?

Each layer focuses on specific functions, thereby allowing the networking


designer to choose the right networking devices and functions for the layer.
2. Each layer’s protocol exchanges information, called protocol data units
(PDUs), between peer layers. Explain how this is done?

Host A has information to send to host B. The application program in host


A communicates with host A’s application layer, which communicates with
host A’s presentation layer, which communicates with host A’s session
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layer, and so on, until host A’s physical layer is reached. The physical layer
puts information on (and takes information off) the physical network
medium. After the information traverses the physical network medium and
is picked up by host B, it ascends through host B’s layers in reverse order
(first the physical layer, then the data link layer, and so on) until it finally
reaches host B’s application layer.
3. Explain the concept of encapsulation.

Specific requests are stored as control information, which is passed


between peer layers in a header block that is attached to the actual
application information. Each layer depends on the service function of the
OSI reference model layer below it. To provide this service, the lower layer
uses encapsulation to put the PDU from the upper layer into its data field;
then, it can add whatever headers and trailers the layer will use to perform
its function.
4. Explain what the term Ethernet means.

The term Ethernet refers to the family of LAN implementations that


includes three principal categories:
⇒ Ethernet and IEEE 802.3—LAN specifications that operate at 10
Mbps over coaxial and twisted-pair cable.
⇒ 100-Mbps Ethernet—A single LAN specification, also known as Fast
Ethernet, that operates at 100 Mbps over twisted-pair cable.
⇒ 1000-Mbps Ethernet—A single LAN specification, also known as
Gigabit Ethernet, that operates at 1000 Mbps (1 Gbps) over fiber and
twisted-pair cables.
5. What is a datagram?

Logical grouping of information sent as a network layer unit over a


transmission medium without prior establishment of a virtual circuit. IP
datagrams are the primary information units in the Internet.
6. What is ARP and how does it work?

To communicate on an Ethernet network, the source station must know the


destination station’s IP and MAC addresses. When the source has
determined the IP address for the destination, the source’s Internet
protocol looks into its ARP table to locate the MAC address for the
destination. If the Internet protocol locates a mapping of destination IP
address to destination MAC address in its table, it binds the IP address with
the MAC address and uses them to encapsulate the data. The data packet is
then sent out over the networking media to be picked up by the destination.
If the MAC address is not known, the source must send out an ARP
request. To determine a destination address for a datagram, the ARP table
on the router is checked. If the address is not in the table, ARP sends a
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broadcast looking for the destination station. Every station on the network
receives the broadcast.
7. Most routing protocols can be classified into one of two basic types of
protocols: Routed or Routing. What are the differences between the two ?

⇒ Routed protocol—Any network protocol that provides enough


information in its network layer address to allow a packet to be
forwarded from host to host based on the addressing scheme. Routed
protocols define the format and use of the fields within a packet.
Packets generally are conveyed from end system to end system. IP is an
example of a routed protocol.
⇒ Routing protocol—A protocol that supports a routed protocol by
providing mechanisms for sharing routing information. Routing
protocol messages move between the routers. A routing protocol
allows the routers to communicate with other routers to update and
maintain tables.
8. Examples of IP routing protocols include RIP, IGRP, OSPF, and EIGRP.
Explain the differences between these different types of protocols.

IP Routing Protocols:
At the network layer (Layer 3) of the OSI reference model, a router can
use IP routing protocols to accomplish routing through the implementation
of a specific routing protocol. Examples of IP routing protocols include:
⇒ RIP—A distance-vector routing protocol
⇒ IGRP—Cisco’s distance-vector routing protocol
⇒ OSPF—A link-state routing protocol
⇒ EIGRP—A balanced-hybrid routing protocol
• Classes of Routing Protocols:
Most interior routing protocols can be classified as one of three basic
types: distance vector, link state, or balanced-hybrid routing. The distance-
vector routing protocol determines the direction (vector) and distance to
any link in the network. The link-state routing protocol (also called the
shortest path first [SPF] protocol) approach re-creates the exact topology
of the entire network (or at least the partition in which the router is
situated). The balanced-hybrid protocol combines aspects of the link-state
and distance-vector protocols.
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Vocabulary Exercise
Define the following terms as completely as you can. Use the online curriculum or
Chapter 1 of the Cisco Networking Academy Program CCNA 3 and 4 Companion
Guide, Third Edition, for help.
application layer Layer 7 of the OSI reference model. This layer provides
network services to user applications. For example, a word processing application
is serviced by file transfer services at this layer.
ARP (Address Resolution Protocol) An Internet protocol used to map an IP
address to a MAC address. Defined in RFC 826. Compare with RARP.
Cisco IOS (Internetwork Operating System) Software Cisco system software
that provides common functionality, scalability, and security for all products under
the CiscoFusion architecture. Cisco IOS Software allows centralized, integrated,
and automated installation and management of internetworks, while ensuring
support for a wide variety of protocols, media, services and platforms.
data link layer Layer 2 of the OSI reference model. This layer provides reliable
transit of data across a physical link. The data link layer is concerned with physical
addressing, network topology, line discipline, error notification, ordered delivery
of frames, and flow control. The IEEE has divided this layer into two sublayers:
the MAC sublayer and the LLC sublayer. Sometimes simply called link layer.
datagram A logical grouping of information sent as a network layer unit over a
transmission medium without prior establishment of a virtual circuit. IP datagrams
are the primary information units in the Internet. The terms cell, frame, message,
packet, and segment are also used to describe logical information groupings at
various layers of the OSI reference model and in various technology circles.
default route A routing table entry that is used to direct frames for which a
next hop is not explicitly listed in the routing table.
distance-vector routing protocol A routing protocol that iterates on the
number of hops in a route to find a shortest-path spanning tree. Distance-vector
routing protocols call for each router to send its entire routing table in each
update, but only to its neighbors. Distance-vector routing protocols can be prone
to routing loops, but are computationally simpler than link-state routing protocols.
dynamic routing Routing that adjusts automatically to network topology or
traffic changes.
EIGRP (Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol) An advanced
version of IGRP developed by Cisco. Provides superior convergence properties
and operating efficiency, and combines the advantages of link-state protocols with
those of distance-vector protocols.
flow control A technique for ensuring that a transmitting entity does not
overwhelm a receiving entity with data. When the buffers on the receiving device
are full, a message is sent to the sending device to suspend the transmission until
the data in the buffers has been processed.
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ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol) A network layer Internet protocol


that reports errors and provides other information relevant to IP packet
processing.
IGRP (Interior Gateway Routing Protocol) A protocol developed by Cisco to
address the problems associated with routing in large, heterogeneous networks.
IP address A 32-bit address assigned to hosts by using TCP/IP. An IP address
belongs to one of five classes (A, B, C, D, or E) and is written as 4 octets
separated by periods (that is, dotted-decimal format). Each address consists of a
network number, an optional subnetwork number, and a host number. The network
and subnetwork numbers together are used for routing, and the host number is
used to address an individual host within the network or subnetwork. A subnet
mask is used to extract network and subnetwork information from the IP address.
MAC (Media Access Control) The part of the data link layer that includes the
6-byte (48-bit) address of the source and destination, and the method of getting
permission to transmit.
network A collection of computers, printers, routers, switches, and other
devices that can communicate with each other over some transmission medium.
network layer Layer 3 of the OSI reference model. This layer provides
connectivity and path selection between two end systems. The network layer is the
layer at which routing occurs.
NIC (network interface card) A board that provides network communication
capabilities to and from a computer system.
packet A logical grouping of information that includes a header containing
control information and (usually) user data. Packets are most often used to refer to
network layer units of data. The terms datagram, frame, message, and segment are
also used to describe logical information groupings at various layers of the OSI
reference model and in various technology circles.
SPF (shortest path first) protocol. Routing algorithm that iterates on length of
path to determine a shortest-path spanning tree. Commonly used in link-state
routing algorithms.
Static routing. Routing that is explicitly configured and entered into the routing
table. Static routes take precedence over routes chosen by dynamic routing
protocols.
Stub network. A network that has only a single connection to a router.
Presentation layer. Layer 6 of the OSI reference model. This layer provides data
representation and code formatting, along with the negotiation of data transfer
syntax. It ensures that the data that arrives from the network can be used by the
application, and it ensures that information sent by the application can be
transmitted on the network.
RARP (Reverse Address Resolution Protocol). A protocol in the TCP/IP stack
that provides a method for finding IP addresses based on MAC addresses.
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Focus Questions

1. List each of the layers of the OSI model and identify their function. Indicate
what networking and internetworking devices operate at each of the layers.
Be specific.

Layer 7: Application. This layer provides services to application


processes (such as electronic mail, file transfer, and terminal emulation)
that are outside of the OSI model. The application layer identifies and
establishes the availability of intended communication partners (and the
resources required to connect with them), synchronizes cooperating
applications, and establishes agreement on procedures for error recovery
and control of data integrity.
Layer 6: Presentation. This layer ensures that information sent by the
application layer of one system will be readable by the application layer of
another. The presentation layer is also concerned with the data structures
used by programs and therefore negotiates data transfer syntax for the
application layer. This layer also handles encryption and compression of
data packets.
Layer 5: Session. This layer establishes, manages, and terminates sessions
between applications and manages data exchange between presentation
layer entities.
Layer 4: Transport. This layer is responsible for reliable network
communication between end nodes. The transport layer provides
mechanisms for the establishment, maintenance, and termination of virtual
circuits, transport fault detection and recovery, and information flow
control.
Layer 3: Network. This layer provides connectivity and path selection
between two end systems. The network layer is the layer at which routing
occurs.
Layer 2: Data link. This layer provides reliable transit of data across a
physical link. The data link layer is concerned with physical addressing,
network topology, line discipline, error notification, ordered delivery of
frames, and flow control. The IEEE has divided this layer into two
sublayers: the MAC sublayer and the LLC sublayer.
Layer 1: Physical. The physical layer defines the electrical, mechanical,
procedural and functional specifications for activating, maintaining, and
deactivating the physical link between end systems.

2. Outline a presentation that you might give to your parents that explains the
OSI model. What examples might you use?

Answers will vary


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CCNA Exam Review Questions


The following questions help you review for the CCNA exam. The answers appear
in Appendix A, “Answers to CCNA Exam Review Questions.”

1. Which OSI layer supports file transfer?

A. Application layer
B. Network layer
C. Presentation layer
D. Session layer
E. Physical layer
2. Which OSI layer negotiates data transfer syntax such as ASCII?

A. Network layer
B. Transport layer
C. Application layer
D. Physical layer
E. Presentation layer
3. Which OSI layer deals with connection coordination between applications?

A. Physical layer
B. Data link layer
C. Transport layer
D. Session layer
E. Presentation layer
4. Which OSI layer supports reliable connections for data transport services?

A. Application layer
B. Session layer
C. Presentation layer
D. Physical layer
E. Transport layer

5. At what layer does routing occur?


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A. Session layer
B. Application layer
C. Network layer
D. Transport layer
E. Data link layer