ULg Research Unit in Networking RUN

Communication Support for Distributed Systems OSI Versus Special Protocols

A. Danthine1

1 Research unit in Networking, EECS department, University of Liège, Belgium



After a review of the basic concepts behind OSI Reference Model, the paper shows the robustness of this model which has been able to absorb new technologies with minor modifications. The inflation of standards which followed the acceptance of the OSI RM was a real danger and the paper surveys the works of user's associations, standardization bodies and manufacturers to achieve implememtable protocol suites, known as profiles or functional standards. The possibility of revisiting the base standards is discussed as well as the possible aggregation of layers in profiles. Thr third part of the paper is devoted to the evaluation of what the OSI may offer as communication support to the distributed systems taking into account the requirements in terms of transparency, management and performance.

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