Open Systems Networking


David M. Piscitello, A. Lyman Chapin

Publisher: Addison-Wesley, 1993, 600 pages

ISBN: 0-201-56334-7

Keywords: Networks

Last modified: May 10, 2021, 10:16 p.m.

While the computer networking community debates which network standards to adopt — TCP/IP or OSI — today's programmers and engineers must be able to understand and work with both sets of protocols. Here is the first book to present an even handed and objective look at both protocol suites, comparing them feature by feature and showing you clearly where they are different, where they are similar, and how they got to be that way.

David Piscitello and Lyman Chapin can offer a historical perspective possible only from experts who have participated in the development and implementation of TCP/IP and OSI standards. This book opens with their fascinating insiders' account of how the standards were developed, which sets the stage for the very practical information that follows. They compare the TCP/IP and OSI architectures and then examine each of the protocol layers, using a "top-down" approach, which deals first with the user-visible distributed applications (such as electronic mail, directories, and network management) and then with the way in which these applications are supported by lower-layer networking protocols.

Specifically, the book compares:

  • OSI X.400 MHS and Internet Mail (SMTP/822)
  • OSI X.500 directory and the domain name system
  • OSI common management and simple network-management protocol
  • OSI transports and transmission-control protocol (TCP)
  • OSI and Internet datagrams (CLNP and IP) and routing

Equipped with the information in this landmark book, you will be able to cut through the political rhetoric of the open systems debate and apply the authorsä hard-won practical assessment of TCP/IP and OSI to the real-world task of building, operating, and using networks.

    • Preface
      • Why This Book, Now?
      • Demystifying Open Systems
      • Equal Treatment
      • Opinions Are Good!
      • Historical Asides and Authors' Insights
      • Who Should Read This Book?
      • Contributors
      • Acknowledgments
  • Part One: Introduction top Open Systems
    1. Introduction
      • Organization of This Book
    2. Open Systems Standards
      • OSI Standards
      • Internet Standards
      • Parting Comments on Open Systems Standards Process
  • Part Two: Open Network Architectures
    1. Concepts and Terminology of Open Systems
      • Introduction
      • AArchitectures
      • Open Systems
      • Architecture Wars
      • Layers
      • Terminology
      • Entities
      • Notation
      • Services
      • The Queue Model
      • Connections and Connectionless
      • What About Protocols?
      • Protocol Headers and User Data
      • Relating Service to Protocols
      • Time-Sequence Diagrams
      • A Final Fling with OSI Fundamentals
      • Conclusion
    2. The Language of Open Systems
      • Introduction
      • "Open" Languages — Breaking Language Barriers
      • Data Representation
      • Abstract Syntax Notation
      • ASN.1 Data Types and Tags
      • Modules
      • Transfer Syntax — Basic Encoding Rules (BER) for ASN.1
      • Do I Really Have to Deal with All This?
      • Languages and the TCP/IP Community
      • Conclusions
    3. Names and Addresses
      • Names
      • Addresses
      • Registration Authorities
      • Object Identifiers
      • Conclusion
  • Part Three: Upper Layers
    1. Open Systems Applications
      • Distributed Applications Services
      • Conclusion
    2. Directories
      • The Telephony Model
      • Directory System Principles
      • Open Systems Directories
      • The Domain Name System
      • The OSI Directory
      • The Directory Model
      • The Relationship Between OSI Directory and Message Handling Services
      • The OSI Directory in the Internet
      • Other Internet Directory Utilities
      • Resource Location
      • Conclusion
    3. Open Systems Messaging: Electronic Mail
      • OSI Message Handling System (X.400 MHS, MOTIS)
      • Internet Mail
      • Interworking between MHS and Internet Mail
      • Conclusion
    4. Network Management
      • The Internet Approach: Keep It Simple
      • OSI Common Management: Flexibility, At A Price
      • Putting It All Together
      • Where To from Here?
      • Conclusion
    5. "Core" Application Service Elements
      • Association-Control Service Element
      • Reliable Transfer Service Element
      • Remote Operations Service Element
      • "Core ASE Wanna-bes"
      • Conclusion
    6. The Presentation and Session Layers
      • Presentation Layer
      • Session Layer
      • Putting It All Together
      • The Future of OSI Upper Layers
      • Conclusion
  • Part Four: Middle Layers
    1. The Transport Layer
      • OSI's Connection-oriented Transport Service
      • TCP/IP's Reliable Stream Service
      • Interface to Transport Services
      • Transport Addressing
      • Five Classes of OSI Transport Protocol
      • Conformance
      • Comparing TP4 to TCP
      • OSI Transport Connection Establishment
      • Setting It All to UNIX
      • Frozen References
      • TCP Connection Establishment
      • Normal Data Transfer in OSI  Transport Protocol
      • Reliability Mechanisms to Deal with the Real World
      • Data Transfer in TCP — More of the Same
      • Window Consideration for TP4 and TCP
      • OSI's Expedited Data
      • TCP's Urgent Data
      • Timers and Open Transport Protocols
      • Connection Release (Connection Refusal) in the OSI Transport Protocol
      • Connection Release (Refusal) in TCP
      • Datagram Transport Protocol — CLTP and UDP
      • Conclusion
    2. The Network Layer
      • Architecture: The Internal Organization of the Network Layer
      • Connection-oriented Network Service
      • Connectionless Network Service
      • Internetworking Protocols
      • NL Protocol Identification in TCP/IP and Multiprotocol Environments
      • Network Layer Addresses
      • Conclusion
    3. Routing
      • Source Routing and "Hop-by-Hop" Routing
      • Routing Principles
      • Routing Protocols
      • Conclusion
    4. Data Link and Physical Layers
      • Taxonomy of Data Link Standards
      • Point-to-Point Connection Standards
      • Multiaccess Channel Standards
      • Metropolitan Area Networks: FDDI and IEEE 802.6 DQDB
      • Fast Packet Services and Technologies
      • Very High Bandwidth as an Enabling Vehicle for OSI
      • Conclusion
  • Part Five: The Future of Open Systems Networking
    1. Multiprotocol Open Systems
      • The Myth of "OSI Migration"
      • OSI Is an Alternative, Not a Substitute
      • OSI and TCP/IP Coexistence: Networking Détente
      • Bringing OSI into a Network
      • Are the Instrumentation and Expertise Available to Operate OSI Networks?
      • Conclusion
    2. An Architectural Alternative for the Internet
      • What Is "the Internet"?
      • A Naming-based Concept of Internet Connectivity
    3. A Reading From the Book of Genesis
  1. Networking Acronyms
  2. Sources
    • How and Where to Obtain Useful Information
    • Information about TCP/IP and the Internet
    • Information about OSI
    • Authors' Electronic Mail Addresses


Open Systems Networking

Reviewed by Roland Buresund

Outstanding ********* (9 out of 10)

Last modified: May 21, 2007, 3:16 a.m.

A brilliant comparision between (the now dead) OSI and TCP/IP. The book is very well written and in fact, funny. Also, they give away the start of the usage of the term 'entity'. You gotta love this one.


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