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TCP/IP Transport Layer Protocols
The first three layers of the OSI
Reference Modelthe physical layer,
data link layer and network layerare very important layers for
understanding how networks function. The physical layer moves bits over
wires; the data link layer moves frames on a network; the network layer
moves datagrams on an internetwork. Taken as a whole, they are the parts
of a protocol stack that are responsible for the actual nuts and
bolts of getting data from one place to another.
Immediately above these we have the
fourth layer of the OSI Reference Model: the transport layer,
called the host-to-host transport layer in the TCP/IP
model. This layer is interesting in that
it resides in the very architectural center of the model. Accordingly,
it represents an important transition point between the hardware-associated
layers below it that do the grunt work, and the layers above
that are more software-oriented and abstract.
Protocols running at the transport
layer are charged with providing several important services to enable
software applications in higher layers to work over an internetwork.
They are typically responsible for allowing connections to be established
and maintained between software services on possibly distant machines.
Perhaps most importantly, they serve as the bridge between the needs
of many higher-layer applications to send data in a reliable way without
needing to worry about error correction, lost data or flow management,
and network-layer protocols, which are often unreliable and unacknowledged.
Transport layer protocols are often very tightly-tied to the network
layer protocols directly below them, and designed specifically to take
care of functions that they do not deal with.
In this section I describe transport
layer protocols and related technologies used in the TCP/IP protocol
There are two main protocols at this layer; the Transmission Control
Protocol (TCP) and the User Datagram Protocol (UDP). I also discuss
how transport-layer addressing is done in TCP/IP in the form of ports
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The TCP/IP Guide (http://www.TCPIPGuide.com)
Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005
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