[GRLUG] Poll: OSI Model/Protocol

Dan Taylor slash at darkhaven.net
Sun Jun 5 21:16:19 EDT 2011

On 06/05/2011 07:57 PM, Eric Beversluis wrote:
> I'd like to conduct a poll.
> Having exerted some (not very significant) level of effort, a number of
> years ago, acquainting myself with the OSI model/standard, I'm curious
> if I'm the only one who sees imposing this learning task on computer
> students as pointless.
> Item: in about 8 years since studying all that, I have seen maybe one or
> two references to the model and, as nearly as I can recall, none of the
> work I've done in this time has needed to utilize knowledge of the
> model.
> Item: the de facto standard for networking, TCP/IP, uses a significantly
> different model; nor have I seen any need to understand the TCP/IP
> layers in my work.
> I would guess designers and builders of hardware and certain programs
> would use knowledge of the TCP/IP layer protocols. But other than these
> users, who out there has had the need to be acquainted with the OSI
> model?
How often do you use Wireshark?  It certainly helps visualize a
breakdown of the 1s and 0s flowing across the network if you understand
the OSI model and the breakdown of communication protocol stack.
I'd argue that learning IPv4 subnet calculating by hand (required for
Cisco certs) has been a pointless task to learn.  There has never been a
time where I haven't had access to a calculator to do that task.  So
long as you understand the fundamentals of binary and hex math, network
and broadcast addresses, I personally don't see the need to do it by hand.

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