Wan and OSI Model


As described in relation to the OSI reference model, WAN operations focus primarily on Layer 1 and Layer 2. WAN access standards typically describe both physical layer delivery methods and data link layer requirements, including physical addressing, flow control, and encapsulation. WAN access standards are defined and managed by a number of recognized authorities, including the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the Telecommunication Industry Association (TIA), and the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA).
The physical layer (OSI Layer 1) protocols describe how to provide electrical, mechanical, operational, and functional connections to the services of a communications service provider.
The data link layer (OSI Layer 2) protocols define how data is encapsulated for transmission toward a remote location and the mechanisms for transferring the resulting frames. A variety of different technologies are used, such as Frame Relay and ATM. Some of these protocols use the same basic framing mechanism, High-Level Data Link Control (HDLC), an ISO standard, or one of its subsets or variants.
WAN Physical Layer Terminology
One primary difference between a WAN and a LAN is that a company or organization must subscribe to an outside WAN service provider to use WAN carrier network services. A WAN uses data links provided by carrier services to access the Internet and connect the locations of an organization to each other, to locations of other organizations, to external services, and to remote users. The WAN access physical layer describes the physical connection between the company network and the service provider network. The figure illustrates the terminology commonly used to describe physical WAN connections, including:
Customer Premises Equipment (CPE)-The devices and inside wiring located at the premises of the subscriber and connected with a telecommunication channel of a carrier. The subscriber either owns the CPE or leases the CPE from the service provider. A subscriber, in this context, is a company that arranges for WAN services from a service provider or carrier.
Data Communications Equipment (DCE)-Also called data circuit-terminating equipment, the DCE consists of devices that put data on the local loop. The DCE primarily provides an interface to connect subscribers to a communication link on the WAN cloud.
Data Terminal Equipment (DTE)-The customer devices that pass the data from a customer network or host computer for transmission over the WAN. The DTE connects to the local loop through the DCE.
Demarcation Point-A point established in a building or complex to separate customer equipment from service provider equipment. Physically, the demarcation point is the cabling junction box, located on the customer premises, that connects the CPE wiring to the local loop. It is usually placed for easy access by a technician. The demarcation point is the place where the responsibility for the connection changes from the user to the service provider. This is very important because when problems arise, it is necessary to determine whether the user or the service provider is responsible for troubleshooting or repair.
Local Loop-The copper or fiber telephone cable that connects the CPE at the subscriber site to the CO of the service provider. The local loop is also sometimes called the "last-mile."
Central Office (CO)-A local service provider facility or building where local telephone cables link to long-haul, all-digital, fiber-optic communications lines through a system of switches and other equipment.

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