Searching for the history of OSI and the reference model yields a large number of comments ranging from “it’s totally wrong and would never have worked” to “yes, it’s out of date, but it still has value for teaching” to “it’s dead and gone.” Some say OSI isn’t what real networks do, so it’s not even useful as guidance for troubleshooters. I will say this: the last thing on our minds during OSI standards development was to make a diagnostic tool for networks!
Significant technical misunderstandings have cropped up about OSI as well. The OSI of 1983 cannot be compared to the global distributed systems of 2020 – after all, OSI development had mostly stopped by the late 80s. The majority of the OSI protocols never got any significant use. However, many of the concepts remain valid and some OSI terminology has crept into the language (e.g., services, service access points, endpoints, and even openness).
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