(Earl)Data communications are the term for how data is transmitted between locations. Whether the places are going from one cubicle to another or offices in different countries, data communications require hardware and software to make this all work correctly. The hardware necessary for the data communications model is the server, client, and circuit. The server is the primary data store. It holds specific information that the clients will use in a client-server environment. The clients are hardware-specific to end users that utilize the circuit to communicate with the server and other clients. Finally, the course is the pathway that all data travels through to get from one location to another. The circuit typically consists of a router and switch that uses either copper wired ethernet cables, fiber optic cables, and in many cases, both. These are the main hardware technologies needed in the data communication model.
As important as the hardware is for data communication, the software to translate and send that data is just as vital. The software portion consists of the top three layers of the OSI model, commonly called the internet model. “Each computer in the network has software that operates at each of the layers and performs the functions required by those layers” (FitzGerald et al., 2021, pg 12). Each layer uses a protocol to define what is to be done with the information sent. For example, suppose a user is navigating through a website and clicks on a link. The link will trigger a message to be sent out first through the application layer. This layer will understand that its web traffic is then translated into HTTP and then put into an envelope filled with the user’s requested information. The data then moves to the transport layer, where it is converted from HTTP to TCP where the large file is broken up into small pieces and then sent off to the server. Finally, the information quickly moves through the rest of the layers to transmit the requested data back to the user.
FitzGerald, J., Dennis, A., & Durcikova, A. (2021). Business Data Communications and networking. Wiley.