Data encapsulation in the OSI model

In the previous lesson we have learned that the term encapsulation describes the process of putting headers (and sometimes trailers) around some data. Like with the TCP/IP layers, each OSI layer asks for services from the next lower layer. The lower layer encapsulates the higher layer’s data between a header (Data Link protocols also add a trailer). While the TCP/IP model uses terms like segment, packet and frame to refer to a data packet defined by a particular layer, the OSI model uses a different term: protocol data unit (PDU).

A PDU represent a unit of data with headers and trailers for the particular layer, as well as the encapsulated data. Since the OSI model has 7 layers, PDUs are numbered from 1 to 7, with the Physical layer being the first one. For example, the term Layer 3 PDU refers to the data encapsulated at the Network layer of the OSI model.

Here is a graphical representation of the PDUs in the OSI model:

enapsulation pdu

Geek University 2021