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  1. Introduction
  2. Network Model
  3. Topology
  4. Physical Media
  5. Wireless Media
  6. Network Card
  7. Modems
  8. Outside Connections
  9. Wide Area Network Connections
  10. Repeaters, Bridges, Routers
  11. Network Types
  12. Ethernet
  13. Token Ring
  14. ARCnet
  15. AppleTalk
  16. FDDI
  17. Architecture Comparisons
  18. Categories
  19. TCP/IP
  20. IPX/SPX
  21. NetBEUI
  22. AppleTalk
  23. SNA
  24. Others
  25. Suites and Network Layers
  26. Installing Drivers
  27. DNS
  28. Network Operating Systems
  29. Applications, mail, groupware, DBMS
  30. Backing up the network
  31. Troubleshooting
  32. Web, SNMP, admin, firewalls
  33. Networking Terms and Definitions
  34. Credits

Network Drivers

Network driver interfaces allow multiple protocol stacks to use one network interface card. The two in use today are listed below. They are not compatible with each other.

Open Driver Interface (ODI)

ODI is normally found on NetWare networks and was developed by Novell and Apple. It competes with Microsoft's NDIS interface. It consists of:

  • Multiple Protocol Interface - Provides connectivity from the data link layer to the network layer.
  • Link Support Layer - It includes functions for managing protocol stack assignments and coordinating numbers assigned to MLIDs.
  • Multiple-Link Interface Driver (MLID) - Passes data between the data link layer and the hardware or the network media. The drivers are protocol-independent.

Allows multiple drivers to be used on one card and lets one protocol use multiple cards.

Network Driver Interface Specification (NDIS)

NDIS, from Microsoft, is used on Microsoft networks. It allows multiple protocols to be used on a network card and supports the data link layer of the network model.

Transport Driver Interface (TDI)

This is a standard for passing messages between the drivers at the data link layer and the protocols working at the network layer such as IP or NetBEUI. It was produced by Microsoft.

The network device driver must be compatable with ODI or NDIS in order to use the respective interfaces.