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.