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Network Devices & Interface Specification

Network Devices & Interface Specification

NDIS provides a very flexible environment for data exchange.
It defines the software Interface, called the NDIS interface, used by protocols drivers to communicate with the network adapter.
Advantages of a standardize Interface
1) Standards provide a general format so the protocol drivers only need to know how to issue and accept NDIS commands to communicate with the underlying MAC drivers and do not need to know the implementation details of any specific MAC driver.
Therefore any NDIS – compliant protocol driver can communicate with any NDIS – compliant MAC driver.
Binding
A process called binding is used to establish the initial communication channel between the protocol driver and the MAC driver.
The binding process allows a protocol driver and MAC driver to exchange information concerning their respective NDIS driver.
2) NDIS clearly defines which functions are performed by the protocol driver and which functions are performed by the MAC driver.
The network adapter manufacturer writes a small MAC driver that knows how to issue and accept NDIS commands at its top end and how to communicate with the network adapter at the bottom.
Interchangeable NDIS Drivers
Because NDIS has become a widely accepted device driver specification adapter drivers that conform to the NDIS standard have been able to work with a wide range of networking software that supports NDIS.
3) NDIS provides a way to bind multiple protocol and MAC drivers together so that you can use multiple network adapters at the same time.
NDIS uses a software driver called the protocol manager to bind the MAC and protocol drivers.
Multiple MAC and protocol drivers
The advantage of supporting multiple protocol drivers on a single network card is that the workstations can have simultaneous access to different types of network servers, each using a different protocol driver.