Data communication as a need developed in the 1960s with the interconnection of peripheral devices to mainframe computers. Within the immediate vicinity of the mainframe computer the interconnection would be via a high-speed interconnection network, or Local Area Network. Communication to remote terminals was originally by text.
The communication between computers introduced a new discipline of communication protocols. A human being at one end of the connection can apply reasoning to correct most errors; however a computer is unable to apply reasoning. The protocols have to be capable of precise and unambiguous interpretation by a computer.
To separate the design of protocols they are separated into layers and formed into a layered architecture. The Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) is the model for a layered architecture, although most protocol architectures adhere to the principles of OSI rather then the strict definition of the layers.