A product of the International Organization of Standardization efforts at interconnecting open systems, the OSI or Open Systems Interconnection model is a method of breaking down a communications platform into simpler and more manageable subdivisions called layers.
On the other hand, a layer is a compilation of identical features and functions that offer specialized services to the layer above it and gets benefits from the layer below it, so it's a hierarchy of services or a ladder to success that makes the whole setup work from the get go.
This symbiotic give-and-take is called an instance, such that whenever a service is requested from the layer below and services are given to the layer above, those are all referred to as instances.
It's the OSI's inherent interactivity and connectivity that allows the system to operate sort of like the layer-by-layer version of the cogs inside a watch or clock.
Meanwhile, it's the protocols that allow an entity in a given host to communicate with an equivalent entity within the same layer of another host.
Furthermore, the service definitions are the ones that conceptually define the features offered to an (N)-layer by an (N-1) layer, wherein N symbolizes one of the seven protocol layers working within the local host.
To be more specific, a layer that deploys errorless communications across a particular network can offer the path required by programs above it.
Meanwhile, it requires the layer below it to receive and send packets that compose the material of the path.
The horizontal communication on a given layer is basically linked by two instances happening at that very layer.
The majority of networking protocols utilized in the market nowadays are modeled after TCP/IP stacks, so to speak, hence this layer architecture of sorts.
The industry has the ISO or International Organization for Standardization to thank for the OSI, because its the organization that started the whole development of the OSI framework architecture after the work of Charles Bachman from Honeywell Information Services helped come up with the plan on creating a network structure that uses a seven-layer model as its foundation.
Some orthogonal issues, such as security and management, are also involved in each and every layer.