What is Media Access Management?

Malcolm Tatum

Media access management is a protocol that is associated with an Open Systems Interconnection model. Essentially, media access management works within OSI as the means of performance associated with the media access control functions of the model. The process makes it possible for the system to determine if resources are free for transmission of data packets or frames.

Man holding computer
Man holding computer

The place within the system where media access management takes place is the Mac sublayer within the data-link layer. It is at this juncture that the quality, size, and compatibility of the data is determined. The management function implements certain orders to the controller based on how the data frame or packet is read, processed, and approved for delivery. Prior to reaching the data-link layer, the data packet or frame passed thorough what is known as the carrier sense multiple access/collision detect sublayer, where the data packet was maintained without corrupting other packets or being corrupted. Upon receiving and qualifying the packet, the management component prepares to pass the data on to the next step of the process by transmitting the information to physical layer signaling or PLS.

In the event that some sort of issue arose with the packet while moving through the carrier sense multiple access/collision detect sublayer, the media access management function will still receive the data and evaluate the situation. If data integrity can be restored, then the media access management will order the media access control to pass or transmit the repaired data packet on to the PLS. If that it not possible, the data is rejected and the transmission is shut down.

While this process of media access management may seem somewhat complicated, the actual steps take a matter of seconds to complete. Each step of the approach is designed to prevent incoming data transmissions from damaging the hardware or one of the files in a software application to the point that it cannot function. Once the valid nature of a data frame or packet is determined, the process moves forward smoothly and efficiently.

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