A New Network File System is Born: Comparison of SMB2, CIFS, and NFS

In early 2007, SMB2 became the first widely deployed network file system protocol since NFS version 4. This presentation will compare it with its predecessors (CIFS and SMB) as well as with common alternatives. The strengths and weaknesses of SMB/CIFS (the most widely deployed network file system protocol) and NFS versions 3 and 4 (the next most popular protocols) and SMB2 will also be described.

Now that the CIFS POSIX Protocol extensions are implemented in the Linux kernel, Samba, and multiple operating systems, it is a good time to analyze whether SMB2 would be better for Linux comprared to CIFS POSIX Protocol extensions. In addition, alternatives such as HTTP, WebDav, and cluster file systems will be reviewed. Implementations of SMB2 are included in not just Vista and Longhorn, but also Samba client libraries and Wireshark (decoding support). Linux implementation progress and alternatives for SMB2 clients and servers will also be described along with recommendations for future work in this area.

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