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

Steve French (smfrench@austin.rr.com)

In early 2007 SMB2 became the first widely deployed network file system protocol since NFS version 4.  Implementations of SMB2  include not just Vista and Longhorn but also Samba 4 server and client libraries (and decoding support for SMB2 is already available in Wireshark).

This presentation will compare SMB2 with its predecessor (CIFS), the most widely deployed network file system protocol, and others.   The strengths and weaknesses of SMB/CIFS, NFS and SMB2 will be described.  Now that the CIFS POSIX Protocol extensions are implemented in the Linux kernel, Samba, and multiple operating systems, whether SMB2 rather than these CIFS POSIX Protocol extensions would be better can be analyzed.  In addition, some of the alternatives such as HTTP/WebDav and cluster file systems will be reviewed.  Linux implementation progress and alternatives for SMB2 client and server will be described, and recommendations made for future work.