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1 Introduction

The File Access Services (FAS) protocols allow applications to access and share files located on a file server, using a network between them, in a secure and managed environment. File sharing supports the collaborative development of documents, code, or any type of file and their subsequent publication, distribution, and further evolution. Centralizing file storage on file servers offers several benefits, including the following:

  • Centralizes data management, including backup.

  • Supports organizing data in a taxonomy (a file hierarchy) that is meaningful to a community of users, instead of requiring users to organize their own copies of the same data.

  • Supports a pull model for document distribution, allowing users to seek out data when needed, rather than have to organize data that is pushed to them, for example, in email.

  • Saves storage and network bandwidth in email systems, by allowing users to refer to files on file servers, using hyperlinks embedded in email messages.

File Access Services can be used for communication between any pair of computers, with one computer acting as client and the other as server. A given computer may act as a file services client, a file server, or both.

File Access Services is composed of the following member protocols:

  • Common Internet File System, described in [MS-CIFS], which supports the sharing of file and print resources between computers.

  • Common Internet File System (CIFS) Browser Protocol, described in [MS-BRWS], which is used to communicate with servers that are acting as clearinghouses for printing and file sharing services available on the network.

  • Distributed File System (DFS): Referral Protocol, described in [MS-DFSC], which is used by SMB file clients to resolve paths in a distributed virtual namespace.

  • File System Control Codes, described in [MS-FSCC], which defines the network format of native Windows structures used within other protocols such as SMB ([MS-SMB]).

  • NFS: Network File System Protocol, as defined in [RFC1094] version 2, [RFC1813] version 3, and [RFC5661] version 4.1. This protocol supports the sharing of file resources between computers.

  • Network Lock Manager (NLM) and Network Status Monitor (NSM) protocols, as defined in [C702]. These protocols are used in conjunction with the NFS file access protocols to provide support for file locking and service status monitoring.

  • Remote Administration Protocol, as defined in [MS-RAP], which is used for server discovery and remote administration. The administrative functions can use the protocol defined in [MS-BRWS] for server discovery as an alternative to that defined in [MS-RAP].

  • Server Message Block (SMB) Protocol, as defined in [MS-SMB]. This protocol defines extensions to the [MS-CIFS] protocol.

  • Server Message Block (SMB) Version 2 and 3 Protocol, as defined in [MS-SMB2]. This protocol shares and extends concepts from [MS-SMB] and [MS-CIFS], but has a completely new and separate command set.

  • SMB2 Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) Transport Protocol, as defined in [MS-SMBD]. This protocol (also called SMB Direct) allows SMB2 packets to be delivered over RDMA-capable transports such as iWARP or Infiniband ([IBARCH]) while utilizing the direct data placement (DDP) capabilities of these transports. Benefits include reduced CPU overhead, lower latency and improved throughput.

  • File System Algorithms, as defined in [MS-FSA]. The file system algorithms define an abstract model for how an object store can be implemented to support the Common Internet File System (CIFS) Protocol, the Server Message Block (SMB) Protocol, and the Server Message Block (SMB) Version 2 Protocol (described in [MS-CIFS], [MS-SMB], and [MS-SMB2] respectively).

  • Microsoft Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) protocol extensions, as defined in [MS-WDV], [MS-WDVME], and [MS-WDVSE]). These protocols define a set of extensions for both the WebDAV client and server.

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