Server Message Block


Server Message Block (SMB), one version of which was also known as Common Internet File System (CIFS), operates as an Application Layer network protocol mainly used for providing shared access to files, printers, and serial ports and miscellaneous communications between nodes on a network.

Server Message Block also provides an authenticated inter-process communication mechanism.

Most usage of Server Message Block involves computers running Microsoft Windows, where it was known as "Microsoft Windows Network" before the subsequent introduction of Microsoft Active Directory. Corresponding Windows services are LAN Manager Server (for the server component) and LAN Manager Workstation (for the client component).

Server Message Block is also used with Samba

Versions of Server Message Block#

There are several different versions of SMB used by Microsoft Operating Systems: Windows NT is no longer supported, so CIFS is definitely out.

Windows Server 2003 R2 with a current service pack is under Extended Support, so SMB1 is still around for a little while.

SMB 2.x in Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are under Mainstream Support until 2015. You can find the most current information on the support lifecycle page for Windows Server. The information is subject to the Microsoft Policy Disclaimer and Change Notice. You can use the support pages to also find support policy information for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8.

In Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2, we introduced the option to completely disable CIFS/SMB1 support, including the actual removal of the related binaries. While this is not the default configuration, we recommend disabling this older version of the protocol in scenarios where it’s not useful, like Hyper-V over SMB.

More Information#

There might be more information for this subject on one of the following: