The CIFS Protocol

The CIFS (Common Internet File System) protocol, which is based on the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol that defines most of the file transfer operations used by CIFS, differs in a number of respects from oft-studied NFSv2 and v3. Most importantly, CIFS is stateful: CIFS user and file operations act on stateful session IDs and file handles, making analysis of access patterns simpler and more accurate than in NFSv2 and v3, which require heuristics to infer the start and end of an access. Although CIFS may differ from other protocols, we believe our observations are not tied exclusively to CIFS because access patterns, file sharing, and other workload characteristics observed by the file server are influenced by the file system users, their applications,and the behavior of the file system client, none of which are closely tied to the transfer protocol.

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