What are the benefits of using file-sharing protocols in embedded device networks?
File sharing enables multiple devices to remotely browse each other's shared folders, and to read, write, edit, copy, delete and update these files. All of these operations can be done without the need to transfer entire files to/from the device's local disk or memory. Using file sharing, embedded devices are able to reduce precious and costly storage space requirements as well as speed up response by eliminating the time needed to transfer files. File sharing also enables multiple devices to access and update the same file, while preventing conflicts with sophisticated file-sharing and locking semantics. All of the above are fundamental requirement for embedded device networks.
NQE™ features automatic device appearance under "My Network Places". What benefits does this feature provide to the end user?
CIFS NQE™ implements the Browser Host Announcement mechanism, which allows devices to automatically appear on any PC in the form of icons under "My Network Places" (or "Network Neighborhood"). Users are not required to perform complex installation procedures, configurations or driver installations when setting up and connecting devices to the network. For any end user familiar with the Windows environment, working with "My Network Places" is simple and intuitive, thus making the embedded device application easier to install and deploy.
Why use CIFS / SMB protocol with embedded devices?
Windows is by far the dominant operating system today, accounting for over 90% of computers worldwide. As the embedded systems market and applications expand, so does the need to provide file-sharing connectivity with Windows-based networks. And since CIFS / SMB is the native file sharing protocol and the basis for all Windows networks, it is the natural choice.
How do you compare NQE™ SMB implementation to Samba?
Samba provides full CIFS (SMB) file sharing implementation available only for Unix / Linux platforms. NQE™ is however easily portable to any platform. NQE™ has a much smaller footprint and provides high level of customization. Finally, NQE™ grants a commercial license, while modern Samba comes under GPL3 (general public license level 3), which for legal reasons is nearly impossible to use.
Why use SMB when FTP is available?
In contrast to FTP, which copies files, SMB grants file sharing. For instance, a text editor or MS Word, when working over SMB, opens a remote file in its original location. Besides, SMB provides better performance and grants higher security level.
Why use SMB when NFS is available?
NFS is only natively available on Linux/Unix platforms. Using it on a Windows machine is not easy, if at all possible. Besides, NFS is considered to be less secure than SMB.
Can I run NQE™ on my platform, which is a very specific, real-time OS?
NQE™ was successfully ported to tens of different platforms. Once your OS provides a TCP/IP stack, NQE™ Client will run on it. For NQE™ Server, you will also need a local file system. Adopting NQE™ to another OS is called "porting".
How complicated is to port NQE™ on my platform?
Depending on your platform, it may take from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. For a Posix-compliant OS, it should not take more than two days.
How can Visuality Systems assist us in the process of NQE™ porting?
This process is very well documented in "NQE™ Porting and Integration Guide". Also, we provide a 24/7 hotline for your engineers, as well as email support. In a more complicated case, our engineer can come to your location for onsite assistance.
What is NQE™ "Integration"?
This refers to fine tuning per project. Even after being ported to your OS, NQE™ may require additional adjustment on a per-project basis.
Why is SMB essential for a Storage solution when we can use NFS?
With NFS, your solution will be limited to Data Centers with Linux/Unix machines only. When Windows machines are involved, SMB becomes a must.
Is NQ™ Storage a complete Storage solution?
Generally speaking, it is not. NQ™ Storage is a front-end for an existing Storage solution. NQ™ Storage comes with an off-the-shelf solution for Linux platforms. You can use this solution as a standalone server, but not as a cluster.
How to integrate NQ™ Storage into our product?
In addition to porting and integration efforts, NQ™ Storage requires integration with a distributed file system backend, which requires another API.
Which SMB does NQ™ Storage support?
It supports 2.0, 2.1, 3.0, 3.1, while 3.1.1 is scheduled for the future. And yes, we still support SMB (1).
Do you support RDMA?
Yes. NQ™ Storage includes SMBD over RDMA transport module. It was tested over Mellanox Infiniband cards.
Is your SMB implementation mature enough to be a front-end for Data Center applications?
Yes. NQ™ Storage was successfully tested as a front-end of several applications, such as Hyper-V, SQL Server, Shadow Copy.
What is CIFS / SMB?
CIFS (Common Internet File System, formerly SMB) is the file and printer sharing protocol used by Microsoft Windows operating systems to share files and printers across the network.
What is NQE™?
NQE™ (Network Quick Embedded) is a CIFS / SMB file sharing middleware solution for embedded operating systems. Using NQE™, embedded devices based on VxWorks, ThreadX, Embedded Linux, INTEGRITY, iOS and other operating systems can be quickly connected to Windows-centric networks whilst providing full file and printer sharing capabilities.
What is NFS?
Similar to CIFS / SMB, NFS (Network File System) is the file sharing protocol which is used in Unix-based platforms to share files across the network.
Aren't there other file sharing solutions now available for embedded systems?
There are several other file-sharing solutions for embedded systems available today, none which can provide proper CIFS / SMB support. For example, the leading RTOS VxWorks only offers NFS implementation, making it impossible to share files in a Windows native networking environment. Another example is Embedded Linux, which can use Samba as a means to provide CIFS / SMB file sharing. Although Samba is an available working solution, its large memory footprint and lack of support make it a non-viable solution. NQE™ is the only product available today that provides a complete embedded CIFS / SMB solution regardless of the OS employed.
Why use CIFS / SMB when HTTP and FTP are also available?
HTTP and FTP can be used for file transfer between devices. However, they are not capable of providing file-sharing functionalities. In contrast, CIFS / SMB protocol supports remote file sharing access, thus enabling groups of embedded devices to work together and share documents across any network. Using CIFS / SMB file sharing instead of HTTP and FTP file transfer eliminates the need to transfer files between devices, which in turn reduces the need for expensive storage space and speeds up overall response time.
Why do I need SMB3? Isn't SMB2 enough for me?
SMB3 was introduced to answer two main challenges: 1) SMB encryption and 2) clustering. SMB2 lacks both of these.