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 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. YNQ™ 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.