More WebNFS vs CIFS notices

Rohit Khare (
Mon, 26 Aug 96 18:10:25 -0400

This is really pathetic. w3mux *ought* to blow both away and consign them to
the dustbin of history. But not a peep from W3C or any other web developer to
stand in the way of a solidifying industry battleground. The theory is, let's
test and be sure that w3mux is perfect before tipping off the world that these
protocols are completely the wrong solution... [no caching, proxying,
application semantics, versioning, etc]

Rohit Khare

August 26, 1996 1:40 PM ET
Protocols to push file sharing across the Web

By _Lisa Wirthman_

A battle is brewing between competing protocols that enable file sharing over
the Internet.

Microsoft Corp. this week will gather industry vendors to review its CIFS
(Common Internet File System) protocol, while SunSoft Inc. makes moves to
further its WebNFS protocol.

About 40 companies will gather at Microsoft headquarters in Redmond, Wash.,
today and tomorrow for a technical conference to review CIFS for remote file
sharing over the Internet and corporate intranets, Microsoft officials said.

Microsoft's CIFS is based on the company's System Message Block Protocol,
which has been the core file sharing protocol in Microsoft platforms, said
Gary Voth, Microsoft's group product manager for strategic technologies and

CIFS will enable any client and any server to talk to each other and access
information across the Internet and intranets, said Voth.

Meanwhile, SunSoft is continuing to deploy its own WebNFS protocol-also for
Internet and intranet file sharing-and will integrate the protocol into Sun's
HotJava browser and forthcoming Java client this year, officials said.

Integration of WebNFS into the HotJava browser this year will enable the
protocol to be deployed on any operating system that supports Java, officials
said. WebNFS will also be included in the next version of Solaris, due early
next year.

Because WebNFS is based on parent Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Network File
System, it scales to support large numbers of users and is easily manageable,
said Sanjay Sinha, product marketing manager for Solaris Servers for SunSoft,
in Mountain View, Calif.

NFS servers are also fault-tolerant, Sinha said.

Although no formal comparisons have been done on the two protocols, the main
difference between them is that NFS comes out of the Unix arena, and CIFS
evolved from the desktop, said Rob Enderle, senior industry analyst for Giga
Information Group, in Santa Clara, Calif.

"NFS is the de facto standard for now, but the long-term contest will most
likely be decided by market share resources," Enderle said. "Many think that
will be CIFS."