[MS] CIFS: A Common Internet File System Protocol

Rohit Khare (khare@pest.w3.org)
Mon, 12 Aug 96 19:16:10 -0400

MS is in the game, too:

> The Internet is rapidly opening up new ways of
> communicating for individuals and organizations alike.
> Until now, most Internet usage has been limited to simple
> one-way file transfers or read-only browsing. However,
> the demand for greater interactivity on the Internet is
> exploding. Now there is the Common Internet File System
> (CIFS) protocol to support rich, collaborative
> applications over the Internet.
> CIFS defines a standard remote file system access protocol
> for use over the Internet, enabling groups of users to
> work together and share documents across the Internet or
> within their corporate intranets. CIFS is an open,
> cross-platform technology based on the native file-sharing
> protocols built into Microsoft( Windows( and other popular
> PC operating systems, and supported on dozens of other
> platforms, including UNIX(. With CIFS, millions of
> computer users can open and share remote files on the
> Internet without having to install new software or change
> the way they work.

I can't tell what direction this is going in technically; anyone with a PC
background want to explain why this isn't exactly eqivalent to WebNFS/NFS3's
solution space (and why we care about either if we can fix HTTP (reliable PUT,
etc) in time?)

On the other hand, they make explicit they are attacking FTP, not HTTP.

> CIFS runs over TCP/IP and utilizes the Internet's global
> Domain Naming Service (DNS) for scalability, and is
> specifically optimized to support slower speed dial-up
> connections common on the Internet.
> With CIFS, existing applications and applications for
> the World Wide Web can easily share data over the Internet
> or intranet, regardless of computer or operating system
> platform. CIFS is an enhanced version of Microsoft's
> open, cross-platform Server Message Block (SMB) protocol,
> the native file-sharing protocol in the Windows 95,
> Windows NT(, and OS/2( operating systems and the standard
> way that millions of PC users share files across corporate
> intranets. CIFS is also widely available on UNIX, VMS,
> and other platforms.
> Microsoft is making sure that CIFS technology is open,
> published, and widely available for all computer users.
> Microsoft has submitted the CIFS 1.0 protocol
> specification to the Internet Engineering Task Force
> (IETF) as an Internet-Draft document and is working with
> interested parties for CIFS to be published as an
> Informational RFC. CIFS (SMB) has been an Open Group
> (formerly X/Open) standard for PC and UNIX
> interoperability since 1992 (X/Open CAE Specification
> C209).
> CIFS is not intended to replace HTTP or other standards
> for the World Wide Web. CIFS complements HTTP while
> providing more sophisticated file sharing and file
> transfer than older protocols such as FTP. CIFS is
> designed to enable all applications, not just Web
> browsers, to open and share files securely across the
> Internet.