Windows 7 / Networking

Server Message Block (SMB) 2.0

Server Message Block (SMB), also known as the Common Internet File System (CIFS), is the file sharing protocol used by default on Windows-based computers. Windows includes an SMB client (the Client For Microsoft Windows feature installed through the properties of a network connection) and an SMB server (the File And Printer Sharing For Microsoft Windows feature installed through the properties of a network connection). SMB in versions of Windows prior to Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista, known as SMB 1.0, was originally designed in the early 1990s for early Windows-based network operating systems, such as Microsoft LAN Manager and Windows for Workgroups, and carries with it the limitations of its initial design.

Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 also support SMB 2.0, a new version of SMB that has been redesigned for today's networking environments and the needs of the next generation of file servers. SMB 2.0 has the following enhancements:

  1. Supports sending multiple SMB commands within the same packet. This reduces the number of packets sent between an SMB client and server, a common complaint against SMB 1.0.
  2. Supports much larger buffer sizes compared to SMB 1.0.
  3. Increases the restrictive constants within the protocol design to allow for scalability. Examples include an increase in the number of concurrent open file handles on the server and the number of file shares that a server can have.
  4. Supports durable handles that can withstand short interruptions in network availability.
  5. Supports symbolic links.

Computers running Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 support both SMB 1.0 and SMB 2.0. SMB 2.0 can be used only if both the client and server support it, however. Therefore, both the client and the server must be using SMB 2.0 to benefit from the improvements. Windows Vista and Windows 7 support complete backward compatibility with SMB 1.0 and earlier versions of Windows.

As with other versions of Windows, server-side support for SMB (sharing files and printers) is provided by the Server service, and client-side support (connecting to shared resources) is provided by the Workstation service. Both services are configured to start automatically, and you can safely disable either service if you don't require it. The security risks presented by having the Server service running are minimized because Windows Firewall will block incoming requests to the Server service on public networks by default.

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In this tutorial:

  1. Configuring Windows Networking
  2. Usability Improvements
  3. Network And Sharing Center
  4. Network Explorer
  5. How Windows Finds Network Resources
  6. How Windows Publishes Network Resources
  7. How Windows Creates the Network Map
  8. Network Map
  9. Set Up A Connection Or Network Wizard
  10. Manageability Improvements
  11. Network Location Types
  12. Policy-Based QoS
  13. Selecting DSCP Values
  14. Planning Traffic Throttling
  15. Configuring QoS Policies
  16. Configuring System-Wide QoS Settings
  17. Configuring Advanced QoS Settings
  18. Testing QoS
  19. Windows Firewall and IPsec
  20. Windows Connect Now in Windows 7
  21. Core Networking Improvements
  22. Networking BranchCache
  23. How Hosted Cache Works
  24. How Distributed Cache Works
  25. Configuring BranchCache
  26. BranchCache Protocols
  27. File Sharing Using SMB
  28. Web Browsing with HTTP (Including HTTPS)
  29. DNSsec
  30. GreenIT
  31. Efficient Networking
  32. What Causes Latency, How to Measure It, and How to Control It
  33. TCP Receive Window Scaling
  34. Scalable Networking
  35. Improved Reliability
  36. IPv6 Support
  37. 802.1X Network Authentication
  38. Server Message Block (SMB) 2.0
  39. Strong Host Model
  40. Wireless Networking
  41. Improved APIs
  42. Network Awareness
  43. Improved Peer Networking
  44. Services Used by Peer-to-Peer Networking
  45. Managing Peer-to-Peer Networking
  46. Peer-to-Peer Name Resolution
  47. EAP Host Architecture
  48. Layered Service Provider (LSP)
  49. Windows Sockets Direct Path for System Area Networks
  50. How to Configure Wireless Settings
  51. Configuring Wireless Settings Manually
  52. Using Group Policy to Configure Wireless Settings
  53. How to Configure TCP/IP
  54. DHCP
  55. Configuring IP Addresses Manually
  56. Command Line and Scripts
  57. How to Connect to AD DS Domains
  58. How to Connect to a Domain When 802.1X Authentication Is Not Enabled
  59. How to Connect to a Domain When 802.1X Authentication Is Enabled