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Modern area networks are often mixed environments that connect an array of devices. Both homes and offices rely on networks that connect personal computers, servers, mobile devices, and peripherals such as printers and scanners.

How SMB works

SMB is a client-server system. It provides a protocol for exchanging data packets between the client device and the server. Data packets may control sessions with the server, allow users to remotely access and edit files and directories stored on the server, and perform functions such as printing documents or authenticating users.


SMB is critical to ensuring that enterprise-level servers are secure and interoperable with the networks they serve. Other applications of SMB include peripherals such as printers and scanners, security cameras, televisions, and some mobile devices.


Traditionally used in local area networks, SMB can also be used to transmit data over virtual private networks and to cloud-based solutions. SMB is implemented in Microsoft Windows as Microsoft SMB Protocol.

SMB features

Extremely secure

Data transferred through SMB is protected from interception or alteration by strong encryption.

Reliable file transfer

Built-in redundancy ensures the accuracy and reliability of file transfers.

Superb interoperability

SMB enables seamless file transfer between Windows and non-Windows-based operating systems, as well as a wide variety of device types.

Common in mixed environments

Because SMB is interoperable and secure, it is almost universal in environments where multiple device types and operating systems interact.

High efficiency

SMB does not require high bandwidth and generates low network noise.

SMB technical documentation

While a technology license is required to implement SMB, Microsoft publishes documentation about the SMB protocols:
 

MS-SMB

Server Message Block (SMB) protocol

Explore MS-SMB

MS-SMB2

Server Message Block (SMB) protocol versions 2 & 3

Visit MS-SMB2

MS-SMBD

SMB Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) protocol

Explore MS-SMBD

MS-SWN

Service Witness protocol

Visit MS-SWN


 

Direct license with SMB implementation

Microsoft has an agreement with an industry leader, Visuality Systems, that allows them to provide SMB implementations directly to customers along with a direct license from Microsoft. Visuality Systems offers highly tuned implementations to provide the best end-customer experience and include warranty and support.

Our SMB licensees

Microsoft Technology Licensing offers licenses for SMB Client and SMB Server stack utilization implemented according to our protocol documentation in storage systems, a variety of devices, and software applications.

 

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