What is the difference between NFS and CIFS? Can you explain when you should use CIFS vs. NFS?
By submitting your personal information, you agree that TechTarget and its partners may contact you regarding relevant content, products and special offers.
NFS is the "Network File System" for Unix and Linux operating systems. It allows files to be shared transparently between servers, desktops, laptops etc. It is a client/server application that allows a user to view, store and update files on a remote computer as though they were on their own computer. Using NFS, the user or a system administrator can mount all or a portion of a file system.
CIFS is the "Common Internet File System" used by Windows operating systems for file sharing. CIFS uses the client/server programming model. A client program makes a request of a server program (usually in another computer) for access to a file or to pass a message to a program that runs in the server computer. The server takes the requested action and returns a response. CIFS is a public or open variation of the Server Message Block Protocol (SMB) developed and used by Microsoft, and it uses the TCP/IP protocol.
NFS and CIFS are the primary file systems used in NAS. Comparing CIFS vs. NFS, CIFS tends to be a bit more "chatty" in its communications. This may require file protocol optimization over a wide area network.
Dig Deeper on NAS devices
Related Q&A from Marc Staimer
Object storage has unique features, including erasure coding and multi-copy mirroring, which may make it better suited to data protection than more ...continue reading
Why would you attach NAND flash storage directly to the memory channel? Isn't RAM much faster than NAND? Marc Staimer discusses this and more in this...continue reading
Marc Staimer takes a closer look in this Expert Answer at how 3D NAND flash vendors keep bit rot from taking place, a vexing challenge given 3D NAND ...continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.