Ask the Expert: NFS vs. CIFS
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Q: What should you consider when choosing between Network File Sharing (NFS)
or Common Internet File System (CIFS)?
A: If your application servers or clients are all Windows based, CIFS may be the best
approach. Likewise, if your clients are all Unix or Linux based, then NFS may be the better option,
generally speaking. If you have a mixed environment and need to share data files between Windows
and Linux, you should look at a product that supports NFS andCIFS (most NAS systems offer
both), and has shared concurrent access to a file. Several NAS systems also support iSCSI for
block-based access, providing even more flexibility to meet different app needs. When comparing
|NFS vs. CFIS, consider the
current and future performance needs of your different apps, how much data needs to be stored, data
protection requirements, and if you need to support virus checking and other features.
--Greg Schulz, founder and senior analyst, StorageIO Group
This was first published in May 2008