An admin's guide to Server Message Block 3.0

An admin's guide to SMB 3.0

This SMB 3.0 guide covers what's new with the protocol, including its improvements with speed and fault tolerance, its prerequisites and requirements for testing and the upgrades to its storage capabilities.

The release of Windows Server 2012 meant that some technologies would undergo major improvements. Server Message Block protocol fell into this category.

Server Message Block (SMB) provides a method for client applications in a computer to read and write to files on, and to request services from, server programs in a computer network. The latest version of this technology, SMB 3.0, offers features admins have been waiting for.

We compiled our best news and tips covering SMB 3.0 to highlight its features and capabilities for you. We included an interview focusing on what's changed, a look at why some IT shops are waiting to take advantage of the new version and the best ways to configure SMB 3.0 to protect against failure.

For the latest on SMB 3.0, be sure to check out our Microsoft Windows Storage Management page, or follow SearchWindowsServer on Twitter @SearchWinServer.

Table of contents:

What is SMB 3.0?

SMB 3.0, originally named SMB 2.2, is a protocol that helps a computer's client applications read and write to files and request services from a computer network's server programs.

Shops wait to use SMB 3.0 in Windows Server 2012

SMB 3.0's features weren't enough to convince IT shops to immediately take advantage of it. Instead, many shops planned to wait until 2013 because of the timing of Window Server 2012's release and where they stood in the process of deploying clouds.

Microsoft says SMB 3.0 will help it gain traction

Microsoft claimed that SMB 3.0 could strengthen its position in cloud and virtualization markets because of its ability to deliver faster performance, better scalability and reliability in cloud and virtualized environments.

Q&A highlights improvements to SMB 3.0

This Q&A with Microsoft's general manager of the server and cloud division offers a look at what makes this version of SMB different than previous versions. The newest version of SMB was the first time the focus was on support for server applications, including IIS and SQL Server.

What steps admins should take before SMB 3.0 production

Admins should follow a few steps before they take SMB 3.0 out of a test environment and put it into production. Configuring new VMs and storage, preparing for future potential failures and sharing-out the SMB folder are some of the major things admins should plan on tackling.

Evaluating SMB 3.0's speed and reliability

When it comes to reliable resource sharing, SMB 3.0 can offer admins what they've been looking for. But in order to take advantage of it, admins should know what to expect when using SMB 3.0, how to design a Hyper-V infrastructure using SMB 3.0 and how to evaluate SMB 3.0 in a test environment.

Hyper-V 3.0 and SMB 3.0 combine for improved storage

With Windows Server 2012, Hyper-V can support structures other than SMB 3.0. Taking a closer look at SMB 3.0's best practices and prerequisites can help admins decide if the move to SMB 3.0 is the right one.

SMB 3.0 changes offer speed, fault tolerance

Previous SMB versions may have had admins shuddering because of the brittleness and instability, but SMB 3.0's improvements to its encryption and scale-out capabilities make it a useful tool for clusters, overall management and wide-area networks.