CIFS (Common Internet File System) is a file-sharing protocol which enables local devices to access remote files and print services. The protocol is an unsecured dialect of SMB (Server Message Block), a communication protocol originally developed by IBM, with later versions developed by Microsoft.
How CIFS Works
The CIFS protocol operates through a client-server model:
The CIFS client-server model works as follows:
1. The client sends a request to the server.
2. The server completes the request.
3. The server responds to the client.
Microsoft has outlined the main features of CIFS:
- Transport independence
- Flexible connectivity
- Feature negotiation
- Resource access
- Security contexts
- File access
- Extended subprotocols
- Named pipe interprocess communication
- File and record locking, and safe caching:
- File, directory, and volume attributes
- File and directory change notification
- Batched commands
- Distributed File System (DFS) support
- Remote Procedure Call (RPC) transport
- Message verification
- Unicode file name support