The Future of Accessing Files remotely from Linux: SMB3.1.1 update

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Saturday, December 5, 2020
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Enhancements to the SMB3.1.1 client on Linux have continued at a rapid pace over the past year. These allow Linux to better access Samba server, as well as the Cloud (Azure), NAS appliances, Windows systems, Macs and an ever increasing number of embedded Linux devices including those using the new smb3 kernel server Linux (ksmbd). The SMB3.1.1 client for Linux (cifs.ko) continues to be one of the most actively developed file systems on Linux and these improvements have made it possible to run additional workloads remotely.
The exciting recent addition of the new kernel server (ksmbd) also allows more rapid development and testing of optimizations for Linux.
Over the past year ...

  • performance has dramatically improved with features like multichannel (allowing better parallelization of i/o and also utilization of multiple network devices simultaneously), with much faster encryption and now much faster signing as well, with better use of compounding and with improved support for RDMA, and improved caching including extended use of directory leases
  • security has improved with support for the strongest encryption, and alternative security models are now possible with the addition of modefromsid and idsfromsid
  • multiuser scenarios and integration with Kerberos and ActiveDirectory has improved
  • new features have been added include the ability to swap over SMB3 and boot over SMB3 (quality continues to improve with more work on 'xfstests' and test automation
  • tooling (cifs-utils) continue to be extended to make use of SMB3.1.1 mounts easier

This presentation will describe and demonstrate the progress that has been made over the past year in the Linux kernel client in accessing servers using the SMB3.1.1 family of protocols. In addition recommendations on common configuration choices, and troubleshooting techniques will be discussed. With the exciting addition of a Linux kernel server for Linux, we will also discuss some additional workloads that this and Samba make possible.

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