memory overhead and embedded Samba

Andrew Tridgell tridge at
Mon Jan 24 02:52:03 GMT 2005

I've been thinking about possible new applications of Samba4 beyond
where Samba3 has already been deployed. One possible application is
for Samba4 to support very low memory configurations, so you can
create a functional micro-server. The sort of thing I am imagining is
a tiny embedded Linux box (something like the Linksys WRT54GS wireless
gateway), but with a firmware that implements an active directory
domain controller based on Samba4. This could make for a very useful
little office device. Another application could be a NFS->CIFS
gateway, allowing you to put a tiny server in place to allow your
existing NFS servers to server up CIFS.

The key to these sorts of applications in low memory overhead. I've
been measuring the "per client" overhead in Samba4, and it currently
runs at about 15k per connected client when in -M single mode. That is
vastly lower than Samba3, so it certainly opens up the possibility of
making these sorts of micro-servers a reality. With the dynamic
mangled cache size I mentioned in my last email that per connection
overhead will drop to about 10k (we have 5k of data sitting around in
the mangled cache at the moment).

So in a little device like the WRT54GS with 32M of ram you could quite
happily have several hundred users connected to your server, as long
the CPU can keep up. The typical load on a domain controller is quite
low, so I think this will not be a problem.

Does anyone have any other uses for this sort of tiny footprint CIFS

Cheers, Tridge

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