[Samba] Is it possible to build smb directly over ethernet?

andy liebman andyliebman at aol.com
Sat Jan 14 18:59:21 GMT 2006

jra at samba.org wrote:
> On Sat, Jan 14, 2006 at 07:09:05PM +0330, jik jikman wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> Is it possible to design a smb-like protocol to work directly over ethernet.
>> I mean if we can omit tcp/ip overhead, we can achive a very high troughput
>> substitute for small networks with less cpu utilization.
>> I am searching for ways to bridge the gap between NAS and SAN systems, e.g.
>> between SMB/CIFS and FC with volume sharing softwares like IBM sanergy.
>> This will lead to good performance with less costs compared to FC SANs and
>> even ISCSI SANs.
> It used to exist - it was called NetBEUI :-). It has many disadvantages... :-).
> Jeremy.

Interesting topic. I have recently been investigating whether there is a 
lower-overhead protocol that we might be able to use for OUR NAS 
products -- and still use SMB/CIFS and AFP.

I have come across several TCP/IP "alternatives" that are supposed to be 
smarter about handling dropped packets -- NOT throttling down to almost 
zero transfer rate and working back up again the way TCP/IP does (I'm 
not a TCP/IP expert, but that's what I'm told the protocol does). 
They're also supposed to be smarter about adjusting Window sizes and 
handling ACKS and that kind of stuff. These alternatives claim things 
like "10x faster than FTP over long distances".

Jeremy, I wrote to you about one of those recently. That one seemed to 
be optimized for FILE TRANSFER and not realtime use of files over a 
network -- where the order in which data arrives is presumably more 

I also see that there once WAS a Samba patch to support NetBEUI. In 
fact, Jeremy, you seemed pleased about it and suggested it would be 
included in Samba 3 as a configuration option "--with-netbeui".

> http://lists.samba.org/archive/samba-technical/2000-July/008748.html

Would NetBEUI be a faster "local LAN" alternative if it could be 
ressurected again.

Is there any other alternative on the horizon that could get transfer 
rates closer to line speeds when dropped or misordered packets are a 
very unlikely issue -- like on an isolated LAN connecting just a few 
machines over 10 Gigabit Ethernet??

Andy Liebman

More information about the samba mailing list