A blog by Jose Barreto, a member of the File Server team at Microsoft.
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Note: This post is now obsolete. Please refer to this newer post which includes coverage of SMB 3.0:http://blogs.technet.com/b/josebda/archive/2012/06/06/windows-server-2012-which-version-of-the-smb-protocol-smb-1-0-smb-2-0-smb-2-1-or-smb-3-0-you-are-using-on-your-file-server.aspx
I recently talked to a customer that was surprised to hear that their Windows 7 clients were not using the latest version of SMB2 to talk with their Windows Server 2003 file servers.
I explained to him that, in order to use SMB2, both sides of the connection have to support it. If not, they will negotiate down to the highest version that both support.
I also explained that Windows actually uses 2 different versions of SMB2:
However, all versions offer the ability to negotiate the SMB client and server capabilities and they will talk to older versions at their level. This “negotiate” process happens automatically and it is transparent to end users and applications.
Here’s a table to help you understand what version you end up using, depending on what Windows client version is talking to what Windows Server version:
If you don’t know what changed from SMB1 to SMB2, I recommend that you read this blog post: http://blogs.technet.com/b/josebda/archive/2008/12/09/smb2-a-complete-redesign-of-the-main-remote-file-protocol-for-windows.aspx
For details on what changed from SMB2 to SMB2.1, you can check this deck from SNIA’s Storage Developer’s Conference, delivered by David Kruse, Microsoft’s Developer Lead on the SMB2 team: http://www.snia.org/events/storage-developer2009/presentations/tuesday/DavidKruse_SMBv21.pdf
Note 1: If you consider yourself an SMB2 geek and you actually want to understand the SMB NEGOTIATE command in greater details, you can read the MS-SMB2 protocol documentation:
Note 2: During the recent SNIA CIFS/SMB/SMB2 PlugFest, the T-shirt shown below was handed to every attendee. It’s a play on a diagram from the MS-SMB2 protocol documentation, with a few “customizations” from the original version.
Windows Storage Server 2003 cannot use SMB2 (only SMB1), like Windows Server 2003.
Windows Storage Server 2008 can go up to SMB2 (SMB2 v2.002), like Windows Server 2008.
Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 can go up to SMB2.1 (SMB2 v2.1), like Windows Server 2008 R2.
Introduction The SQL CAT team has posted a blog last year about the "Top 10 hidden gems in SQL Server