1 2 Previous Next 22 Replies Latest reply: Sep 21, 2013 1:26 PM by basilmir
Hans Vallden Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

There has been much discussion over the past couple years about Apple's choice to swap Samba for their own SMB implementation 'SMBX'. I've read reports of some problems with SMBX in the past versions of OS X but it is difficult to put the various internet sources into perspective to determine the 'production worthiness' of SMBX. Many of the gripes appear to be directed at the lack of SMB 1.0 protocol version, but isn't that irrelevant if file sharing for modern OS clients exclusively? AFAIK, deploying Samba as an alternative has it's own set of shortcomings.

 

I am putting together an OS X Server 10.8.2 AFP/SMB file sharing server for a small 100 employee company with a mixed Mac/Win Vista&7&8 client base. I need file sharing to be reliable, rock solid preferably, but most of all, I need things to work for all of the above mentioned clients.

 

I would appreaciate if the distinguished board members actually using SMB file sharing in a comparable or better environment, would share their experiences on this topic. Which way would you go and why?

 

We use ACL's in access control, in case that has any relevance.


OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • 1. Re: Is SMBX on 10.8.2 ready for primetime?
    Markus Reinhard Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    some of my customers have such big performance problems with SMB since Apple switch to SMBX so the decided to switch to a hardware Windows server! It's really slow with bigger files.

     

    Apple do you read this?

  • 2. Re: Is SMBX on 10.8.2 ready for primetime?
    Hans Vallden Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Markus,

     

    I'm sorry to hear your customers are having problems. I hope you have reported these problems to Apple in much more detail. I doubt Apple's product developers spend their time reading these forums and/or vague problem descriptions.

  • 3. Re: Is SMBX on 10.8.2 ready for primetime?
    Hans Vallden Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Adding to my own question, for the record, I was originally under the impression (thanks internet!) that SMBX serves SMB2.0 exclusively. Apparently that's not the case (at least in 10.8.2) because I can connect to it from Windows XP just fine.

  • 4. Re: Is SMBX on 10.8.2 ready for primetime?
    PowerSystem Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes SMBX is SMB2 only,

    There are a lot of discussion on the Internet about the SMBX implementation.

    At the moment the best way to use SMB on a Mac Server is to install samba (check the SMBup software)

  • 5. Re: Is SMBX on 10.8.2 ready for primetime?
    Hans Vallden Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Interesting you should say that. How do you explain that I can connect to SMBX with Windows XP then?

     

    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'm a bit doubtful about Samba myself. How easy is it in real world to achieve OD and Kerberos auth, consistent file locking with AFP server, etc. with Samba?

  • 6. Re: Is SMBX on 10.8.2 ready for primetime?
    FromOZ Level 2 Level 2 (405 points)

    Markus Reinhard wrote:

     

    some of my customers have such big performance problems with SMB since Apple switch to SMBX [...]

     

    Apple do you read this?

     

    For the record it needs to be understood that the reason why Apple stopped using Samba and went to an in-house solution.

     

    It was nothing to do with, not initiated by, Apple. It was due solely to the fact that Samba moved to the GPL 3 and its deliberately unworkable, antithetical to business, licencing rules which have the net result of reducing your freedom of choice.

     

    So blame the so-called 'Free Software Foundation' and it's leader Mister.... Richard M. Stallman.

     

    http://www.freakingnews.com/Richard-M-Stallman-Caricature-Pictures-101553.asp

     

    There is a reason why many thinking open source developers will not use the GPL 3.

  • 7. Re: Is SMBX on 10.8.2 ready for primetime?
    Hans Vallden Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Acknowledged, but please continue about that in another thread. Thanks.

  • 8. Re: Is SMBX on 10.8.2 ready for primetime?
    FromOZ Level 2 Level 2 (405 points)

    Understood - but I also believe that people should understand why Apple made the switch.

     

    Also if you want (understandably of course) to keep the discussion purely technical then perhaps as the OP you should have set Markus straight on the facts — as he was injecting complaints into the discussion. Cheers.

  • 9. Re: Is SMBX on 10.8.2 ready for primetime?
    Markus Reinhard Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    Sorry if I was understood wrong, the problem is that the actual implementation of SMBX is a problem for my customers.

    I don't say Apple should install samba.

     

    Apple is selling a product which is mostly nice, but some features are not well implemented (it worked much more better before).

     

    I don't want to manage an second system (with all the work it needs with authentication, backup...)

     

    I really, really hope that Apple is working on a better implementation.

  • 10. Re: Is SMBX on 10.8.2 ready for primetime?
    FromOZ Level 2 Level 2 (405 points)

    I agree with you Markus — I really hope and trust Apple can 'recover' from this and build us a solid SMB implementation. I'm sorry if I came across a bit 'strong'. I get frustrated that the so-called 'white knights' of the FSF actually make things worse for us as general users of software.

     

    Anyway I don't want to hijack Hans' post anymore!

  • 11. Re: Is SMBX on 10.8.2 ready for primetime?
    Markus Reinhard Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    you are totally right about this, there are a lot of stumbling blocks

     

    I'm a bit doubtful about Samba myself. How easy is it in real world to achieve OD and Kerberos auth, consistent file locking with AFP server, etc. with Samba?

     

     

    As Apple has made a lot of updates since the new server version, hopefully there is coming an update for SMBX soon ;-)

     

    For me to manage a samba installation on the same server is only a workaround for some time.

  • 12. Re: Is SMBX on 10.8.2 ready for primetime?
    Hans Vallden Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Markus Reinhard wrote:

     

    Sorry if I was understood wrong, the problem is that the actual implementation of SMBX is a problem for my customers.

     

    Markus,

     

    can you be specific about what the current problems are?

  • 13. Re: Is SMBX on 10.8.2 ready for primetime?
    Markus Reinhard Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    If the files get bigger, the transfer rate slows down so much that working on smb-server shares is not acceptable.(here specific with the windows software ArcGis)

     

    They worked since some years that way on the SMB-share on the mac server without problems.

     

    there are some copying test with some big files:

    on a window server the data was transferred in about 3.5 min

    on a mac mini server with 10.8.2 and SMBup installed about 4 min

    on a mac mini server with 10.8.2 and SMBX they stopped the test after 8 min, only 20% transferred.

     

    I can't say that it is representative but it shows the problem.

    The windows server and the mac mini with SMBup are older hardware models for testing.

    The mac mini server with 10.8.2 and Apple SMB is a model 2012 with a thunderbolt raid attached

  • 14. Re: Is SMBX on 10.8.2 ready for primetime?
    Hans Vallden Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    What do you consider "a big file"?

     

    If a transfer speed test is conducted with a single client, server hardware is hardly an issue as the bottleneck most likely lies in network speed.

     

    I'm able to get consistent transfer speeds of around 600Mbit/sec both directions from a Mac Client-to-Mac Server setup using both SMB and SFP with various large file sizes from 100MB to 1000MB on a Gigabit ethernet with a single client. Running Apple SMBX on the server.

     

    I haven't had a chance to test Windows clients yet, but I will this weekend. I'll also try to run parallel tests from a few clients (using Helios LanTest and LanSpeed).

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