NFS vs SMB – Are you confused to choose between them? We can help you.
SMB and NFS are network protocols of the application layer, used mainly for accessing files over the network. Since SMB is supported by Windows, many companies and home networks use it by default.
Here at Bobcares, we handle servers with NFS and SMB as a part of our Server Management Services.
Today let’s compare the performance of NFS and SMB.
Key points for Comparison between NFS and SMB
An important difference between both protocols is the way they authenticate. NFS uses the host-based authentication system. This means that every user on an authenticated machine can access a specific share. However, SMB provides a user-based authentication. Since NFSv4 it’s possible to use a Kerberos server, which extends the authentication system.
NFS vs SMB
Files : 6998 files of 10 KB each NFS write : 37 seconds SMB write : 101 seconds Files : 240 files of 1 MB each NFS write : 23 seconds SMB write : 27 seconds File : 1 file of 500 MB NFS write : 45 seconds SMB write : 45 seconds File : 1 file of 3.5 GB NFS write : 323 seconds SMB write : 324 seconds
Files : 6998 files of 10 KB each NFS read : 26 seconds SMB read : 58 seconds Files : 240 files of 1 MB each NFS read : 24 seconds SMB read : 28 seconds File : 1 file of 500 MB NFS read : 45 seconds SMB read : 48 seconds File : 1 file of 3.5 GB NFS read : 330 seconds SMB read : 347 seconds
NFS offers better performance and is unbeatable if the files are medium-sized or small. For larger files, the timings of both methods are almost the same.
In the case of sequential read, the performance of NFS and SMB are almost the same when using plain text. However, with encryption, NFS is better than SMB.
And for sequential write, the performance of NFS and SMB are almost the same when using plain text. However, with encryption, NFS is slightly better than SMB.
In the case of a random read, the performance of NFS and SMB are almost the same when using plain text. However, with encryption, NFS is better than SMB.
And for random write, NFS is slightly better than SMB when using plain text and encryption.
If rsync is used for file transfer, NFS is always better than SMB using plain text and encryption.
Differences between NFS and SMB
1. NFS is suitable for Linux users whereas SMB is suitable for Windows users.
2. SMB is not case sensitive where NFS is, this makes a big difference when it comes to a search.
3. NFS generally is faster when we are reading/writing a number of small files, it is also faster for browsing.
4. NFS uses the host-based authentication system. However, SMB provides a user-based authentication.
5. NFS is fast and easy to set up and uses Linux rights which is pretty straightforward. However, its authentication system only uses client IP address and it’s pretty hard to seperate several users from a single machine. SMB is a bit more tedious but allows user-based authentication, printer sharing and can be shared with multi-users.
In trusted home networks, NFS without encryption is the best choice on Linux for maximum performance. The native Windows network file sharing protocol is the preferred protocol for Windows servers.
In short, we saw the comparison between NFS and SBM performance in today’s article.