SMB2 in the new Longhorn Server

Microsoft will modify the SMB protocol in WIndows Server Longhorn to SMB2.
 
This includes increasing the number of concurrent open file handles on the server, the number of shares that a server can share out amongst other key enhacements which inlcude:
  • SMB2 will have transaction support, i.e. full two-phase commit transactional semantics are available over the new SMB protocol. This takes advantage of the new Transactional File System (TxF) feature in NTFS in Longhorn Server
  • Client Side Encryption. This allows over the wire encryption of data, i.e. a file is encrypted on the client and sent out to the server where previously the file would have been sent in the clear over the wire and encrypted on the server
  • Support for symbolic links over the new protocol
  • Supports an arbitrary extensible way of compounding operations to reduce round trips. This is what will primarily enable less chattiness which has often been a major pain point
  • The new protocol supports larger buffer sizes than previously allowed

 Those modification will increase the performance of file transfer in Windows environment!

Relationship of "Symbolic Links" and "SMB 2.0"

In Vista/Longhorn server, the file system (NTFS) will start supporting a new filesystem object (examples of existing filesystem objects are files, folders etc.). This new object is a symbolic link. Think of a symbolic link as a pointer to another file system object (it can be a file, folder, shortcut or another symbolic link). So then you ask how is that different from a short-cut (the .lnk file)?  Well, a shortcut will only work when used from within the Windows shell, it is a construct of the shell, and other apps don’t understand short-cuts. To other apps, short-cuts look just like a file. With symbolic links, this concept is taken and is implemented within the file system. Apps when they open a symbolic link will now open the target by default (i.e. what the link points to), unless they explicitly ask for the symbolic link itself to be opened. Note symbolic links are an NTFS feature.

Now why is this relevant to the SMB2 protocol? This is because, for symbolic links to behave correctly, they should be interpreted on the client side of a file sharing protocol (otherwise this can lead to security holes). SMB2 understands the concept of symbolic links and evaluates the links on the client. This is the support that is added in SMB2.0

Setting up a Ghost network disk for Virtual PC ⁄ Virtual Server

If you want to create a Ghost network boot floppies to run inside of Virtual PC / Virtual Server.  Symantec provide a nice wizard to do this with – but unfortunately they do not include the driver for the emulated network card used in VPC/VS.


The driver that you need is the NDIS2 Unified DC21x4 driver from here:


http://developer.intel.com/design/network/drivers/nd2_300.htm


Once you have downloaded this package you will want to point the Symantec Ghost boot floppy wizard at the ‘mslanman.dos\drivers\ethernet\dc21x4\dc21x4.dos’ file.  You should not need to specify any special parameters for this driver in order to get it to work.

Troubleshooting RIS when deploy WinXP.

Mark Wilson has written a great articles relating to the resolution of all to common problems you may encounter when performing RIS (Remote Installation Services) installs of Windows XP. RIS installation is not easy to get right, especially when you have disparate hardware to deploy to.  I’m sure that these articles will get you going in the right direction as they have loads of great information and links to other sites where you can drill into detail further. You can read the articles here.