Server Message Block (SMB) protocol is a client-server protocol that allows system administrators to share printers, files and other resources. It is more common with Windows OS based environments but can be used on Linux and Mac as well.
Server Message Block (SMB) is a communication protocol originally developed in 1983 by Barry A. Feigenbaum at IBM and intended to provide shared access to files and printers across nodes on a network of systems running IBM's OS/2. It also provides an authenticated inter-process communication (IPC) mechanism. In 1987, Microsoft and 3Com implemented SMB in LAN Manager for OS/2, at which time SMB used the NetBIOS service atop the NetBIOS Frames protocol as its underlying transport. Later, Microsoft implemented SMB in Windows NT 3.1 and has been updating it ever since, adapting it to work with newer underlying transports: TCP/IP and NetBT. SMB implementation consists of two vaguely named Windows services: "Server" (ID: LanmanServer) and "Workstation" (ID: LanmanWorkstation). It uses NTLM or Kerberos protocols for user authentication.
In 1996, Microsoft published a version of SMB 1.0 with minor modifications under the Common Internet File System (CIFS ) moniker. CIFS was compatible with even the earliest incarnation of SMB, including LAN Manager's. It supports symbolic links, hard links, and larger file size, but none of the features of SMB 2.0 and later. Microsoft's proposal, however, remained an Internet Draft and never achieved standard status. Microsoft has since discontinued use of the CIFS moniker but continues developing SMB and making subsequent specifications publicly available.