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I'm just setting up freenas with ZFS and was wondering which file sharing protocol / data transfer protocol is the best to use? Has anyone experiences?

I guess i have a very typical business setup. I do have an Microsoft Active Directory Domain (AD/LDAP) running on an Microsoft Server 2003. I'm going to access data from Mac, Windows (xp,7,8), windows server (2003,10,12) and linux.

I'm thinking of SMB/AFS/NFS/SMB2/SMB3. FTP is not a solution, since employees are working on the server and not duplicating data on their local machines.

SMB: As far as I know smb is not the best since it is single threaded and cpu hungry, although I guess every client should be able to work with it. However I'm not sure if it is performance wise the best solution? SMB also works nice with the windows users and rights.

NFS: I heard rumors that NFS has a good performance however I think windows doesn't talk NFS? How is NFS working with active directory and rights? How is its performance?

AFP allows native mac functionality like searching on the server and good performance however windows doesn't like it nor do I know how it works with an windows active directory domain and rights?

Does it cause any problems if share the same folder on smb and afp? (thinking of file looks and so on)? Has anyone experiences with sharing the same folder on SMB and AFP or SMB and NFS?

Has anyone any experiences,hints or recommendations? I really appreciate your opinions!

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The thing about SMB/SMB2/SMB3, is that the clients/server will use the best compatible version between them. – Zoredache Mar 14 '14 at 17:16

If you have a heterogenous network, with Windows, Macs, *nix etc then SMB is probably your only real option as it is compatible with just about everything.

With regard to Active Directory, your file protocol selection has little bearing on it unless you're using share permissions and the like, with objects from yourdomain\userAccount

You can of course get away with local permissions in a domain environment - a Microsoft AD installation does not stop you doing that. I am guessing you want to leverage this though, or you wouldn't mention it. So I'm thinking you have a primarily Microsoft infrastructure.

Based on that, I'd aim it like this:

Use NTFS as your underlying file system if you can (I know you've said you're using FreeNAS so that's probably out the window, but I'm just stating it as it's probably best practise for this kind of thing. Personally I'd throw that away and put in a Microsoft Windows Server based file server) - it's very good and you can set the ACLs to use domain\useraccounts, use SMB for the actual sharing protocol and make sure your clients are compatible with this infrastructure, not the other way round.

I may sound biased towards Microsoft here but I don't work for them or anything, it just sounds to me that you are a Microsoft house, with non-microsoft clients. So use the best tool for the job.

In Summary: use SMB! if CPU becomes an issue, get better hardware.

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Yes I'm using active directory for authentication and rights. For expandability, failover, ... I decided to use ZFS and not an hardware raid. As far as I know there is nothing comparable on the microsoft side? We do have mac clients which work perfectly with afp. – Manuel Mar 14 '14 at 17:25

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