Data General, Digital, Intel, Intergraph, Network Appliance and Others Join Microsoft in Support of Common Internet File System

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 13, 1996 —
Today Data General Corp., Digital Equipment Corp., Intel Corp., Intergraph Corp., Network Appliance Inc. and a growing number of other companies joined with Microsoft Corp. to announce support for a remote collaborative file-sharing technology called the Common Internet File System (CIFS) based on standards already used by millions of PCs on corporate intranets.

The Common Internet File System is an enhanced version of the native file-sharing technology used in the Microsoft® MS-DOS® , Windows® and Windows NT® operating systems and IBM® OS/2® , and widely available on leading UNIX®
systems. It enables millions of computer users to open and share remote files directly on the Internet, expanding the Internet’s ability to support interactive computing.

CIFS technology provides reliable direct read and write access to files stored on remote computers without first requiring users to download or copy the files to a local machine, as done today on the Internet with protocols such as file transfer protocol (FTP). This can improve the performance of many types of file access. Because CIFS is based on existing standards, users will be able to use thousands of existing applications over the Internet as well as integrate them with browser applications designed for the World Wide Web.

“A common remote file-sharing technology is becoming increasingly important as the Internet becomes more interactive and collaborative,”
said Paul Maritz, group vice president of the platforms group at Microsoft.
“Now, the millions of PC users can use the Internet without having to install new software or change the way they work. Microsoft is making sure that CIFS technology is open, published and widely available for all computer users.”

The proposed Common Internet File System protocol runs over TCP/IP and is an enhanced version of the open, cross-platform protocol for distributed file sharing called Server Message Block (SMB). The SMB protocol is the standard way that millions of PC users already share files across corporate intranets and is the native file-sharing protocol in Windows 95, Windows NT and OS/2.

The SMB protocol is an open technology widely available on UNIX, VMS
™and other platforms. It has been an Open Group (formerly X/Open) standard for PC and UNIX interoperability since 1992 (X/Open CAE Specification C209), and it is supported in products such as AT & T®
Advanced Server for UNIX, Digital’s PATHWORKS
™, HP® Advanced Server 9000, IBM Warp Connect, IBM LAN Server, Novell® Enterprise Toolkit, and 3Com® 3+Share®
, among others. SMB is also the featured file and print sharing protocol of Samba, a popular freeware network file system available for LINUX and many UNIX platforms.

This week, Microsoft took the significant step of submitting the protocol specification as an Internet draft, thus opening up this important technology for Windows-based networking to the Internet community. Microsoft is openly sharing the latest version of the protocol, which will ship in Windows NT 4.0 and in a future release of Windows 95.

Enhancements Support Internet Computing

The proposed Common Internet File System protocol has been enhanced over previous versions of the SMB protocol in ways that make it well suited for use on the Internet. CIFS, for example, supports the Internet’s Domain Name Service (DNS) for address resolution. The protocol runs optimally over slow-speed dial-up lines, helping improve performance for the vast numbers of users today who access the Internet using a modem. In addition to remote file sharing, CIFS has mechanisms to support remote printer sharing as well.

Industry Leaders Join to Support CIFS Initiative

The companies announcing support for CIFS this week include Digital, Intel, Intergraph and Network Appliance.


“Digital, as part of the Open Group, encouraged the adoption of SMB in the 1992 X/Open Portability Guide, and our products already support SMB,”
said Robert Bismuth, vice president for Digital’s Alliance with Microsoft.
“We fully support Microsoft’s announcement of the CIFS initiative and opening up this discussion for the Internet community as a whole.”


“To fully enable end users to work collaboratively across the Web, the Internet community should openly discuss and adopt initiatives such as CIFS,”
said John McNulty, director of enterprise server programs at Intel.
“This multivendor distributed file system complements Intel’s Standard High Volume server strategy by supporting an entire industry composed of thousands of hardware, software and service providers.”


“One of the primary benefits of adopting Windows as our strategic platform is access to technologies such a CIFS,”
said Tommy Steele, president of Intergraph Software Solutions.
“Users of our Internet-enabled applications will immediately benefit from the ability to efficiently share information and files across wide area networks.”

Network Appliance

“Establishing CIFS as an open standard for LANs, Intranets and the Internet will help users and organizations share information more effectively,”
said Dan Warmenhoven, president and CEO of Network Appliance.

CIFS offers features such as authentication, file locking, data sharing and file-level security that will be increasingly important as organizations grow their

intranets. Network Appliance is working closely with Microsoft to build high-speed native CIFS support directly into our industry-leading line of dedicated file server appliances.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, MS-DOS, Windows and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

IBM and OS/2 are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corp.

UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries, licensed exclusively through X/Open Company Ltd.

VMS and PATHWORKS are trademarks of Digital Equipment Corp.

AT & T is a registered trademark of American Telephone and Telegraph Co.

HP is a registered trademark of Hewlett-Packard Co.

Novell is a registered trademark of Novell Inc.

3Com and 3+Share are registered trademarks of 3Com Corp.

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