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Manual Chapter: Optimizing CIFS Traffic over the WAN
Manual Chapter
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About CIFS traffic optimization

Common Internet File System (CIFS) is a remote file access protocol that forms the basis of Microsoft Windows file sharing. Various CIFS implementations (for example, Samba) are also available on other operating systems such as Linux. CIFS is the protocol most often used for transferring files over the network. WAN Optimization Manager (WOM) can optimize CIFS traffic, resulting in faster performance for transferring CIFS files, opening Microsoft applications, and saving files. CIFS optimization is particularly useful when two offices that are located far apart frequently need to share and exchange files.

Important: By default, Microsoft Windows clients do not require Server Message Block (SMB) signing, except when communicating with their domain controller. If SMB signing settings have been changed, make sure that SMB signing is optional on all servers and clients.

Adjusting CIFS optimization over the WAN

The system-supplied CIFS profile is configured to optimize CIFS traffic over the WAN through an iSession connection. You can adjust the optimization settings for CIFS traffic to fit a particular situation by modifying the CIFS profile. Instead of changing the parent profile named cifs, create a custom CIFS profile, and give it a descriptive name.
  1. On the Main tab, click Local Traffic > Profiles > Services > CIFS. The Profiles list screen opens.
  2. Click Create. The New CIFS Profile screen opens.
  3. In the Name field, type a name for the profile.
  4. Select the Custom check box in both the Data Optimizations and Other Optimizations areas.
  5. Adjust the options for the settings, as needed. The default value for all the options is Enabled.
    Note: The settings must match between the CIFS profiles associated with the virtual servers at both ends of the iSession connection. If a setting is disabled in the CIFS profile associated with the virtual server at one end, the option is disabled.
    Option Description
    Write Behind Specifies whether the system speeds up CIFS file uploads to the server by fulfilling write requests through the BIG-IP WOM system that is closer to the request initiator.
    Read Ahead The system speeds up CIFS file downloads by prefetching the file data on the BIG-IP WOM system that is closer to the request initiator.
    Record and Replay The system opens CIFS files faster by performing more intelligent read-ahead operations.
    Office 2003 Extended The system performs read-ahead operations based on parsing the Microsoft CDF file and understanding its structure.
    Fast Close The system speeds up file close operations by fulfilling them through the BIG-IP WOM system that is closer to the request initiator.
    Fast Set File Information The system speeds up file metadata change requests by fulfilling the requests through the BIG-IP WOM system that is closer to the request initiator.
  6. Click Finished.
When you have finished, the custom CIFS profile appears in the CIFS list screen.
For this profile to take effect, you must associate it with a virtual server configured to intercept CIFS traffic.
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