NFS or Samba? What performance could be expected?

Garrett Cooper youshi10 at
Fri Feb 9 15:07:13 UTC 2007

Roger Olofsson wrote:
> Dear mailing list,
> First of all, thanks to everyone that took the time to answer my 
> previous questions to the list, I will try and do the same for the 
> questions I am able to help with.
> Now, over to this weeks project. Basically it's about a web server 
> (apache) that runs a php application. This application saves data to a 
> definable path and the idea is to save over the network to another 
> physical machine. The application is disk intensive meaning speed is (as 
> always) essential. Both machines are close, same network segment with a 
> couple of switches inbetween. One machine is 6.2 and the other is 5.5 
> (FreeBSD of course).
> The questions:
> What would be appropriate to use to mount the storage? NFS or Samba? 
> What performance would be expected?
> Follow-up, for NFS, should the storage machine (where the data is saved) 
> be the NFS daemon and the web server the client or the other way around? 
> Is there any tweaking parameters other than the setup from the handbook?
> I am familiar with the basic setup of both NFS and Samba, compiling 
> samba into the kernel etc but I'd be grateful for tips about tweaking 
> the network performance for both.
> As always, I am grateful for any answer! Thanks In Advance!
> Greetings
> /Roger

NFS for Unix clients, Samba for Windows clients. The performance rubrics 
lean that way from what I've seen.

Besides, NFS is more lightweight than Samba it seems because NFS just 
checks UIDs and GIDs, whereas Samba has a number of authentication 
methods and also supports printer serving.

If you're concerned about security with NFS though, just limit the 
number of machines that can access your NFS server using 
/etc/hosts.allow and /etc/hosts.deny.


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