One design goal for the SMB 2.1 protocol implementation on Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 7 was to achieve better performance for 10 Gigabit Ethernet (very high speed / low latency networks). This has been achieved with a new feature called ‘Large MTU’, or ‘multi-credit’ operations. The maximum transmission unit (MTU), of course, is the size (in bytes) of the largest protocol data unit that a communication protocol can pass across the network.

This blog entry is informative, and should not be considered normative in any way, as it is preliminary to the release of Windows 2008 R2 and Windows 7.

Portions of this entry have been adapted from the “[MS-SMB 2]: Server Message Block (SMB) Version 2 Protocol Specification”. A future update of that document will provide normative documentation concerning the material introduced here.

To access the current document release, search the Microsoft MSDN website (http://msdn.microsoft.com/) for “Server Message Block (SMB) Version 2 Protocol”. If you wish to receive information about protocol documentation updates, you can subscribe to the Microsoft ‘Protocols Perspective e-Newsletter’ at Microsoft Open Protocols (http://www.microsoft.com/protocols/).

There are five files attached to the ‘SMB2-Multi-Credit.zip’ attachment to this entry.:

1.       BothEnabled.cap – this is a Network Monitor 3.3 capture showing two Windows 7 systems using multi-credit operations on a file read.

2.       ClientDisabled.cap – this is a Network Monitor 3.3 capture showing the same file read operation with multi-credit operations disabled.

3.       3.3.1625.0.smb2.npl – this is a modified Network Monitor 3.3 parser for SMB 2, with updates for fields involved with multi-credit operations.

4.       3.4.1761.1.smb2.npl – this is a modified Network Monitor 3.3 parser for SMB 2, with updates for fields involved with multi-credit operations.

5.       SMB2-Multi-Credit.pdf – the full content for this blog entry.