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Quick Tutorial: NetApp and SMB2

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By: JBingham

June 10, 2017

Due to the recent malware issues that have plagued the Internet, our organization made the decision to upgrade the current version of the protocol Server Message Block (SMB) to version 2.  This caused an authentication issue between the users and the filers in which the data is stored.

Before I explain the fix, let’s discuss what SMB is.  SMB is a protocol which provides a means for user applications in their computing device to be able to read and write to the files located on the filers.  The SMB protocol can be used over the Internet either on top of its Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) or on top of other network protocols such as NetBEUI and Internetwork Packet Exchange (IPE).  (Rouse, 2007).

After the protocol was upgraded, since customers were already logged onto the network, no difference was noticed.  However, after lunch, when users started to log back into their systems, it was noticed that the connection to the network drives had been lost and the ability to manually map the drives were unsuccessful.  By the following morning, after all the systems were forced to reboot during the evening, all users had lost their connectivity to the filers.

After much research and looking over blog sites, I was able to find an idea for a fix for this issue and since it is not in print, I pass the knowledge on to you.

You will need to log onto the filers via an SSH session by using a local account; Putty or SecureCRT will work just fine for this.  If you do not have a local account on the filers, you may want to fix this issue now.

Once you have logged on, at the prompt, type in the following:

Filer name>options ciifs cifs.smb show

You should see all of the current CIFS protocols that are currently associated with your filer.  If the SMB2 client protocol has never been turned on, you may not see this line, so that was my problem.  At the prompt, type in the following:

Filer name>options cifs.smb2.client.enable on then ENTER.

Within ten minutes, have your users log off and back on and the connection to their files will be re-established.  This will need to be done on each filer, including your backups, to fix this issue.

I am aware that this does NOT work on the EMC2 filers, but I hope that this points you in the right direction.  Good luck.


Rouse, M. (2007). TechTarget. Server Message Block Protocol (SMB Protocol). Retrieved from

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