Server message block-the server message block (smb) protocol, used primarily by microsoft operating systems, is responsible for sharing files and printers on a system and making those resources available to smb clients on the network. smb is an application-layer protocol that runs on top of tcp/ip, ipx, and netbeui and relies on those protocols for transport functionality.
smb is a term that is being phased out. microsoft is now using the term common internet file system (cifs) instead of smb. either way, smb and cifs are protocols responsible for allowing access to a remote le system as if it were stored on the local system in a microsoft environment.