OSX 10.12 AFP VS SMB



  • I have a client that I'm setting up with a new NAS (supports AFP & SMB) to replace their aging mac mini server. Question - on OSX 10.12 I know SMB is supposed to be the default, but AFP is still an option and I wanted to know if people think AFP is still the way to go (less issues) or Apple's gotten it's SMB ducks in a row?



  • AFP has been deprecated for some time now. Still using it where it is already deployed is fine, deploying it new seems crazy. It's been years since they dropped it and started moving away from it. Intentionally implementing technical debt for a legacy support only protocol would be impractical at best.



  • Apple has had SMB working great for, like, a decade or more. SMB has been their mainstay for a very long time, even while AFP was still considered viable. The SMB issues with Apple products is really just one of those rumours, not a real thing or not for so long that no one is likely clear on what the source of it was.



  • I don't know if I would call them "rumors." There's a reason so many people invested in Acronis' AFP software.



  • @frodooftheshire said in OSX 10.12 AFP VS SMB:

    I don't know if I would call them "rumors." There's a reason so many people invested in Acronis' AFP software.

    Yes, because most people are confused. Never use "lots of people" as a reason to believe things. Lots of people run FreeNAS thinking it is a good idea. Lots of FreeNAS users run software RAID because they are confused about how ZFS works. All of them do it for nor reason.

    And Acronis AFP is more than AFP. Mac already has AFP. So does Linux. So does Windows. So they aren't buying Acronis for AFP at all, ever. It's for some other purpose. A technical one, a marketing one, who knows. What we know, is that they aren't doing it because they need AFP or because SMB doesn't work.

    SMB is the better protocol. It's the only one Apple uses. AFP is long dead. The average IT person does a terrible job. There is no basis in the SMB/AFP concerns. I've talked with countless companies about this, and I've seen tons of people turn to AFP - never once because of a technical reason, always because of rumours, misunderstandings or marketing.



  • So companies everywhere are wasting thousands upon thousands of dollars with zero benefit? Zero? I've been digging through forum posts (apple forums/spiceworks forums) for the last month or two regarding SMB and 10.10, 10.11, etc and it's easy to find lots of people that have suffered with a variety of different issues. Keep in mind most of these issues were with Apple computers connecting to Windows shares, but still.

    Also, just to clarify - you personally support a good assortment of Apple users using SMB to connect to NAS shares? Meaning you can personally state that you haven't seen any issues with 10.12 connecting to SMB shares/searching with finder/etc? I'm not interested in how the technology is supposed to work, but in real day to day usage how well it works. For example, Apple's mail client supports exchange. Do you know how many weird issues I've personally (many others have reported too) had working With Apple's program not properly syncing with exchange? Enough to not recommend it.



  • Also, btw, I have a brand new Synolgoy NAS on my desk. It has both AFP & SMB enabled. I wanted to see what 10.12 would default to for mounting the share. Connecting using the hostname under the "shared" finder section OS 10.12 mounted using AFP.



  • @frodooftheshire said in OSX 10.12 AFP VS SMB:

    So companies everywhere are wasting thousands upon thousands of dollars with zero benefit? Zero?

    Often, absolutely. Ever looked at IT? People do this all the time.

    Not what I said though. I said it wasn't for the AFP.



  • @frodooftheshire said in OSX 10.12 AFP VS SMB:

    I've been digging through forum posts (apple forums/spiceworks forums) for the last month or two regarding SMB and 10.10, 10.11, etc and it's easy to find lots of people that have suffered with a variety of different issues. Keep in mind most of these issues were with Apple computers connecting to Windows shares, but still.

    Sure, I deal with this all the time. Never once has it turned out to be SMB. That's the key. Everyone talks about it, no one ever finds SMB to be the problem. Loads of people stop using SMB because of some weird assumptions, though.



  • @frodooftheshire said in OSX 10.12 AFP VS SMB:

    Also, just to clarify - you personally support a good assortment of Apple users using SMB to connect to NAS shares? Meaning you can personally state that you haven't seen any issues with 10.12 connecting to SMB shares/searching with finder/etc?

    You are getting into silly, irrational territory here. Apple has worked great with SMB for a very long time, long before they dropped AFP.

    Of course it has issues searching with SMB in Finder. But the issue isn't SMB. See the key there? You are repeating the exact myths that have been around for forever.

    You are, on one hand, asking if SMB works. It does, zero question. Then you mention the Finder bug and if it still exists when using SMB. Of course it does.

    I know exactly what you are thinking, and you are confusing a lot of topics and blending them together. Exactly as so many threads do.



  • @frodooftheshire said in OSX 10.12 AFP VS SMB:

    Do you know how many weird issues I've personally (many others have reported too) had working With Apple's program not properly syncing with exchange? Enough to not recommend it.

    Sure, but I fail to see how this is related to the discussion.



  • @frodooftheshire said in OSX 10.12 AFP VS SMB:

    I'm not interested in how the technology is supposed to work, but in real day to day usage how well it works.

    You do realize that Apple's own file servers, the ones that work best with Mac, are... SMB, right? The ones that work flawlessly, every time? Have for a very long time.

    And you are aware that the Finder bug hits SMB and AFP equally, right?

    The biggest issue is that the Finder bug is complex enough that most people don't understand it, especially in the Apple world, and that it came out around the same time that Apple moved to proprietary SMB handling instead of Samba, and at about the same time that Apple moved from AFP to SMB. So people got confused, because they didn't understand how any of the pieces worked or interrelated, and often associated the Finder bug with moving to SMB, even though it was coincidental.

    Then, when most people try to fix the Finder bug, they get caught up in the SMB myths and drop SMB for AFP at the same time, so tend to associate the Finder bug fix (which is included with Acronis) with the protocol change, even though it was just poor troubleshooting practices on their side.

    SMB from Samba works just fine, as long as you fix the Finder bug problem.

    And so yes, I've supported hundreds of companies on this exact issue. And am pretty aware of why people spend thousands on software that they don't need to and what emotional responses and the sources of their misunderstandings are driving this behaviour. If you are familiar with how Apple's technology works, none of it is weird or confusing. The Finder bug is a pain to solve, but it is solved. SMB vs. AFP was a very old discussion and has been resolved. But tons of people in the Apple space continue to repeat the myths and so companies like Acronis continue to make good money building unnecessary products to feed the hysteria. Like tons of software companies do. There is big money in selling people what they will buy, rather than what they need.



  • Is it possible that Apple has recently broken their own platform and no longer has properly working SMB? Sure, there is always a possibility that they will break something with any new patch. But this is exactly a decade old myth. Check those old threads. In many years of supporting this, never once has SMB been found, in all of my experience, to have been a factor. Tons of people claim it is, but if they expose their solution it is clear that they never tested and only made the claim. I've never seen anyone claim or demonstrate an actual test where SMB was the problem rather than the Finder bug, literally zero. And I've dealt with this a lot, it's easily one of the most common things you need to know when supporting Macs because Macs tend to use mapped drives and basically no one uses Mac Servers, leaving almost every Mac scenario dealing with the Finder bug.

    So that this problem exactly mirrors and repeats the well known Mac problem, the standard myths that swirl around it and the standard "fixes" that hide what is going on and repeats the same misinformation (or suggests it, like that AFP fixes the issue when it was really the meta data serving) makes it essentially impossible that the issue here is that Apple suddenly and illogically just broke their platform in exactly the way that there has been a standard industry myth about for most of a decade.



  • @frodooftheshire said in OSX 10.12 AFP VS SMB:

    Also, just to clarify - you personally support a good assortment of Apple users using SMB to connect to NAS shares? Meaning you can personally state that you haven't seen any issues with 10.12 connecting to SMB shares/searching with finder/etc?

    Let's reverse this question, as you are attempting to imply that since I don't do this one exact scenario as much as you'd like, that my knowledge is likely invalid.

    But ask it another way... to clarify, before I brought up the technical details here, were you aware of Apple's stance, support, and historical performance of SMB and AFP and were aware of the Finder bug and how it interacts with metadata so already knew that discussing NAS shares would not be relevant to the question asked, about SMB and AFP? You knew what Acronis' product fixes performance by addressing the metadata and that the AFP portion of it was a red herring? That AFP is equally affected by the Finder bug? That NAS using Samba, as most do, have to use vfs_fruit to address the performance issues with SMB and that the issue is not NAS related but Samba related and that it was long ago fixed? And that the issue is all of Apple's end in Finder and can be worked around on that side too, proving that the issue is the application, not the protocol?

    At no point did you mention any of these Apple storage support details, that we'd expect if you were aware of them, as they are the biggest concerns in the SMB/AFP discussion traditionally. You are attempting to discredit, I feel, my Apple Mac experience, based on my not commonly supporting one very specific implementation - but one that reflects an issue I've been a major documenter and teach of. But you ask the question and make comments that suggest that you are not familiar with the problem domain here that you should run into on pretty much any Mac deployment and for which there are standard fixes and solutions. Some of your statements, like those about Acronis, make no sense if you understood what the factors were.

    So I find it odd that you are questioning my Mac experience in this way. Given that I have written about this exact subject extensive, have identified and documented the issue, done extensive testing and proofs of it, worked with Apple engineering on it directly, am aware of the market reasons why the bug is being retained and have consistently provided fixes on both the server and client side for this exact issue for years, it feels odd to be questioned that I might not have enough familiarity to have the discussion.



  • Here is a discussion on this from two years ago. The Finder Bug hasn't been talked about that much on ML since it was so well known and established for Mac storage needs prior to ML coming into existance. But you can find a lot about it on SW, since it happened and got documented during that era.

    https://mangolassi.it/topic/5499/nas-for-mac-environment/


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