Improving client response time by providing SMB automatic node referrals with Auto Location

Auto Location uses SMB automatic node referrals to increase SMB client performance on storage virtual machines (SVMs). Automatic node referrals automatically redirect the requesting client to a LIF on the node SVM that is hosting the volume in which the data resides, which can lead to improved client response times.

When an SMB client connects to an SMB share hosted on the SVM, it might connect using a LIF that is on a node that does not own the requested data. The node to which the client is connected accesses data owned by another node by using the cluster network. The client can experience faster response times if the SMB connection uses a LIF located on the node containing the requested data:

If the node hosting the data does not have an available LIF, ONTAP establishes the connection using the LIF chosen by the client. After a file is opened by an SMB client, it continues to access the file through the same referred connection.

If, for any reason, the CIFS server cannot make a referral, there is no disruption to SMB service. The SMB connection is established as if automatic node referrals were not enabled.