How ONTAP grants SMB file access from NFS clients


ONTAP uses Windows NT File System (NTFS) security semantics to determine whether a UNIX user, on an NFS client, has access to a file with NTFS permissions.

ONTAP does this by converting the user’s UNIX User ID (UID) into a SMB credential, and then using the SMB credential to verify that the user has access rights to the file. A SMB credential consists of a primary Security Identifier (SID), usually the user’s Windows user name, and one or more group SIDs that correspond to Windows groups of which the user is a member.

The time ONTAP takes converting the UNIX UID into a SMB credential can be from tens of milliseconds to hundreds of milliseconds because the process involves contacting a domain controller. ONTAP maps the UID to the SMB credential and enters the mapping in a credential cache to reduce the verification time caused by the conversion.