Common Internet File System is a platform-independent file-sharing system that supports rich, collaborative applications over the internet which could be useful for collaborative post production workflows. It defines a standard remote file-system access protocol, enabling groups of users to work together and share documents via the Internet or within intranets. CIFS is an open, cross-platform technology based on native file-sharing protocols in Windows and other popular PC operating systems, and is supported on other platforms, so users can open and share remote files on the Internet without installing new software or changing work methods.

CIFS allows multiple clients to access and update the same file, while preventing conflicts by using sophisticated file-sharing and locking semantics. These mechanisms also permit aggressive caching and read-ahead/write-behind without loss of cache coherency.

CIFS also supports fault tolerance in the face of network and server failures.

In Quantel’s Genetic Engineering teamworking infrastructure, the Sam data server virtualizes media on-the-fly to give third-party applications instant access to all stored media using the CIFS protocol for no-API, out-of-the-box connectivity.