OpenSolaris, the open-source varient of Sun’s Solaris, is getting an in-kernel CIFS (Common Internet File System) service. This will allow Microsoft users to store and retrieve files from an OpenSolaris system.

The in-kernel implementation of CIFS in Solaris will result in it gaining tight integration with NFS, ZFS and Active Directory. Why not just use Samba, you ask.

Sun’s Alan Wright explains:

There is a common misconception that Windows interoperability is just a case of implementing file transfer using the CIFS protocol. Unfortunately, that doesn’t get you very far. Windows interoperability also requires that a server support various Windows services, typically MSRPC services, and it is very sensitive to the way that those services behave: Windows inter- operability requires that a CIFS server convince a Windows client or server that it “is Windows”. This is really only possible if the operating system supports those services at a fundamental level.

According to the Register:

Sun will incorporate CIFS Server in the ‘Indiana’ release of OpenSolaris, due out in the first half of 2008. It probably won’t hit the commercial version of Solaris for a year or so…

So there you go. Sun is really serious about being king of the storage (and server) hill.