Q. If I connect to a SMB 3 Scale-out File Server from Windows Server 2008 R2 will I still receive the features of SMB 3?
A. Scale-out File Servers hosted on Windows Server 2012 and above utilize SMB 3 which enables a number of key capabilities including:
- SMB Transparent Failover and SMB Scale Out (seamless failover for clients between servers)
- SMB Multichannel (provides redundant paths)
- SMB Direct (utilizes RDMA)
- SMB Encryption
If you use a down level SMB client, such as Windows Server 2008 R2 then a lower version of SMB will be negotiated and used (as documented at http://blogs.technet.com/b/josebda/archive/2013/10/02/windows-server-2012-r2-which-version-of-the-smb-protocol-smb-1-0-smb-2-0-smb-2-1-smb-3-0-or-smb-3-02-you-are-using.aspx). This means that SMB 3 features such as those described above will not be available which means the key benefits of SMB 3 would not be utilized.