The File Access Services Protocols are central to file and printer sharing, and to Group Policy distribution in Windows operating environments. If any of these functions are required, then File Access Services are deployed.
The system is most applicable in local-area networks, where network round-trip delay is small. However, the system can be operated satisfactorily on wide area networks (WAN), with some loss of performance. If the services are used over a WAN, a hosted cache and associated caching can help compensate for message delay in communicating with the SMB file server, which is typically located centrally.