Most people know of samba as a type of rhythmic dance music from Brazil that uses a 2/4 time signature. In the computer world, samba has a different meaning but is no less exciting (if you are a computer nerd).
Samba is an open-source software implementation of the SMB networking protocol used by Windows computers. (If you look closely, you can see the correlation between the two names.) Samba allows other computer platforms, such as Mac OS X, Unix, Linux, IBM System 390, and OpenVMS to interact with Windows computers on the same network. This includes sharing files and using shared devices such as printers connected to other computers within the local network.
Because SMB was developed only for Windows, without Samba, other computer platforms would be isolated from Windows machines, even if they were part of the same network. Fortunately, Samba helps different types of computers work together as if they were all based on the same platform. This gives network administrators the freedom to choose multiple types of computers systems when setting up a network. Now that's a reason to dance!