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Leo Walker
Leo Walker

BranchCache In Windows 2012



BranchCache is a wide area network (WAN) bandwidth optimization technology that is included in some editions of the Windows Server 2016 and Windows 10 operating systems, as well as in some editions of Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7. To optimize WAN bandwidth when users access content on remote servers, BranchCache fetches content from your main office or hosted cloud content servers and caches the content at branch office locations, allowing client computers at branch offices to access the content locally rather than over the WAN.




BranchCache in windows 2012



When you deploy hosted cache mode, however, this is not the case - all clients in a multiple-subnet branch office can access a single cache, which is stored on the hosted cache server, even if the clients are on different subnets. In addition, BranchCache in Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2012 provides the ability to deploy more than one hosted cache server per branch office.


Supported Web servers include computers that are running Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2008 R2 that have the Web Server (IIS) server role installed and that use Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) or HTTP Secure (HTTPS).


Supported file servers include computers that are running Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2008 R2 that have the File Services server role and the BranchCache for Network Files role service installed.


Supported application servers include computers that are running Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2008 R2 with Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) installed and enabled.


Content information that is compatible with computers running Windows Server 2016, Windows 10, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, and Windows 8 is called version 2, or V2. V2 content information uses smaller, variable-sized segments that are more tolerant to changes within a file. This increases the probability that segments from an older version of the file can be reused when users access an updated version, causing them to retrieve only the changed portion of the file from the content server, and using less WAN bandwidth.


When you have content servers and hosted cache servers that are running Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2012, they use the content information version that is appropriate based on the operating system of the BranchCache client that requests information.


When computers running Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 or later operating systems request content, the content and hosted cache servers use V2 content information; when computers running Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 request content, the content and hosted cache servers use V1 content information.


BranchCache is not available by default in the Windows Server 2008 or Windows Vista operating systems. On these operating systems, however, if you download and install the Windows Management Framework update, BranchCache functionality is available for the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) protocol only. For more information, and to download Windows Management Framework, see Windows Management Framework (Windows PowerShell 2.0, WinRM 2.0, and BITS 4.0) at /powershell/scripting/windows-powershell/install/installing-the-windows-powershell-2.0-engine.


Hosted cache servers that are running Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2, or Windows Server 2012 encrypt all data in the cache by default, so the use of additional encryption technologies is not required.


BranchCache is a wide area network (WAN) bandwidth optimization technology that is included in some editions of Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2008 R2, and related Windows client operating systems.


At branch offices, content is cached either on servers that are running the BranchCache feature of Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2 , Windows Server 2012 , or Windows Server 2008 R2 - or, if there are no servers available in the branch office, content is cached on client computers that are running Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 8, or Windows 7 .


Web server-based content servers. These content servers send content to BranchCache client computers using the HTTP and HTTPS protocols. These content servers must be running Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2008 R2 versions that support BranchCache and upon which the BranchCache feature is installed.


BITS-based application servers. These content servers send content to BranchCache client computers using the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS). These content servers must be running Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012, or Windows Server 2008 R2 versions that support BranchCache and upon which the BranchCache feature is installed.


File server-based content servers. These content servers must be running Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2 , Windows Server 2012 , or Windows Server 2008 R2 versions that support BranchCache and upon which the File Services server role is installed. In addition, the BranchCache for network files role service of the File Services server role must be installed and configured. These content servers send content to BranchCache client computers using the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol.


File and Web content servers must be running one of the following operating systems to provide BranchCache functionality: Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2 , Windows Server 2012 , or Windows Server 2008 R2 . Windows 8 and later clients continue to see benefits from BranchCache when accessing content servers that are running Windows Server 2008 R2 , however they are unable to make use of the new chunking and hashing technologies in Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2012.


Client computers must be running Windows 10, Windows 8.1, or Windows 8 to make use of the most recent deployment model and the chunking and hashing improvements that were introduced with Windows Server 2012 .


Hosted cache servers must be running Windows Server 2016, Windows Server 2012 R2, or Windows Server 2012 to make use of the deployment improvements and scale features described in this document. A computer that is running one of these operating systems that is configured as a hosted cache server can continue to serve client computers that are running Windows 7 , but to do so, it must be equipped with a certificate that is suitable for Transport Layer Security (TLS), as described in the Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 BranchCache Deployment Guide.


An Active Directory domain is required to take advantage of Group Policy and hosted cache automatic discovery, but a domain is not required to use BranchCache. You can configure individual computers by using Windows PowerShell. In addition, it is not required that your domain controllers are running Windows Server 2012 or later to utilize new BranchCache Group Policy settings; you can import the BranchCache administrative templates onto domain controllers that are running earlier operating systems, or you can author the group policy objects remotely on other computers that are running Windows 10, Windows Server 2016, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, or Windows Server 2012.


The server must be running the Windows Server Essentials operating system or the Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard or Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter operating system with the Windows Server Essentials Experience role.


On a Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard or Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter server, BranchCache is added when you add the Windows Server Essentials Experience role. To turn on BranchCache, you will need to sign in to the Windows Server Essentials Dashboard with domain administrator credentials.


BranchCache was introduced with Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7, and was updated to improve performance, scalability, management and resilience in Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 operating systems.


I'm mainly looking at deploying a Windows server at this branch office and either utilizing DFS-R or BranchCache. Looking at a table comparison and assuming we are looking at a "hosted branchcache server" and not simply distributed:


BranchCache in Windows Server 2012 comes with quite a few enhancements, most of which improve scalability. Highlights are the ability to deploy BranchCache to multiple servers and the use of the Extensible Storage Engine (ESE) database technology that powers Exchange. Manageability has been improved as well. Most noteworthy is that office-by-office configuration is no longer required, automatic client configuration, and you can now push content to branch offices.


We have enabled Branchcache in our SCCM 2012 R2 infrastructure but we noticed that some of our clients where using some Apache server and that this particular configuration was in conflict with Branchcache. According to those clients, it is apparently not an option to change the Apache defaults TCP ports... I know how to change such TCP ports for a "Hosted Branchcache" configuration but how to do it for a "Distributed Branchcache" configuration ? (If possible and supported by Microsoft).


I'll try what is explained here : -US/97111051-5b70-44f0-86e4-0a500ab0f751/change-ports-for-branchcache-distributed-mode?forum=w7itpronetworking in our acceptance environment but for the moment we still have issues with our acceptance PKI infrastructure and therefor we are not able to fully setup our SCCM 2012 R2. When I will be able to test the TCP/IP port change of Branch Cache and if I encounter any problem that I can't solve, I'll create a Microsoft Services Premier Support ticket.


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