What is BranchCache?BranchCache is a WAN optimization technology that is built into Server 2012. It enables remote offices to access centralized file-shares over the wide area network at faster speeds and using less bandwidth. This type of solution to remote office WAN optimization are collectivity known as “wide area files services” or WAFS solutions. They are traditionally expensive so it is a great to have a solution included in the box with Windows Server.
To optimize WAN bandwidth when users access content on remote servers, BranchCache copies content from your main office 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. Further BranchCache de-duplicates the data that it transfers across the wire saving bandwidth.
Microsoft BranchCache works for the following types of WAN traffic
BranchCache operates in one of two modes:
BranchCache Improvements in Windows Server 2012 & Windows 8
There have been a significant number of improvements as we move to BranchCache in Server 2012 that substantially increase performance, manageability, scalability, and availability. Here is a short list of improvements:
How to Setup and use BranchCacheWhile there are several ways to accomplish setting up a BranchCache, below I will detail how to configure a file share Using BranchCache.
Setup your File Server for BranchCacheFirst you need to install the BranchCache feature on your file server. You can do this from Server Manager or from PowerShell.
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Next we create a file share that is BranchCache Enabled. (It will create the fie hashes)
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Verify the Status of your File Share Server by typing the following command at the Windows PowerShell prompt, and then press ENTER.
Deploy a Hosted Cache ServerOn the computer that you want to configure as a hosted cache server, run the following command at a Windows PowerShell prompt to install the BranchCache feature.
Configure a domain joined computer as a hosted cache server, and to register a service connection point in Active Directory for automatic hosted cache server discovery by client computers, type the following command at the Windows PowerShell prompt, and then press ENTER.
Verify the correct configuration of the hosted cache server, type the following command at the Windows PowerShell prompt, and then press ENTER.
Lastly you need to configure the Windows 8 Client to use BranchCache
To configure the client computer for BranchCache hosted cache mode, type the following PowerShell command, and then press ENTER.
Verify the configuration of the client by typing the following command at the Windows PowerShell prompt, and then press ENTER.
That is it – hope you enjoy your WAFS solution with BranchCache!
I'm studying for the 70-412 exam and this article is very explanatory.
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Does the addition of the de-duplication technology allow branch cache to work more efficiently with file modifications, i.e. if the file is modified and saved, does it need to save the whole file again or just the changes in the file?