Saving on bandwidth is one of the major concern in an IT Environment. There are two reasons for it, first financial and second how much time do the employee have to wait to download anything. So unless you spend on good bandwidth you cannot have productive environment but spending too much on Bandwidth is costly. Irony!
From Windows Server 2008 R2 a new enhancement has been made to improve the network abilities to server request faster with Windows 7, Branch Cache. This feature in a nutshell can cut the amount of bandwidth consumed but can increase the files downloaded to client servers faster and increase the application response time in a Wide Area Network.
When a file or data is requested from server e. headquarters the file is cached locally either on local servers at the branch or locally on the client machine. When a second machine makes a request the file is served from the local server or from the client machine which requested the file for the first time.
So like you can interpret there are two modes of BranchCache
- Distributed Cache : This mode uses the machine to machine or call it peer-to-peer mode where a Windows 7 client computers cache copies of files and sends it to another Windows 7 client when it requests.
- Hosted Cache. It uses the typical client and server architecture. When a Windows 7 client machine downloads any file it pings the local server saying “Hey I have a new file, Let me register it with you”. Once done that the local server serves the file when requested to be downloaded again by another Windows 7 client machine.
Facts about Branch Cache :
- Branch Cache uses HTTP and HTTPS protocol which is useful when request is made by Browser or any application which works on it and second protocol used is SMB protocol which is used by Shared Folder.
- BranchCache only caches read requests meaning if the data of the file is changed in one of the client machine, that change is not served to other client machine.
- There is a huge performance increase and use of bandwidth is reduced. The second download is so fast you would feel copying from your machine.
How do I enable Branch Cache ? ( Video Link )