IT Professional's Connection
by: Christian Millar, MCT, Manager Microsoft Infrastructure Training
A deeper look into the new Features of Windows Server 2008 R2 with the Windows 7 Client: Part 1 Branch Cache
In our last newsletter, we spoke about some of the latest features that are new with Windows Server 2008 R2. As per this article I will focus on some technologies around the integration with Windows 7 as the new Desktop Client. We have been receiving excellent interest in the New Windows 7 classes, so I wanted this article to cover off a real money saver now available if your organization is thinking of moving forward with implementing Windows 7 Desktops and Windows Server 2008 R2 backend Servers. Since most of the courseware I deliver is Infrastructure Based with a Rock Solid Desktop OS like Windows 7 which seems to be the client to run now. And most of the new Releases of our Microsoft Official Curriculum Based Courses are very informational based which allows the student to grasp a firm knowledge of Excellent Quality Content with new revamped labs. I am happy to say that all of the newer Server 2008 classes now focus on teaching the Windows Server 2008 R2 fundamentals as well.
In this edition, we will start examining the New Features that 2008 R2 has to offer as mentioned in our last month’s article we would be looking at each particular new Feature separately over the course of the year. This month we will examine all the latest add-ons to the Client Server section.
BranchCache™ in the Windows® 7 and Windows Server® 2008 R2 operating systems can help increase network responsiveness of centralized applications when accessed from remote offices, giving users in those offices the experience of working on your local area network. BranchCache also helps reduce wide area network (WAN) utilization.
When BranchCache is enabled, a copy of data accessed from intranet Web and file servers is cached locally within the branch office. When another client on the same network requests the file, the client downloads it from the local cache without downloading the same content across the WAN.
BranchCache can operate in one of two modes:
- Distributed Cache. Using a peer-to-peer architecture, Windows 7 client computers cache copies of files and send them directly to other Windows 7 client computers as they need it. Improving performance is as easy as enabling BranchCache on your Windows 7 client and Windows Server 2008 R2 computers. Distributed Cache is especially beneficial for branch offices that do not have a local server.
Watch the distributed cache videocast from TechNet featuring Kevin Remde Senior IT Pro Evangelist from Microsoft as he demonstrates
- Hosted Cache. Using a client/server architecture, Windows 7 client computers cache content to a computer on the local network running Windows Server 2008 R2, known as the Hosted Cache. Other clients who need the same content retrieve it directly from the Hosted Cache. The Hosted Cache computer can run the Server Core installation option of Windows Server 2008 R2 and can also host other applications.
Watch the Hosted cache videocast from TechNet featuring Kevin Remde Senior IT Pro Evangelist from Microsoft as he demonstrates
The following diagram illustrates these two models:
BranchCache can improve the performance of applications that use one of the following protocols:
- HTTP and HTTPS. The protocols used by Web browsers and many other applications (such as Internet Explorer®, Windows Media®, and more).
- SMB (including signed SMB traffic). The protocol used for shared folders.
BranchCache only retrieves data from a server when the client requests it. Because it is a passive cache, it will not increase WAN utilization. BranchCache only caches read requests, and thus will not interfere with a user saving a file.
BranchCache improves the responsiveness of common network applications that access intranet servers across slow links. Because it does not require any infrastructure, you can improve the performance of remote networks simply by deploying Windows 7 to client computers, deploying Windows Server 2008 R2 to server computers, and enabling BranchCache.
BranchCache works seamlessly alongside network security technologies, including SSL, SMB Signing, and end-to-end IPsec. You can use BranchCache to reduce network bandwidth utilization and improve application performance even if the content is encrypted.
Check back with us next time when we continue our look at the new features that are being offered and if you would like to contact me regarding anything in this article please feel free to email me at email@example.com.
See you next time!