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Windows Server 2008 R2: Download BranchCache Early Adopter’s Guide

Introduces BranchCache, a new feature in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 that reduces WAN link utilization and improveswindows-server-2008-r2-logo application responsiveness.

Provides an overview of the BranchCache feature introduced in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7. After a thorough introduction of BranchCache and its modes of operation, the document describes BranchCache configuration. It then provides troubleshooting details and a list of tools to be used by BranchCache administrators.


BranchCache™ is designed to reduce WAN link utilization and improve application responsiveness for branch office workers who access content from servers in remote locations. Branch office client computers use a locally maintained cache of data to reduce traffic over a WAN link. The cache can be distributed across client computers (distributed cache mode) or can be housed on a server in the branch (hosted cache mode).

BranchCache is designed to prevent unauthorized access to content. Content is encrypted when transferred between peers or between clients and the hosted cache server. Content can only be decrypted using the identifiers provided by the content server in the main office. The content server will only provide identifiers to authorized clients. BranchCache supports the optimization of downloads over end-to-end secure transports such as HTTPS and IPsec.

BranchCache only optimizes traffic flows between Windows Server® 2008 R2 servers and Windows® 7 clients. The BranchCache feature is an optional component on Windows Server 2008 R2 and must be installed and enabled before BranchCache can be used. To optimize SMB traffic, the file server role must be enabled. BranchCache is installed on Windows 7 client computers by default, but IT administrators must enable BranchCache and create firewall rules to enable traffic between client computers.

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