BranchCache and Operating System Deployment


Recently I have gotten some feedback on Operating System Deployment in Configuration Manager 2007 SP2 not properly leveraging BranchCache.  Let’s cover some of the implementation details to ensure this is working correctly.

The most likely issue is caused due to the fact that the GPO is not being applied during the OS provisioning process.  After the OS reboots and completes the setup portion, setup returns to the task sequence to complete its actions.  During this time the task sequence is still in a provisioning mode.  This part of the operating system deployment blocks the GPOs from being processed until the task sequence completes.

Here are a few things you can do to ensure that BranchCache is running optimal in the Operating System Deployment process.

  1. Make sure BranchCache is correctly configured and working prior to operation system deployment.  This is key just to make sure there are no other problems in the environment.
  2. To take advantage of BranchCache mid-deployment you will need to configure the BranchCache settings.  To do this you will need to do one of the following:
    • Configure BranchCache in you master image
    • Add a “Run Command Line” action to your task sequence immediately after the “setup Windows and ConfigMgr” action.

You can configure BranchCache by running the following command:

When configuring client computers, you can enable BranchCache in Distributed Cache mode with a single netsh command.   noteNote: Group Policy overrides netsh configuration.

To enable BranchCache in Distributed Cache mode

  1. Open an elevated Command Prompt window (click the Start button, type command in the Start Search box, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator).

  2. Run the following command: netsh branchcache set service mode=DISTRIBUTED

    noteNote: Running this command automatically configures the host firewall for Distributed Cache mode.

After you complete these steps, you will should be able to take full advantage of the benefits of BranchCache during an operating system deployment.

Credit: for BranchCache configuration steps.

These postings are provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confer no rights.

Contributed By: John Vintzel
Microsoft Corporation| Program Manager | System Center Configuration Manager | twitter: jvintzel