BranchCache in Windows Server 2016

The BranchCache overview topic for Windows Server 2016 is now live on the Web!

BranchCache is a wide area network (WAN) bandwidth optimization technology that is included in some editions of the Windows Server® 2016 and Windows 10® operating systems, as well as in some editions of Windows Server® 2012 R2, Windows® 8.1, Windows Server® 2012, Windows® 8 , Windows Server® 2008 R2 and Windows 7®.

To optimize WAN bandwidth for employees in remote branch offices, you can configure File Servers, Web Servers, and Application Servers as BranchCache content servers. These servers can be physically located in your main office or in a cloud data center. File Servers must use Server Message Block (SMB), while Web Servers use HTTP, and Application Servers use Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS).

When branch office users with BranchCache-enabled computers connect to your content servers to access content, the content is downloaded from the content servers and then placed in a cache in the branch office. Then if other branch office users try to access the same content, they receive the content from the cache in the local office instead of from the content servers over the WAN link, saving bandwidth.

The content cache is stored on the client computers themselves if you use BranchCache Distributed Cache mode. But if there is a server in the branch office, you can store the content cache on the server, which is enabled when you configure the server as a hosted cache server for BranchCache Hosted Cache mode.

For more information, see BranchCache