Updated: April 14, 2010
Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2
BranchCache is a wide area network (WAN) bandwidth optimization technology that is included in the Windows Server® 2008 R2 and Windows® 7 operating systems.
To optimize WAN bandwidth, BranchCache copies content from your main office content servers and caches the content at branch office locations, allowing client computers at branch offices to access the content locally rather than over the WAN.
At branch offices, content is cached either on servers that are running the BranchCache feature of Windows Server 2008 R2 or, when no server is available in the branch office, on computers running Windows 7. After a client computer requests and receives content from the main office and the content is cached at the branch office, other computers at the same branch office can obtain the content locally rather than contacting the main office over the WAN link.
BranchCache helps improve content query response times for clients and servers in branch offices, and can also help improve network performance by reducing traffic over WAN links.
BranchCache requires Windows Server® 2008 R2 and Windows® 7. BranchCache is not available by default in the Windows Server® 2008 or Windows Vista® operating systems. On these operating systems, however, if you download and install the Windows Management Framework update, BranchCache functionality is available for the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) protocol only. For more information, and to download Windows Management Framework, see Windows Management Framework (Windows PowerShell 2.0, WinRM 2.0, and BITS 4.0) at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=188677.