Distributed cache mode design

Updated: November 4, 2009

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2

With the distributed cache mode design of BranchCache, users in branch offices can quickly access locally cached content despite not having a server installed in the branch office. Client computers obtain content from main office content servers over wide area network (WAN) links and then cache the content to share with other client computers upon request. Typically, you deploy this design when you do not have servers in branch office locations and do not want to incur the expense of deploying new servers.


The Main office in the illustration above contains three types of content servers to demonstrate that you can deploy all three types of content servers on the same network if you want to; however to deploy BranchCache, only one content server is required.

Branch office 1 in the illustration above contains domain member client computers. These computers are automatically configured for BranchCache by domain Group Policy, which is configured on the AD DS domain controller, and which is applied to the computers when domain Group Policy is refreshed, such as when a user logs on to the computer or when the gpupdate command is run.

Branch office 2 in the illustration above contains non-domain member client computers. Because these computers are not joined to the domain, domain Group Policy cannot be applied to the computers and they cannot be automatically configured.