BranchCache Design Guide

Updated: November 4, 2009

Applies To: 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 stored 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 increases end user productivity by improving content query response times for clients and servers in branch offices, and can also help improve network performance by reducing traffic over WAN links.

About this guide

This guide provides recommendations to help you plan a new deployment of BranchCache, based on the requirements of your organization and the particular design that you want to create. This guide is intended for use by systems and network architects and administrators, and highlights your main decision points as you plan your BranchCache deployment.

This guide describes a set of deployment goals that are based on two primary BranchCache designs, and the guide helps you decide the most appropriate design for your environment. You can use these deployment goals to form one of the following BranchCache designs based on the needs of your environment:

  • BranchCache distributed cache mode for small branch offices that contain only client computers

  • BranchCache hosted cache mode for branch offices that contain servers in addition to client computers

For each design, you will find guidelines for gathering required data about your environment. You can then use these guidelines to plan and design your BranchCache deployment. After you read this guide and finish gathering, documenting, and mapping your organization's requirements, you will have the information necessary to begin deploying BranchCache using the BranchCache Deployment Guide.

To learn how to deploy BranchCache, see the BranchCache Deployment Guide: