Support for Windows features and networks in System Center Configuration Manager

Applies to: System Center Configuration Manager (Current Branch)

This topic identifies System Center Configuration Manager support for common Windows and networking features.


You can use Windows BranchCache with Configuration Manager when you enable BranchCache on distribution points, and configure clients to use BranchCache in distributed cache mode.

You can configure the BranchCache settings on a deployment type for applications, on the deployment for a package, and for task sequences.

When the requirements for BranchCache are met, this feature enables clients in remote locations to obtain content from local clients that have a current cache of the content.

For example, when the first BranchCache-enabled client computer requests content from a distribution point that is configured as a BranchCache server, the client computer downloads and caches the content. This content is then made available for clients on the same subnet that requested this content.

These clients also cache the content. In this manner, successive clients on the same subnet do not have to download content from the distribution point, and the content is distributed across multiple clients for future transfers.

Requirements to support BranchCache with Configuration Manager:

  • Configure distribution points:
    Add the Windows BranchCache feature to the site system server that is configured as a distribution point.

    • Distribution points on servers that are configured to support BranchCache require no additional configuration.
    • You cannot add Windows BranchCache to a cloud-based distribution point, but cloud-based distribution points support the download of content by clients that are configured for Windows BranchCache.
  • Configure clients:

    • The clients that can support BranchCache must be configured for BranchCache distributed cache mode.
    • The operating system setting for BITS client settings must be enabled to support BranchCache.

    For information on how you can configure clients to support BranchCache, see the Configure clients section in Configure BranchCache for Windows 10 updates.

Configuration Manager supports the following client operating systems with Windows BranchCache:

Operating system Support details
Windows 7 with SP1 Supported by default
Windows 8 Supported by default
Windows 8.1 Supported by default
Windows 10 Supported by default
Windows Server 2008 with SP2 Requires BITS 4.0: You can install the BITS 4.0 release on Configuration Manager clients by using software updates or software distribution. For more information about the BITS 4.0 release, see Windows Management Framework.

On this operating system, the BranchCache client functionality is not supported for software distribution that is run from the network or for SMB file transfers. Additionally, this operating system cannot use BranchCache functionality with cloud-based distribution points.
Windows Server 2008 R2 Supported by default
Windows Server 2012 Supported by default
Windows Server 2012 R2 Supported by default
Windows Server 2016 Supported by default

For more information about BranchCache, see BranchCache for Windows in the Windows Server documentation.

Computers in workgroups

Configuration Manager provides support for clients in workgroups.


Although clients in workgroups are supported, all site systems must be members of a supported Active Directory Domain.

Data deduplication

Configuration Manager supports the use of data deduplication with distribution points on the following operating systems:

  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows Server 2012


The volume that hosts package source files cannot be marked for data deduplication. This is because data deduplication uses reparse points, and Configuration Manager does not support using a content source location with files that are stored on reparse points.

For more information, see Configuration Manager Distribution Points and Windows Server 2012 Data Deduplication on the Configuration Manager team blog, and Data Deduplication Overview in the Windows Server TechNet library.


Configuration Manager supports the DirectAccess feature in Windows Server 2008 R2 and later for communication between clients and site server systems.

  • When all the requirements for DirectAccess are met, DirectAccess enables Configuration Manager clients on the Internet to communicate with their assigned site as if they were on the intranet.

  • For server-initiated actions, such as remote control and client push installation, the initiating computer (such as the site server) must be running IPv6, and this protocol must be supported on all intervening networking devices.

Configuration Manager does not support the following over DirectAccess:

  • The deployment of operating systems

  • Communication between Configuration Manager sites

  • Communication between Configuration Manager site system servers within a site

Dual boot computers

Configuration Manager cannot manage more than one operating system on a single computer. If there is more than one operating system on a computer that must be managed, adjust the discovery and installation methods that are used to ensure that the Configuration Manager client is installed only on the operating system that has to be managed.

Internet Protocol version 6

In addition to Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4), Configuration Manager supports Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) with the following exceptions:

Function Exception to IPv6 support
Cloud-based distribution points IPv4 is required to support Microsoft Azure and cloud-based distribution points.
Mobile devices that are enrolled by Microsoft Intune and the Microsoft service connector IPv4 is required to support mobile devices that are enrolled by Microsoft Intune and the Microsoft service connector.
Network Discovery IPv4 is required when you configure a DHCP server to search in Network Discovery.
Operating system deployment IPv4 is required to support operating system deployment.
Wake-up proxy communication IPv4 is required to support the client wake-up proxy packets.
Windows CE IPv4 is required to support the Configuration Manager client on Windows CE devices.

Network Address Translation

Network Address Translation (NAT) is not supported in Configuration Manager, unless the site supports clients that are on the Internet and the client detects that it is connected to the Internet. For more information about Internet-based client management, see Plan for managing Internet-based clients in System Center Configuration Manager.

Specialized storage technology

Configuration Manager works with any hardware that is certified on the Windows Hardware Compatibility List for the version of the operating system that the Configuration Manager component is installed on.

Site Server roles require NTFS file systems so that directory and file permissions can be set. Because Configuration Manager assumes that it has complete ownership of a logical drive, site systems that run on separate computers cannot share a logical partition on any storage technology. However, each computer can use a separate logical partition on the same physical partition of a shared storage device.

Support considerations:

  • Storage Area Network: A Storage Area Network (SAN) is supported when a supported Windows-based server is attached directly to the volume that is hosted by the SAN.

  • Single Instance Storage: Configuration Manager does not support configuration of distribution point package and signature folders on a Single Instance Storage (SIS)-enabled volume.

    Additionally, the cache of a Configuration Manager client is not supported on a SIS-enabled volume.

  • Removable disk drive: Configuration Manager does not support the installation of Configuration Manager site systems or clients on a removable disk drive.