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Server Configuration

BranchCache is not installed by default on Windows Server 2008 R2. To configure a Web server or an application server that uses the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) protocol, you must install the BranchCache feature using server manager. To configure a file server to use

BranchCache, you must install the BranchCache for Network Files feature, and configure the server using Group Policy. For a Windows Server 2008 R2 computer to act as a BranchCache client, you must first install the BranchCache feature and then follow the client configuration steps in this document.

Installing the BranchCache feature

Use the Add Features Wizard of Server Manager in Windows Server 2008 R2 to enable BranchCache on a Web server or BITS application server.

To install the BranchCache feature

  1. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Server Manager.

  2. Right-click Features and then click Add Features.

  3. In the Add Features Wizard, select BranchCache, and then click Next.

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  4. In the Confirm Installation Selections dialog box, click Install.

  5. In the Installation Results dialog box, confirm that BranchCache installed successfully, and then click Close.

Configuring a Web server or a BITS application server to use BranchCache

To enable BranchCache acceleration of content served by a Web server or application server using the BITS protocol, you must install the BranchCache feature and ensure that the BranchCache service has started. No other steps are necessary.

Configuring a WSUS server to use BranchCache

In addition to enabling BranchCache in your environment, the WSUS server must be configured to store update files locally (both the update metadata and the update files are downloaded and stored locally on the WSUS server). This ensures that the clients get the update files from the WSUS server rather than directly from Microsoft Update. To learn more about WSUS server configuration, see Advanced Synchronization Options for WSUS (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=150597) on Microsoft TechNet.

Configuring a file server to use BranchCache

The BranchCache for Network Files role service of the File Services server role needs to be installed before you can enable BranchCache for any file shares. After you install the BranchCache for Network Files role service, use the Group Policy Management Console to enable BranchCache on the server. You can enable BranchCache for all shares on a file server or only on selected shares.

noteNote
You do not need to install the BranchCache feature using the Add Features Wizard, as described earlier in the guide, when configuring a file server.

BranchCache for Network Files is a role service of the File Services role. Use the Add Roles Wizard of Server Manager to install the File Services role and the BranchCache for Network Files role service.

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Using Group Policy to configure BranchCache

You can use the local Group Policy Editor to configure BranchCache on a single server. If you have multiple file servers, and they are easily identifiable in your Active Directory®--for example, they are organized under a common organizational unit (OU)--you may wish to use Group Policy to configure BranchCache for multiple servers in one step.

To use Group Policy to configure BranchCache

  1. Open the Group Policy Management Console. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Group Policy Management Console.

  2. Select the domain in which you will apply the Group Policy object, or select Local Computer Policy.

  3. Select New from the Action menu to create a new Group Policy object (GPO).

  4. Choose a name for the new GPO and click OK.

  5. Right-click the GPO just created and choose Edit.

  6. Click Computer Configuration, point to Policies, Administrative Templates, Network, and then click Lanman Server.

  7. Double-click Hash Publication for BranchCache.

  8. Click Enabled.

  9. Under Options, choose one of the following Hash publication actions:

    1. Allow hash publication for all file shares.

    2. Allow hash publication for file shares tagged with “BranchCache support.”

    3. Disallow hash publication on all file shares.

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  10. Click OK.

Using the Registry Editor to configure disk use for stored identifiers

The identifiers used to describe blocks of content are stored on the file server. The registry can be used to limit the maximum percent or physical disk space used on the server to store these identifiers.

CautionCaution
Incorrectly editing the registry may severely damage your system. Before making changes to the registry, you should back up any valued data on the computer.

To configure stored identifiers

  1. Open an elevated command prompt (click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator).

  2. At the command prompt, type Regedit.exe, and then press Enter.

  3. Navigate to HKLM\CurrentControlSet\Service\LanmanServer\Parameters.

  4. Right-click the HashStorageLimitPercent value, and then click Modify.

  5. In the Value box, type the percentage of disk space that you would like BranchCache to use. Click OK.

  6. Close the Registry Editor.

Setting the BranchCache support tag on a file share

By default, only shares with the BranchCache support tag will be optimized. This is also the case if the Group Policy Hash Publication for BranchCache setting is enabled and the option Allow hash publication for file shares tagged with BranchCache support is selected. The following section explains how to set the BranchCache support tag on a file share.

To set the BranchCache support tag on a share

  1. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Share and Storage Management.

  2. Right-click a share and then click Properties.

  3. Click Advanced.

  4. On the Caching tab, select Only the files and programs that users specify are available offline.

  5. Select Enable BranchCache, and then click OK.

  6. Click OK, and then close the Share and Storage Management Console.

Additional steps for server clusters

BranchCache-enabled servers use a piece of cryptographic data when generating identifiers for data blocks. In a server cluster, this cryptographic data must be replicated across all BranchCache-enabled servers in the cluster to keep the generation of identifiers consistent across all computers.

To replicate cryptographic data

  1. Open an elevated command prompt (click Start, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator).

  2. At the command prompt, type netsh branchcache set key passphrase=“MY_PASSPHRASE”, and then press Enter. Choose a phrase known only to you. Repeat this process using the same phrase on all computers that are participating in the cluster.