Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2
BranchCache installs the services that are required to provide BranchCache client functionality. It also provides BranchCache server support for the HTTP protocol, Hosted Cache, and applications other than network files.
BranchCache server support for network files is provided by the BranchCache for network files role service of the File Services server role.
BranchCache reduces the utilization of the wide area network (WAN) links connecting branch offices to the data center or headquarters and increases access speeds for content that has already been downloaded into the branch office.
BranchCache does this by enabling computers in a branch office to cache files and HTTP traffic from Intranet servers on which BranchCache is enabled. Computers in the branch office can retrieve the cached content if they have permission to access the content and are authorized by the source server. Once authorized, the computers retrieve cached content from a hosted cache server in the branch (when you are using Hosted Cache mode), or from other client computers in the branch (when you are using Distributed Cache mode).