Branch office access with branch cache

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  • 1. Speed Up Branch Office Access with BranchCache Greg Shields, MVP, vExpert Head Geek, Concentrated Technology www.ConcentratedTech.com

2. This slide deck was used in one of our many conference presentations. We hope you enjoy it, and invite you to use it within your own organization however you like. For more information on our company, including information on private classes and upcoming conference appearances, please visit our Web site,www.ConcentratedTech.com .For links to newly-posted decks, follow us on Twitter: @concentrateddon or @concentratdgreg This work is copyright Concentrated Technology, LLC 3. Agenda

  • Part I:Understanding BranchCache
    • Discussion:Architectures you d use in your own environment.
    • Discussion:Is this solution more advantageous than WAN optimizers?
  • Part II:Implementing BranchCache
    • Fairly unexciting, but that s a good thing

Not much to see in terms ofDEMO . So, we ll focus on architecture and best fit for your enviornment. 4. Part I:Understanding BranchCache 5. The Problem with Branch Offices

  • Branch office users are people too!
  • However, their connection to the LAN includes a hop through a sometimesnastyWAN.
    • Local files are fast.Remote files are not.
  • Users in branch offices often suffer because of WAN delay.
  • Bad for business.
  • Bad for IT.

6. Branch Offices Don t Have to be Branch Offices

  • Abranch office doesnt necessarily need to bean officethatexists in a branch location .
  • A branch office in this context is really any LAN location that is separated by a slow network link.
  • Slow == < LAN speed

7. More Problems with Branch Offices

  • Branch offices are often locations with few people and resources.
    • Their lack of people and resources is usually the reason for their slow network connection!
  • WAN optimizers exist, but can be expensive.Often involves hardware.
    • But the central business problem is that there simply isn t enough work at the site to justify hardware.
  • WAN optimizers are often too powerful of a solution.
    • People just need faster access to files and web sites.
    • Businesses can t justify cost.

8. Solving the Branch Office Conundrum

  • Businesses today need cost-effective solutions that don t necessarily require on-site hardware.
    • However, such solutions should befuture proof, e.g. scalable with hardware if needed in the future.

9. Solving the Branch Office Conundrum

  • Businesses today need cost-effective solutions that don t necessarily require on-site hardware.
    • However, such solutions should befuture proof, e.g. scalable with hardware if needed in the future.
  • Most businesses today just need a solution to improve file and folder access, web site access, and perhaps a few applications.
    • Must be aset-it-and-forget-it solution.
    • Other application and data accesses can be handled through existing solutions:RDS, for example.
  • Solution:BranchCache!

10. What is BranchCache?

  • BranchCache caches content from main office servers to branch office locations.
    • To specially-configured BranchCache servers
    • or, to one or more desktops at the branch office.
  • What kind of content?
    • Files and folders
    • HTTP / HTTPS sites
    • BITS-enabled applications (WSUS comes to mind)
    • Any tool, service, application, or widget that makes use of the SMB/HTTP/BITS stack

11. What is BranchCache?

  • BranchCache s services operate below the SMB/HTTP/BITS stack.
    • This means that any tool (Robocopy, WMP, IE, Flash, Silverlight, etc) that uses SMB/HTTP istransparentlyandautomaticallycached.

12. What is BranchCache?

  • BranchCache s services operate below the SMB/HTTP/BITS stack.
    • This means that any tool (Robocopy, WMP, IE, Flash, Silverlight, etc) that uses SMB/HTTP is transparently and automatically cached.
  • Result:No change in user procedures.
    • Users simply access their files in the same locations they re used to.
    • Under the covers, they re transparently redirected to a locally-cached copy (if it exists).
    • If no copy exists, one is cached after its first access and download to the remote site.

13. BranchCache Dataflow (Initial Access, Distributed Cache)

  • Client 1 sends a request for content to the main office content server. In this request, Client 1 indicates that it is BranchCache-capable.
  • The content server obtainspreviously generated contentinformation from a local cache and sends it to Client 1.
  • Client 1 uses the content information and sends a multicast message to all computers on the subnet requesting the content; no computers have the content, however, because none of them has previously downloaded the content from the main office.
  • Client 1 requests the content from the main office content server.
  • Client 1 receives content from the content server and stores the content in its cache.

14. BranchCache Dataflow (Subsequent Accesses, Distributed Cache)

  • Client 2 sends a request for content to the main office content server. In this case, Client 2 seeks the same content that Client 1 has already obtained.
  • The content server obtainspreviously generated contentinformation from a local cache and sends it to Client 2.
  • Client 2 uses the content information and sends a multicast message to determine if any clients in the branch office have already cached the content. Client 1 sends a response stating that it has the content.
  • Client 2 requests the content from Client 1, connects to Client 1, and downloads the content.

15. OK, So What is this Previously-Generated Content?

  • Call it content metadata.
    • Content is broken into blocks, orchunks of data.
    • For each block,blockandsegment hashesare computed (using SHA-256).
    • Compression ratio of hash to original content is around 2000:1.
    • One file == many blocks.Discrete content chunking.

16. OK, So What is this Previously-Generated Content?

  • Call it content metadata.
    • Content is broken into blocks, orchunks of data.
    • For each block, block and segment hashes are computed (using SHA-256).
    • Compression ratio of hash to original content is around 2000:1.
    • One file == many blocks.Discrete content chunking.
  • Segment hashes provide a unit ofdiscovery .
    • Im looking for this file, do you have it, and do you have the version of it that I want?
  • Block hashes provide a unit ofdownload .
    • You do?Good.I already have most of the file. Give me just this tiny bit of it that I still need.

17. What isPreviously-Generated Content? All of this is transparent to bothyouandthe user . Itsfasterto compare contentchunks than actual content. 18. Options: Distributed & Hosted Cache

  • Distributed Cache
    • Windows 7 computers store the cached content.
    • Windows 7 computers multicast with each other to inform a requestor that they have/don t-have content.
    • Client bits are a default component of Windows 7 & R2 (only), must be specifically enabled.
  • Hosted Cache
    • A specially-configured Server 2008 R2 server is used for content storage at branch office.
    • Desktops still complete the initial download on their own.Server then caches the content from the client.

The previous example used a Distributed Cache 19. BranchCache Dataflow (Initial Access, Hosted Cache)

  • Client 1 sends a request for content to the main office content server. In this request, Client 1 indicates that it is BranchCache-capable.
  • The content server obtains previously generated content information from a local cache and sends it to Client 1.
  • Client 1 requests the content from the hosted cache server in the branch office, and the hosted cache server informs Client 1 that it does not have the content in its cache.
  • Client 1 requests the content from the main office content server.
  • Client 1 receives content from the main office content server.
  • Client 1 advertises the content t