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Branch office access with branch cache
 

Branch office access with branch cache

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  • MGB 2003 © 2003 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. This presentation is for informational purposes only. Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, in this summary.
  • Greg Shields

Branch office access with branch cache Branch office access with branch cache Presentation Transcript

  • Speed Up Branch Office Access with BranchCache Greg Shields, MVP, vExpert Head Geek, Concentrated Technology www.ConcentratedTech.com
  • 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
  • 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 of DEMO . So, we ’ll focus on architecture and best fit for your enviornment.
  • Part I: Understanding BranchCache
  • The Problem with Branch Offices
    • Branch office users are people too!
    • However, their connection to the LAN includes a hop through a sometimes nasty WAN.
      • Local files are fast. Remote files are not.
    • Users in branch offices often suffer because of WAN delay.
    • Bad for business.
    • Bad for IT.
  • Branch Offices Don ’t Have to be “Branch Offices”
    • A “branch office” doesn’t necessarily need to be an office that exists 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
  • 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.
  • Solving the Branch Office Conundrum
    • Businesses today need cost-effective solutions that don ’t necessarily require on-site hardware.
      • However, such solutions should be “future proof”, e.g. scalable with hardware if needed in the future.
  • Solving the Branch Office Conundrum
    • Businesses today need cost-effective solutions that don ’t necessarily require on-site hardware.
      • However, such solutions should be “future 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 a “set-it-and-forget-it” solution.
      • Other application and data accesses can be handled through existing solutions: RDS, for example.
    • Solution: BranchCache!
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 obtains previously generated content information 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.
  • 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 obtains previously generated content information 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.
  • OK, So What is this “Previously-Generated Content”?
    • Call it… “content metadata”.
      • Content is broken into blocks, or “chunks 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.
  • OK, So What is this “Previously-Generated Content”?
    • Call it… “content metadata”.
      • Content is broken into blocks, or “chunks 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 of discovery .
      • “ I’m looking for this file, do you have it, and do you have the version of it that I want?”
    • Block hashes provide a unit of download .
      • “ You do? Good. I already have most of the file. Give me just this tiny bit of it that I still need.”
  • What is “Previously-Generated Content”? All of this is transparent to both you and the user . Its faster to compare content “chunks” than actual content.
  • 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
  • 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 to the hosted cache server in the branch office; the hosted cache server connects to the client and downloads the content to store in its cache .
  • BranchCache Dataflow (Subsequent Accesses, Hosted 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 obtains previously generated content information from a local cache and sends it to Client 2.
    • Client 2 uses the content information and sends a request to the hosted cache server for the content. The hosted cache server sends a response stating that it has the content.
    • Client 2 connects to the hosted cache server and downloads the content, using the content information that it received from the main office content server to verify the data.
  • BranchCache Dataflow (Subsequent Accesses, Hosted 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 obtains previously generated content information from a local cache and sends it to Client 2.
    • Client 2 uses the content information and sends a request to the hosted cache server for the content. The hosted cache server sends a response stating that it has the content.
    • Client 2 connects to the hosted cache server and downloads the content, using the content information that it received from the main office content server to verify the data.
    Notice: Initial access in each example is always to the Main Office ’s content server. Thus: No change in user behavior.
  • DISCUSS: Which Would You Use? Why?
    • Distributed Mode?
    • Cached Mode?
    • Why?
  • Advantages of Hosted Mode
    • No need to use Windows 7 desktops as content storage locations.
      • Uses drive space, slight increase in processor use.
      • Eliminates need for multicasting around local net.
    • Hosted cache is a server, always on.
      • Powered down desktops also take down cache data.
    • Better bandwidth savings (in comparison)
    • Multiple subnets with distributed mode creates cache islands. Won ’t cross subnets.
    • Larger offices need more cached data, can justify a server purchase
      • Auditing: Easier to audit in hosted mode.
  • Protocols in Use Protocol Used For SHA-256 Hashing data on content server. HTTP / SMB / BITS Initial client communication with content (file, web, application) server. BranchCache Discovery Protocol Used by clients to search local network for content. WS-Discovery Used by BranchCache Discovery Protocol (Web Services, Multicast, UDP) BranchCache Retrieval Protocol (MS-PCCRD) Used by clients to obtain content (HTTP) BranchCache Hosted Cache Protocol (MD-PCHC) Used by clients to advertise to Hosted Cache that they have content for storage.
  • Built-in Security Features
    • Security at Rest
      • Content integrity through chunking
      • Pre-transfer authentication/authorization through requesting protocol (SMB/HTTP/etc).
      • Metadata hashes become post-transfer integrity verification.
      • BranchCache respects NTFS ACLs at all times.
      • Cache can be encrypted with BitLocker or EFS.
      • Hosted cache further protected via certificate.
    • Security in Transit
      • SSL authentication optional for content transfer
      • Transferred content encrypted using AES 128 (key derived from metadata).
  • DISCUSS: Is this More Advantageous than WAN Optimizers?
    • Financially advantageous?
    • Features & capabilities?
    • Usefulness for users?
  • Part II: Deploying BranchCache
  • Important Points for Design
    • BranchCache available on Windows® 7 Enterprise and Ultimate, Windows Server 2008 R2 (only).
      • You must enable BranchCache and create firewall exceptions to allow BranchCache traffic between client computers.
    • Web server content
      • Install the BranchCache feature on the application server or Web server whose content you wish to cache in branch offices.
    • File server content
      • The BranchCache for network files role service of the File Server role in Windows Server 2008 R2 must be installed and enabled.
    • Do not also deploy WAN accelerators between branch offices and the main office.
      • BranchCache does not function correctly when there are WAN accelerators between a branch office and the main office.
  • Important Points for Design Functionality Computer Location Install this Component Web server Main office BranchCache feature File server Main office BranchCache for Network Files role service of File Services role BITS application server Main office BranchCache feature Hosted cache server Branch office BranchCache feature with hosted cache mode enabled; trusted certificate Client cache server Branch office Enable BranchCache on the client
  • Important Points for Design
  • Implementing Distributed Mode
    • Install the BranchCache for Network Files role service to a file server in the main office.
  • Implementing Distributed Mode
    • Install the BranchCache feature to a web or application server in the main office.
  • Implementing Distributed Mode
    • Use Group Policy to configure BranchCache client settings
      • Computer Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates | Network | BranchCache
      • Turn on BranchCache (Yes/No)
      • Set BranchCache Distributed Cache mode (Yes / No)
      • Set BranchCache Hosted Cache mode (Yes / No, Enter location [FQDN] of hosted cache)
      • Configure BranchCache for network files (Yes / No, Round trip latency value above which files are cached)
      • Set percentage of disk space used for client computer cache (Numerical percentage value)
  • Implementing Distributed Mode
    • Use Group Policy to configure BranchCache server settings
      • Computer Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates | Network | Lanman Server
      • Hash Publication for BranchCache
      • 0 = Allow hash publication only for shared folders on which BranchCache is enabled.
      • 1 = Disallow hash publication on all shared folders
      • 2 = Allow hash publication for all shared folders
  • Implementing Distributed Mode
    • Use Group Policy to create firewall exception.
      • Predefined: BranchCache – Content Retrieval (Uses HTTP)
      • Predefined: BranchCache – Peer Discovery (Uses WSD)
  • Implementing Distributed Mode
    • Enable BranchCache on file shares
      • Accomplished within Share and Storage Management
  • Implementing Hosted Mode
    • All of the above, plus:
      • Install and configure a Windows Server 2008 R2 server within the branch office site.
      • Install a trusted web server certificate to the server.
      • Install BranchCache feature.
      • Link the certificate to BranchCache using netsh http add sslcert ipport=0.0.0.0:443 certhash=<SHA-1_Hash> appid={d673f5ee-a714-454d-8de2-492e4c1bd8f8}
      • Resize the cache on the server (defaults to 5% of active partition) with netsh branchcache set cachesize size=<sizeInPercent> percent=TRUE
      • Sit back. Relax. Enjoy.
  • Verifying Happyness
  •  
  • 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