In our unceasing quest to get the world BranchCache-ing , we’re constantly looking at new ways to make it as easy as possible to get going. So, this 2Pint Friday 13th, here’s our new gift to you!
We already released a nice Task Sequence that contains all the cool best practice settings for configuring your clients for BranchCache, but that’s a bit of a ‘fire-and-forget’ approach right? What happens if those settings are lost/changed/removed?
Canny Admins know that ConfigMgr Configuration Items (CIs) are powerful tools for configuring, checking, and auto-remediating settings. So it made sense to provide a kick-ass CI that will Configure, check, and keep BranchCache at maximum efficiency with minimum effort. Here’s what our shiny new ‘BranchCache Tuner’ CI does:
BranchCache Distributed Mode: Checks that the client is in BranchCache Distributed Mode – which is the correct mode for ConfigMgr. If not – set it! Simple.
BranchCache Battery Check:This setting checks the ‘ServeOnBattery’ setting, which you can set to TRUE or FALSE depending on your preferences. We think that serving Peers on battery power ain’t such a bad thing in these days of high powered laptop beasts!
BranchCache Service Check: The BranchCache service – when configured OOB is set to a Manual start mode. We want Auto-start, so that we can server our Peers content straight away. Otherwise, the service only starts when a new download gets triggered – lazy! So in this setting we set the service to Auto-start, and start the service if it isn’t already running. Kerpow!
BranchCache Cache TTL: Sets the TTL for data in the Cache. In other words, the number of days, after which the content will be nuked. We use 365 here but set it to your own choice. This one only applies to Windows 8/10, but you can still run it on Windows 7 machines, it just won’t do anything.
BranchCache Port: BranchCache uses Port 80 by default, which can conflict with Skype, Apache web servers and a ton of other apps potentially. Not cool. So this setting makes sure that the port is set to a number of your choosing. Our default here is 1337 of course..
BranchCache Cache Size: This setting dynamically adjusts the cache size – based on the remaining amount of free space on the system drive. Tweak to your own preferences, but here are the defaults.
If less than 10% new cache size is 2%
If less than 50% but more than 10%new cache size is 5%
If more than 50% new cache should be 10%
Note that in Windows 10 – BranchCache will Auto-shrink the cache for you as the disk gets full, so you can be much more aggressive with your BranchCache Cache size there.
So there you go! All the BranchCache client settings that you will ever need in a convenient CI that you can start using straight away. Version 220.127.116.11 so please report any bugs, feature requests etc to email@example.com
Of course, you will test this first right? Standard 2Pint Disclaimer applies here, i.e if it breaks stuff we are in no way to blame at all. If however it is amazing and changed your life forever we take full credits. Cowabunga.
Finally – big thanks to Mr Chris Roberts @young_robbo for the inspiration (and a fair bit of the PowerShell) to get this out the door.
Happy Caching y’all